nik book, or artist's book
before it is published
" Bottle in the sea "
If we find the metaphor too melodramatic, if we judge too tedious the final answers to the big questions, we can at least be satisfied by sharing with others the pleasure that comes from an artist's book, the succession of pages surprising of an original design, and we can, why not, make. Aesthetics, style and themes are variable to infinity and escape any census. All these books have in common to be a unique work hand-crafted and claiming as a form of full artistic expression. These "Artists Books" exist since the 1960s. This artistic form thus named and wanted as such did not exist before.
There were, of course, and there are still books designed and illustrated by artists, limited edition collector's items. But the unique works often made voluntarily with rudimentary means were invented in the United States, in a context of parallel culture, counter-culture.
We all know that the limits of madness are not clearly defined, they are fluctuating. The most peculiar artists artists are multi-talented humans with a resolutely autonomous spirit. Some create their paper, cut their bamboo tip, make their own colors. These are the individualists among the "crazy". "Normal" people buy their paper, do useful things, build cars, bridges, devices for radar control; they pick up garbage, tear teeth or take pictures of sunsets. They do not create artist's books.
The artist who conceives artist's books is not only painter, draftsman, poet or prose writer, leaving to the professionals the care to manufacture his work, he is, in a single person, the inventor, the manufacturer, the creator, craftsman, publisher of his book. Unlike the commercialized books, with their pages always the same, visually monotonous, in the pages of an artist's book a lot of things happen. Each page differs from the previous and the next.