Samuel Levi Jones Destroys Books to Make Art

Samuel Levi Jones destroys books.

I know, for us book lovers, that sentence hurts. But Jones does it for art. And to make a point.

Samuel Levi Jones's painting, "Dominion"
“Dominion” by Samuel Levi Jones
Photo credit: Samuel Levi Jones and Vielmetter Los Angeles

Jones creates art based on books to highlight society’s racial inequalities.

In his current show, No More Tokens, at the Vielmetter in Los Angeles, Jones’s pieces are constructed out of demolished art books. His past work has used law books, texts about medicine, and encyclopedias.

According to his website, Samuel Levi Jones “explores the framing of power structures and struggles between exclusion and equality by desecrating historical material, then re-imagining new works.”

That’s a smart way to say that Jones takes books and changes them into new creations as a way of making a statement about how racist our culture continues to be.

Jones isn’t the first artist to create things out of books.

After all, there’s an entire book dedicated to art made from books (paid link). Books are often artist Long-Bin CHEN’s preferred medium, such as with these portraits.

Or there’s Jan Reymond, who uses books to make large installations. And Jodi Harvey-Brown creates sculptures out of books.

Also in interior design, books can serve as any other type of material. Like this lamp. Or this book headboard.

You get the picture. But, if you’d like to look at more pics of art made out of books, check these out.


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