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Artist Constructs Portraits of Famous Faces by Stacking Thousands of Books

Book Art by Jordi Prat Pons

There are many different methods to organizing your library. While some people prefer to sort books by title or author's name, others find enjoyment in arranging covers by their color. Well, artist Jordi Prat Pons takes this approach to another level by constructing massive portraits of famous faces, including one of Vincent van Gogh with the well-placed spines of 2,400 books.

Pons has been creating collage art for over 30 years, finding particular inspiration in working with paper and books. Many of his materials are donated by his followers, while others he sources through donations and thrift stores. After receiving about 8,000 books, he began working on the Van Gogh portrait during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Taking advantage of the lockdown, I started an installation paying homage to one of the greatest individuals in the world of art, Vincent van Gogh,” he tells My Modern Met. “Vincent was writing all his life letters to his brother Theo and years later a book was published titled Letters to Theo. I would like to thank Vincent for everything he has given to the world of art and what he has given to the world in general. I wanted to send him some letters to thank him for everything.”

Pons neatly stacked dark-colored books, ranging from black to burgundy to blue, to render the darkened background. Most of these texts are placed in horizontal piles, but occasionally, he has to account for the mismatched sizing by placing books vertically. These moody colors frame the portrait of Van Gogh himself, which Pons creates with a palette of pale yellows, reds, and whites. As a result of his careful placement, the image looks remarkably similar to the Dutch Post-Impressionist from afar. Pons has even made a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and a closeup of Michelangelo’s David using the same method. He hopes to create even more book sculptures in the future.

Scroll down to see more book art by Pons, and be sure to follow his Instagram to keep up to date with his latest projects.

Artist Jordi Prat Pons constructs portraits by stacking books.

Book Art by Jordi Prat Pons

His piece Letters to Vincent, pays homage to Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh.

Book Art by Jordi Prat Pons

The portrait is made of 2,400 books in different colors, mimicking Van Gogh's likeness.

Book Art by Jordi Prat Pons

Prat Pons also creates other portraits with books, including ones of Martin Luther King Jr.

Book Art by Jordi Prat Pons

Book Portraits by Jordi Prat Pons

Book Portraits by Jordi Prat Pons

He has even recreated Michelangelo's David in his own way.

Book Portraits by Jordi Prat Pons

Book Portraits by Jordi Prat Pons


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A post shared by Jordi Prat Pons (@jordipratpons)

Jordi Prat Pons: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Jordi Prat Pons.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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