Artist Guy Laramee has made a name for himself through his incredible ability to transform encyclopedias, dictionaries, and secondhand novels into extraordinary mountain landscapes. Drawing inspiration from places that he’s visited, the artist carves away at printed materials that have been replaced by technology. Upon the pages of wide-ranging publications, Laramee reveals every tree, curve, canyon, and crack in the Earth’s surface. This erosion is a key motif in the carver’s work, since it represents the changes that ultimately occur as time goes by.
During the sculptor’s most recent trip to southern Brazil, he was enchanted not only by the terrain, but he was also captivated by the birds that live there. These beautiful creatures encouraged Laramee to add another feature to his sculptures. Rather than simply transforming the inside of his books, the artist decided to utilize their covers for his latest project. In painting elaborate portraits of Brazilian birds on the outside of his novels, Laramee intends to show viewers that both nature and literature are not one-sided.
“We live in books. We live in our heads. The birds live in the ever-freshness of the moment – and nothing else needs to be said about this,” the artist stated. “That’s it – they live in the place where nothing else needs to be said. And yet they sing. Maybe where they live is where we should live. In the solitude of virgin landscapes, we might rediscover our intimate relationship to the world. In this intimacy we may see that we were never cut from what we call nature, even when we transform it. We are not in the world, the world is in us – an Indian wise man once said. We are Nature.”