artist's book

Book art only a financial investment?

What is the importance of durability, light-fastness, workmanship, in collecting book art?

What constitutes the soul of a work?

Is book art only a form of investment?

Is the paper of the book acid-free?

Are the colours lightfast?

Has the binding been executed flawlessly?

Is the quality of the printing without blemishes?

Is it a taboo to think about how important it is for an artistic work to have used acid-free paper for a work of art that will last for centuries?

Is it only a work of art when it meets these requirements? Would you, as a book collector, have bought Art Brut or collages by Max Ernst, an overpainted woodcut by Christian Rohlfs, or even earlier a handwritten Bible under these circumstances?

Does an artistic work become less meaningful only because it will not last for centuries, does it therefore have less artistic content? After how many guaranteed hundred years can one really speak of a work of art?

If you go through a book art exhibition today, you see works again and again that correspond to these desires of the art market. Sometimes you can't exclude yourself from it. It doesn't have to be a defect to follow the mainstream as an artist, but it shouldn't be compulsory.

Does the collector really only buy for reasons of the highest possible return in the future?

To achieve the highest possible resale value?

Is it not rather the case that a collector makes a purchase because, in the depths of his heart, he feels deeply addressed by the work? He experiences the book as a total work of art. At such a moment, isn't the material, the durability, the light-fastness completely irrelevant, for the buyer as well as for the artist? A level of understanding arises here, of having found something for oneself that communicates wordlessly with my soul, my centre, through the medium of the book. What a feeling!

Some works can only unfold their effect because they were created or processed on simple materials. It is precisely this morbid character, similar to the often quoted cherry blossom, which is also not permanent, that is virtually necessary in some artistic works in order to achieve the desired artistic effect.

The emotional side of a work of art, also in book art and especially in the case of artists' books, is what is actually decisive for a purchase, not the material used. For this reason, I would like to encourage collectors, like book artists, to think about what is important in an artistic work. When collecting, reflect on what is essential in art. Investing money is not a driving force in book art to build up a collection, there are certainly better opportunities for that on the financial market.

Therefore, visit events where book art is offered for sale. Listen to the voice of your heart and you will experience a small miracle!

Book art enchants!

Gerd J. Wunderer

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