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Terry Border Brings Old Books to Life with Wire

1984 by George Orwell
Artist Terry Border gives new life to old books in his latest series titled Wiry Limbs, Paper Backs. The artist, who is no stranger to breathing new life into inanimate objects, utilizes his handcrafted technique of bending wires to serve as limbs and combines it with a great sense of humor. Each whimsical creation in the ongoing project is a sculptural work that stands on its own, reflecting its respective text.

The inspiration behind each sculpture is clearly the story themselves, but what initially got Border started on this project was the thought of sending little tokens of gratitude to distributors of his upcoming children's book. Along the way, he became invested in the series. Each weathered novel he came across has been transformed into a physical form that personifies its own story. While Gulliver's Travels towers above the tiny people clasped in its “hands” and 1984 is busy watching and recording everything like Big Brother, The Odyssey is packed and ready for a long trip with suitcase in hand.

Border tells us, “A local used bookstore has a rack of old, mostly classic paperbacks that they sell for $2, and the covers are so great, and the used ones have so much personality, they begged to be made into something. There are always some people who find doing anything to a book besides reading it morally wrong (ha!), but the way I see it, I'm showcasing these books and their covers like they never would have been otherwise. I have zero guilt about any of that nonsense.” He adds, “I've made 18 or 19, but if I get by that bookstore and see an old, used book on that rack that calls out to me, I'll probably have to do something with it!”

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Fantastic Four by Stan Lee

Flash Gordon by David Hagberg

Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

Goldfinger by Ian Fleming

On Dreams by Sigmund Freud

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Odyssey by Homer

Terry Border website


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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