Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Artist Book: This is The.....

This Is The  Baby  Book of  John Joseph Vicario  John Barry Steck

The second of three artist books I made as gifts this past winter. This book was made for my oldest friend, Tony. Like the book in the previous post that I made for my friend Filip, I wanted to use images that were particular to Tony and I. Certain memories we shared or places that were meaningful to us. 

The theme throughout this book is related to the title. The title page is a scan from my baby book as a child. As you can see, I could of not been John Steck Jr. This haunts me in many ways, and one day I hope to have a project revolved around that whole idea. As of now, I do not have the mental energy to tackle such a thing. This book was a just a starting point to adress such a topic/idea. 

I thought I would include images that obscure our identities, or show some sort of change in who we are. Such images as Tony's head inserted in a wood cut out of a German man with a pint of beer, or an image of me sitting indian style on a bed, but my tattoos are no longer there (oh photoshop!). These images mixed with several older ones of my childhood home, a place where Tony and I spent a lot of time growing up, create a weird sense of nostalgia and slightly interrupt the memory banks. 


This Is The  Baby  Book of  John Joseph Vicario  John Barry Steck
Made in 2011/2012
7.25 x 9.25 Cloth Bound Hard Cover. Tipped in Photograph on Cover
Made with Moab Exhibition Luster

Friday, January 13, 2012

Artist Book: You Scratch My back, And I'll Scratch Yours

I made this book for my friend Filip who lives in Chicago. This is one of three artist books I made this winter as gifts to my closest friends. For my two oldest friends in Chicago, I geared each book to our particular friendship and upbringing. A handful of images ended up being in both books, being that Filip and Tony are also very close. We have all known each other for some time now. 

The idea for the book I made for Filip, You Scratch My Back, And I'll Scratch Yours, is based on some of our influences from our late teens to early twenties. Since we were both skateboarders and graffiti writers, I wanted this book to have a diy/zine look to it. I also wanted to portray us in a slightly more rugged way than we actually were. I have seen at a lot of movies, books and magazines about graffiti and skateboarding, and it seems that the people involved are portrayed in a very particular kind of way. There is a very punk rock/troubled youth kind of feel to them and they often contain nudity, bad behavior and at times, some sort of crime. Filip, Tony and I never grew up that way. I feel we have always been fairly clean cut in what we were involved in. The worse we ever did was graffiti on some industrial buildings and rooftops. Other than that we were pretty good boys.

I feel this book is still pretty clean cut compared to others I've seen, but for me it's just a first draft. There are plenty of images that still need to be scanned. I would like to actually include more images from when we skated and did graffiti. As of right now, it is mainly images from our time together, mixed with some other random images I have taken throughout the last 10 years. The book layout was heavily influenced from some of the books by Ed Tempelton, particularly Drinking The Kool-Aid.

You Scratch My Back, And I'll Scratch Yours by John Steck Jr. 2012
8.5x5.5 stab stitched artist book. 16 pages.
Handmade with Museo Cotten Paper

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Artist Book: In My Horizon

During my first term at SFAI I had a class with Ian McDonald called "The Return to Craft." For this class, we had a group exhibition at the Swell Gallery in the graduate campus. Every student made a piece for the show,  related to the show theme which was "Hand-Eye Coordination." This is the piece I made for this show. 

In My Horizon is a large scale artist book (16x20) that was inspired by Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost. These images explore some of the desires of what we see but cannot grasp. Places we may or may not long to be, but where we can never go. 

I used the large scale book form to create more of a physical interaction. The use of large to small scale images allows the viewer to move forward and back while flipping through the book, playing with the idea of the hand to eye coordination. 

In My Horizon by John Steck Jr, 2011
16x20 Hard cover cloth bound book. 
Handmade & Printed on Exhibition Luster.