Book Paintings by Mike Stilkey

For the past several years, artist Mike Stilkey has repurposed old books as a medium for his portraits of people and animals. Here are a dozen of his works, some of which will be on display in the exhibition Face to Face: The Changing Face of Portraiture in Carlsbad, California.

The title of this piece plays with the title of the book at its crown, The Surgeon by W. C. Heinz.

Form Line of Battle! by Alexander Kent and Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick top this piece.

Stilkey has partnered with libraries and bookstores, as well as a publishing company, to acquire donations of withdrawn or remaindered books.

Among the books used in this piece is James Jones's Go to the Widow-Maker.

Stilkey is pictured here in the process of creating his installation Reminiscent last summer at California's Hurley )( Space Gallery. Click here for a video of the project unfolding.

To prepare his "canvas," Stilkey first sorts books by size then lays them like bricks and inserts a screw into each one.

Stilkey's sculpture overtakes the room at a 2008 exhibition in California.

Too Far to Walk by John Hersey and Night Without Stars by Winston Graham help create the canvas for this painting.

Titles used in this piece include A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt and The Utmost Island by Henry Myers.

Stilkey often selects books based on the color and texture of their covers.

Roughly five thousand books were used to create this piece and its companion, Reminiscent.

Capping this sculpture is the novel The Methuselah Enzyme, Fred Mustard Stewart's novel of eternal youth-seeking, with Decade by Stephen Longstreet and Proud Destiny by Lion Feuchtwanger also integrated.