Meet Brian Dettmer, Book Sculptor

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Contemporary artist Brian Dettmer is a surgeon with words. Utilizing tweezers, knives and surgical tools, Dettmer slices into books one page at a time, painstakingly removing sections of paper. Nothing is added or moved, only removed, leaving behind incredibly intricate images, words and designs.

On his website, Dettmer describes his process thusly: “In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”

Check out some of his beautifully crafted creations below.