Michelangelo spoke about releasing his sculptures from the marble. In the case of Brian Dettmer, he’s releasing them from old books.
Like a surgeon working carefully with small instruments, he explores the anatomical peculiarities of dictionaries and other vintage texts. Like an archeologist, as he digs deeper and deeper, he unearths meaning and finds small gems that interact with the elements he’s already uncovered. Like a magician, he forces the viewer to see familiar objects in a surprising new way, and to wonder what else is hiding in them.
I marvel at his craftsmanship and his patience. It’s well worth clicking through to the site to see his other pieces — this is just the tip of the iceberg.