I collect very old books and music to use as elements in my art. Most of my art has excerpts from these items embedded within. I love the stains, rips, and smells of these old publications. I often find hand written dedications, clippings, etc in them and I use those as well. I am conflicted about tearing them and using them, but I like to think my art will preserve them and highlight them much more than they would be tucked away on a dark and dusty shelf somewhere.

 

The very first rare book I stumbled upon at a garage sale was Le Egoist. I started by painting and drawing on the pages of the book. This entire book is filled with art and I don't have the heart to disassemble it, so I guess I will sell it "in tact" someday.

 

I was so fascinated by the old book, I went in search for others. When I travel in other countries I visit their rare book stores. Often when I tell the store owners what I do with them I am presented with very fine treasures!

 

Many of these pieces provide inspiration, such as the writings of Kahlil Gibran. Some have ironic meaning such as The Merry Wives of Windsor - on which I often draw female nudes.

 

This is a way of preserving the past and paying tribute to the many great authors and composers who shaped our literary past.

 

Some of the books and music I work from are pictured here. Clockwise from the upper left:

  • 1888 - Alcune Specie Do Felini - this is a textbook of sorts about the anatomy of a tiger (best as I can tell, as it is written in Italian) I purchased this in Rome

  • 1896 - Vocals of Johannes Brahms - written in French. I purchased this in Santa Fe at a resale shop that benefits the animal shelter

  • 1934 - The Prophet Kahlil Bibran - I have used this many times, mostly in the Freedom Series.

  • 1785 - Oeuvres Completes de Voltaire - the complete letters of Voltaire - purchased in Dallas at an antique store

  • 1902 - Statuto Organico - this appears to be a catalog of some sort - in Italian, purchased in Rome

  • 1916 - Check from LB Page written from Great Western Railway - purchased in Dallas

  • 1916 - Bank draft from Great Western Railway - purchased in Dallas

  • 1887 - Sonetti Romaneschi di G. Gioacchino Belli - an Italian poet, famous for his sonnets - purchased in Rome

  • 1871 - Nozze Paolucci-Dondi Dall' Orologio - I think this is about an architect but it is written in Italian and I'm not sure - purchased in Rome

  • 1913 - Otello - songbook in Italian - purchased in Rome

  • 1886 - Villa Gloria - sonnet, in Italian - purchased in Rome

Embedded in my art work...

All images on this site are © Molly DeVoss