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

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