Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.

Dettmer manipulates the pages and spines to form the shape of his sculptures. He also folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create completely original sculptural forms.

"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," he says.

"The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge."

Dettmer is originally from Chicago, where he studied at Columbia College. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.

Update: Read our exclusive interview with the Book Surgeon here.

Brian Dettmer's website

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Tags: Brian Dettmer, The Book Surgeon

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Comment by JIM PARSONS on December 15, 2011 at 11:52am

REAL art books!

Comment by Midge Murray on December 15, 2011 at 10:31am


Comment by lorraine kennedy on March 12, 2011 at 5:00pm
look for the dictinary definition of "takes my breathe away," but...
well, the dictionary is carved out to make THIS
Comment by shahjahan on March 11, 2011 at 12:06am
mind bogling
Comment by Doc Taylor on March 10, 2011 at 1:52pm
Utterly Amazing!
Comment by sAm on February 28, 2011 at 6:26pm
Absolutely unreal! :)
Comment by Alyssa Anda on February 28, 2011 at 1:33pm
This is just AMAZING! By far the coolest thing I've seen in awhile. He has some major talent!
Comment by Untitled841 on February 28, 2011 at 10:49am
These are gorgeous! Skill and talent that I like to see and a great way to "reuse" all those dated books.
Thanks for sharing.
Comment by São on February 28, 2011 at 10:30am
I love paper too :-) great work
Comment by Caterina Zavattaro on February 28, 2011 at 2:36am
I really love your work!

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