Saturday, February 10, 2007

Audrey Niffenegger

You have to check this womans work out:
Audrey Niffenegger

The month of January was productive in that I got a lot of reading done. A way to escape my personal problems, I buried myself into "The Kite Runner", "The Memory Keepers Daughter", "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time", "Eighty Acres", "Middlesex", "Running with Scissors", "The Secret Life of Bees", "The God of Small Things", and "The Time Travellers Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. I'm a complete sucker for time traveller books, and I loved this book. The main character is an artist who struggles through life using art as a medium to make sense of it. There are a lot of references to artists, museums, galleries, and also a lot of art school jargon which at times got on my nerves. Anyways, I was reading the biography on the back of the book about Audrey, and found out that she is a professor in the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. After doing research on the school, I realized that what I love is bookmaking. I am completely fascinated in the process of composing a work of art using image and text. I love the process of making books, and I'm completely fascinated with different papers. I love the idea of creating etchings, woodblock prints, letterpress, lithographs, collage to create a body of work the ties together secretly. I love how intimate the experience of opening boxes and covers of books is. The feel of the material, the turning of pages, the build up of anticipation. The book doesn't have to be bound but turned page by page. The book can hang like a sculpture, hide like a private locked box, it can be coded and abscure, it can be mutilated misused. The process of thinking about making a series of prints with or without text in a book format has unlimited posibilities.

One bookmaker I admire is William Blake. This guy was completely possessed and it is said that his wife often helped him color his prints. I'll be looking more into this guy in the future. Aparently there is a book collection near LA which has a copy of one of his books, but you need special permission to see it.

Like a complete dork, I spent my birthday going to museums and galleries, and while I was in SFMOMA bookstore I noticed Audrey Niffenegger's graphic novel the
"The Three Incestuous Sisters". This book tells the story of three unusual sisters who live in a seaside house. Because of the artwork and mood, the book has been compared to the work of Edward Gorey (another favorite of mine). I started looking through the books and was completely amazed by her etchings.

So who I want to be when I grow up: a little bit of Audrey Niffenegger for her ability to write an awesome novel and create art; Kiki Smith for her ability to always be inspired and making things and have the coolest hair, Joel Elgin for his ability to inspire and create greatness, Betsy Davids for her calm wisdom, William Blake for being crazy, Kathy Neckar for her ability to keep her child-like curiosity, and love for life, Jon Stuarts humor, and Conan O'Brians ability to make me laugh out loud for being Irish.


marja-leena said...

Oh thanks for introducing this fascinating artist and writer - I'll be looking and reading!

Annie B said...

I stumbled upon a copy of The Three Incestuous Sisters at a bookstore on Cape Cod last summer. Knocked me out! Her etchings are gorgeous. Thanks for reminding me. Books: yummmm.