Artist Cuts Encyclopedias to Create Storybook Art

England-based Alexander Korzer-Robinson is not a traditional artist, rather he enjoys creating narrative scenes by using pre-existing media, such as encyclopedias. Like Brian Dettmer, this artist creates his book sculptures by carefully cutting into pages, exposing some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work are left untouched, standing in their original place.

Korzer-Robinson’s work is very intricate and delicate as well as very time consuming but the end product is clearly a sight to be seen. Check out our interview with Alexander, below, to learn more about his creative process.

The Siege

When and how did you first get into creating this form of artwork?
I have been working on the cut books for a little over four years now. I had been experimenting with old books for a while, and it took me about a year to refine the process of creating them to the point where they are today. It took a lot of trial and error, and quite a number of books ended up in the rubbish bin as a result.

Rock Garden

What’s the most challenging aspect about this type of work?
The most challenging aspect for me is to find the hidden narrative in the books I cut up. I use mainly non-fiction books as a starting point. I then go through those volumes to find my composition. During the actual process, cutting around some of the images and cutting out others, the narrative of the composition evolves further, and the final pieces is a result of planning and chance.


What inspired you to use encyclopedias for the Meyers series?
As far as non-fiction goes, for me encyclopedias are as good as it gets. Since the articles of an encyclopedia are just connected by alphabetical order, it creates the most interesting juxtapositions. To make meaning out of this mass of seemingly disjointed imagery is a true joy for me. As a lot of the books I use, the pieces of the Meyers series are over a hundred years old. It is a source of inspiration by itself just to handle those old volumes.

Gustav’s Dream II

What’s next for you?
I have a lot of exhibitions lined up in the new year, in the UK as well as abroad. I am working on new series of books, as well as on other projects that are in their early phases. Also, I am continuing to browse old bookstores to find new material for my work.

Night Garden

Hidden Valley

Mind of the Poet

Gestation Myth


Day of the Dead

Suspended Lion

Alexander Korzer-Robinson’s website

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