I read the article “The Painted Book” by Peter Terzian from this selection from PRINT Magazine. The article describes how artists have been looking back to classic book cover designs from the 20th century as inspiration. Some artists have gone as far as to paint some of them as works of art. One quote I found interesting from the beginning of the article describes how the designers are going back to these designs in the age of modern technology.
“It’s surely no coincidence that artists are choosing the book as a subject in this era of new reading technologies. But these paintings are too joyous and affectionate to be memento mori for the printed word. “I think books as objects are beginning to mean more to people,” says artist and designer Leanne Shapton.”
Terzian goes on to look at several artists who have created older looking book covers. One of the artists he analyzes is Richard Baker. Baker describes some of the books he painted recently are books from his youth that he enjoyed reading and looking at.
“For Baker, books are “pneumonic devices that recall whole periods of time.” His paintings are deeply nostalgic, and his viewers often describe, he says, “a sense of loss or a euphoric memory.” What began as a personal homage to his one-time favorites evolved into a communal project when friends began to suggest titles—the series now encompasses everything from a Signet paperback of “Octopussy” to a board book of “Good Morning, Miff y.” “I feel like a conduit,” he says, “allowing the social conversation to blossom in what books I’m painting.”
Overall this article was an interesting read. The way Terzian set up the article was interesting to me, and the way the paintings of the book covers were shown blended into the design of the page the article was on.