This was another brilliant article link from Shelf Awareness on an artist who uses people's bookshelves in her art!
Jane Mount’s Ideal Bookshelf
Mark Medley August 9, 2010 – 2:10 pm
The books on someone’s shelf will often tell you more about a person than the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, or the friends they keep. Jane Mount, a visual artist hailing from New York City, taps into this emotional connection with her project Ideal Bookshelf, a series of paintings which capture the spines of peoples favourite books.
“We show off our books on shelves like merit badges, because we’re proud of the ideas we’ve ingested to make us who we are, and we hope to connect with others based on that. I think this is endearing and charming,” she says. “When I paint someone else’s favorites and they have the same book I have in mine, I feel closer to them, like we must understand each other in some meaningful way.
Before books, Mount used to draw large paintings of people, but she lost her studio space and was forced to work out of her small apartment in Manhattan, “at one end of the dining room table.” One day in early 2007, as a sort of exercise, she painted some of the books on her own bookshelf.
“A friend happened to see me working on them, and loved them so much he bought all three of them right then,” she says. “I had never created any work before that had caused such a visceral and immediate response in someone. I realized there was something special about books, both visually and conceptually. Art rarely moves people as instantly as a piece of music, or a plate of food, but these do that, in some small way. When someone enters a room where one of the paintings is hanging, they immediately point out which ones they also have and love. It’s an acceptable form of bookshelf voyeurism.”
Soon, she began taking custom orders: just send in a photograph of your favourite books, in a row or in a pile, and Mount will lovingly render them in gouache and ink on paper. As of Monday, she’s posted 80 paintings on her website, Ideal Bookshelf.
Read more: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2010/08/09/jane-mounts-ideal-bookshelf/#ixzz0wPvCqqhh