Go ahead, judge us by our covers.
eNotes’ study guides are getting a fresh new look, thanks to incredible artist and illustrator Yumi Sakugawa. Sakugawa took 200 of our most popular titles and interpreted each in a fresh and interesting way. The end results are as enlightening as they are beautiful; not only is each image a stand-alone work of art, but an insight into the themes and concepts that make these classics what they are.
We hope you enjoy them as much as us! Browse the images attached to our most popular titles here, or scroll down for a sampling.
That’s right, one day soon lucky Kerouac fans will be able to read the Beat writer’s seminal work, accompanied by some very cool drawings–one for each of its 300+ pages, in fact. Rogers selects his favorite passages and draws an accompanying pic. Check out a selection of some of the best below. To see the progress of the project thus far, see Paul Rogers’ blog entries for On The Road: Illustrated here!
These artists give books a second life as beautiful works of art, converting everything from outdated computing books to children’s classics into visual masterpieces, all using little more than a scalpel and some imagination. In no particular order (they’re too awesome to rank) here are the top ten artworks created from old books:
“Pandora Opens Box” by Sue Blackwell.
It is the delicacy, the slight feeling of claustrophobia, as if these characters, the landscape have been trapped inside the book all this time and are now suddenly released. A number of the compositions have an urgency about them, the choices made for the cut-out people from the illustrations seem to lean towards people on their way somewhere, about to discover something, or perhaps escaping from something. And the landscapes speak of a bleak mystery, a rising, an awareness of the air.
A landscape created out of cut up paper by Scottish artist Georgia Russell.
One of the masterfully crafted book landscapes from Canadian interdisciplinary artist (and part time anthropologist) Guy Laramée.
We are currently told that the paper book is bound to die. The library, as a place, is finished. One might ask so what? Do we really believe that “new technologies” will change anything concerning our existential dilemma, our human condition? And even if we could change the content of all the books on earth, would this change anything in relation to the domination of analytical knowledge over intuitive knowledge? What is it in ourselves that insists on grabbing, on casting the flow of experience into concepts?
“Portrait of Sylvia Von Harden” remake by Stephan Hoffman & SoYeon Kim
“Portrait of Sylvia Von Harden” by Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix
Lest we think we, as “modern” people came up with performance art, here is an idea that is older than our country: the art of Tableaux Vivants.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “tableaux vivants” as a “representation of a person, character, scene, incident, etc., of a well-known painting or statue by one person or a group of persons in suitable costumes or attitudes, silent and motionless.” Such playful, yet at times, serious, art has been around since at least the mid-18th century. The Italian actor Carlo Bertinazzi performed the “The Village Betrothal in Los Noces d’Arlequin” by Jean-Baptist Grueze for the court at the Palace of Versailles in 1760.
Tableaux vivant “actors” tried to mimic costume, lighting, and theme in order to delight, educate, and inform. These “living paintings” were very popular in the early 19th century when the re-creations were moved from lofty venues like palaces to more humble ones, such as the parlors of affluent Americans. Godey’s Lady’s Book, arguably the most popular and influential magazine of its time, described tableaux vivant as one of the most popular of party activities which also served to “engender a love and appreciation for art.”
Today, actors and artists still seek to create in form what visual artists put to paper. In April, the Adobe corporation challenged students in the UK to create their own tableaux vivant and vie for a 10,000 pound prize. An American website called “Booooom” wanted to participate in the project and asked Adobe for permission to adopt the idea (though not the prize). Adobe agreed.
Here are just a few of the stunning photographic tableaux vivants. What is truly delightful is the way in which many of the artists do not create a literal homage to the original work, but nevertheless embody its spirit.
“Self Portrait 1889″ remake by Seth Johnson
“Self Portrait 1889″ by Vincent van Gogh
“Automata” remake by Or Eitan
“Automata” by Edward Hopper
“Narcissus” remake by Max Zerrahn
“Narcissus” by Caravaggio