Book Art Meets Book Design : Cara Barer Hits the Covers
In his post at Galleycat, “Cover Trends: The Book as Art Object” Ron Hogan points to two recently published books featuring the book photographs of Cara Barer on the dust jacket.
On the same day as Hogan’s post the New York Observer ran a piece entitled “The New Thing: Books Without Jackets ” which looks at some new releases that are forgoing the dust jacket and using the boards as the canvas. “At a time when there are other forms that people can buy books in, it becomes more important than ever for the physical book to look really attractive,” says Viking’s Paul Slovak. I would add that it is as important for the book to be well made.
Whether or not this constitutes a trend or “The New Thing,” time will tell. But it does seem clear that as the book continues to face unrelenting pressure from new technologies it is becoming more objectified. Thus, it makes perfect sense to use book art to illustrate a book.
And with Cara Barer’s image “Whirligig” on the cover of Ted Striphas’s “The Late Age of Print” we have the ultimate union.
The book’s full title is “The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture From Consumerism to Control” and in Barer’s work we get to see a prefect representation of the tagline. Barer uses books that have been discarded; spit out by consumerism. She then exerts ultimate control over the book to create an object of beauty.
Ironically enough, it was that same image, “Whirligig,” that led off a post I did on her work back in April, 2007 titled “The Page Curler.” I’ve been a big fan of her work ever since, we even hosted a solo exhibition of her work in the fall of ’08, and it is great to see her get the recognition she deserves.
It is also worth noting that in addition to the great design of “Late Age of Print” it is the best book about books I’ve read this year.
Ted Striphas has more about the cover and how it came to be in his post Now, About That Cover