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keith e. lo bue's antiquary

hello all, and happy new year.

i just wanted to share this bit of lovely inspirational eyecandy. keith lo bue does some beautiful, complex, highly detailed work. also, i covet his workshop. ;)

diary of an antiquary

and the finished piece is linked here, below the artist's statement. (keep clicking, the detailed shots are amazing.)

[disclaimer: please do not read this as an endorsement or approval to cut up objects of historic value, like, oh, say, illuminated manuscripts, for your projects. if you're gonna do something like this, use replicas/copies, mkay?]



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
This makes my head hurt
This guy Destroys Antiques to make pedestrian art?

"The gem for this job was the left-hand side of this awe-inspiring page of illuminated manuscript from the 1500's"

You don't cut something up like that and put it in a bit of fluff, you frame it and keep it. As less and less there are things around from that time.

You can make something that looks just like that out of things that are not Antiques and have it look just the same.

This type of work always makes me cring as it often helps give other people the idea to tare apart things and then after a bit there are no longer certain types of Antiques left. Like a 150 years ago with the mummys .

Jan. 1st, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: This makes my head hurt

I hadn't even noticed that bit. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Oh my goodness.

Jan. 1st, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: This makes my head hurt
yep. in my place, yeah, i'd use a copy, not the original. there are plenty of mass-produced old books that are otherwise falling apart that can be re-purposed, etc, but i would draw the line at the illuminated manuscript, or anything of that level of historical value, myself. it takes a lot of hubris to insist that you need to cut up something like that to make your art.

outside of that particular bit of crazy, i really do like what he makes aesthetic-wise, and it's still inspiring/pleasing to me as a concept.
Jan. 1st, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
What. Oh my goodness. That is amazing.

thank you so much for sharing!

Jan. 1st, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is beautiful! Not only the piece itself, but the photography required to capture such a piece of art. Thank you for sharing!

And what's so inherently wrong with cutting up something old and beautiful to make something new and beautiful? You could put that 16th-century illuminated manuscript in a frame or a box and gaze at it occasionally, or you could use it to make something, or multiple somethings, that many can enjoy still. It's going to be appreciated for its age and beauty either way, right?
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
My Opinion
whats wrong is that it is GONE.
Antiques always have a value, modern does not always have a value until it is an antique.
The older it is, the rarer it is, the more value it has attached to it.
You never know that later down the line it might be the missing piece to someones theories or research. After all for all we know it could talk about the origins of the corset, which many many people would be interested in.
and when you think about how easy it would be to get a good facsimile instead of using an original, it just is sad.
You wouldn't cut up Leonardo's books now, or even a first edition Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland because they do have incredible value as they are known, but the same should hold true for the less important works.
Now if it is so utterly damaged that it is truly scrap, so go ahead, but the images of the originals shown do not look that damaged.
Go look on e-bay for how much even damaged fashion plates from the 19th century go for.
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
I love the artwork. I do feel that cleverness can occur with the successful reproduction of antiquities. You don't have to use the original.
I also recommend Keith Smith for bookbinding tech. I use _Books Without Paste or Glue_.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
Huh...I would be interested to know just how he acquired such an item as a genuine 16th century Slavic manuscript page. Those sort of things don't just pop up on the market freely available to generous students as far as I'm aware, but I'm no expert. Smells of library theft. Especially sad given where it might be from. Maybe he just thought saying it was genuine was more romantic? Let's hope so.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:28 am (UTC)
My bad. The Googles tell me that you totally can buy such things on the internet. Though, part of me wouldn't trust these dealers as far as I could throw them. Which if you saw my arms you would know wouldn't be very far.
Jan. 20th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
ARG I love Keith's work, I've been a big fan/stalker of him for years. This piece blows my mind, the walkthrough on his blog was invaluable insight into the process.

I must say, I really cannot get on board with this 'omg you ruined ANTIQUES?!?!?" idea- just because something is old, doesn't make it valuable. It's just stuff.

Most antiques have a sentimental or aesthetic attachment to them, sometimes they're historically important. In my opinion taking something pedestrian that's over 100 years old and transforming it into a work of art improves the piece- not only is it as valuable as the artist decides it to be, but it also becomes at least as valuable as someone is willing to pay for the antique element itself. It also adds authenticity- these pieces linked to above would have a staggeringly less powerful aura about them if all the ingredients were faux-antiques. What are we to do with broken bits of 100+ year old rubbish- stick it on a velvet pillow and hush prayers about it?

I grew up amongst antiques and have both lived in a museum as a caretaker and it's assistant curator. I don't understand the preciousness assigned to things simply because they are old. Appreciation and respect certainly, but this can come in the form of art material just as much as museum case fodder.
Jan. 20th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
oh excellent, i'm glad you got as much or more out of this than i did.

and thank you for your perspective on the materials matter as well. it seems to me an issue of what people personally find valuable (or were taught to find valuable)? since haven't not had the opportunity to own any illuminated manuscripts, i'd still probably hang it on the wall, and use a copy, but i've also had people flip out and snatch sketches from me that i was going to throw away and frame them and i was never that brilliant an artist!

he's clearly working with the authenticy in mind, and while i myself still kinda cringe at the thought, the process is fascinating and i still think the work itself is stunning (and i want one).
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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