Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When you know it, you know it.

I was struggling to design the cover for a book of experimental poetry, In Ways Impossible to Fold, by Michael Rerick, that has been described as:

"Every idea in this book is a fold understanding how to increase area and flexibility within apparent confines (as in pop-up books). As scale shifts, large and small scale blossoming, the heart, the pulse—moments fold and unfold in a dance of patterns in which we and everything that exists participate, as impossible as that can seem. Consider how some folded material retains obvious memory of having been folded: creases, pleats—perhaps even when evidence is far more subtle, some evidence of having been folded imprints what has come together, every word marking mechanisms of encounter." --Thylias Moss


So how do you illustrate that?

I looked at photos of origami, of folded paper art, of modern art light and shadow abstracts, of close ups of accordions, dancers, and at buildings mid-demolition blast. None of them got the feeling. Then when I was perusing deeply buried pages in Shaun Tan's website I found this astonishing painting that was an assemblage of found objects, including a locomotive engine formed from flattened tin cans and in the tin was painted the landscape behind the viewer. This was it! Talk about art folded into art folded into the stuff of the world. Luckily, Tan gave permission to use his painting. Here it is. I am glad to say the poet likes it. Whew.

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