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.

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

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

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Stilkey has partnered with libraries and bookstores, as well as a publishing company, to acquire donations of withdrawn or remaindered books.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.