Colin Urbina


Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin. Three part bradel binding.  Wrinkled calf skin, foil stamping. Rounded spine box, goat skin, blind tooling with calfskin foil stamped label.

“I knew what I wanted to do with this book from the very beginning.  A dark, grim, grotesque book for a taboo subject.  Easy, simple, something I love doing. But on the very first page of the prologue Rosenbloom writes “Unlike the Necronomicon or the spellbook in Disney’s 1993 film Hocus Pocus, real human skin books do not announce themselves with a ghoulish appearance.  They do not look much different from any other antiquarian book you would find on the shelf.” 

Nonetheless reading through the book, the acts leading to these books are often grotesque, showing little care for the humanity of the people whose skin would be used as decoration.  For every fine book there must be a box, and while thinking about the box for this book I realized that the box could present a very plain, normal facade, hiding the dark book underneath.  

While this essentially changed the book from a simple binding to a two part art piece, I knew it was the right direction to go. Rosenbloom’s book is all about the journey to find the truth behind some plain books that have a dark past. Those who handle my piece will go on a much smaller, much quicker journey.” [artist statement] (#10812) $5,500.00

N.B. This dark, roiling binding is very challenging to photograph well, thus the iterative repetition…attempting to capture its subtle disturbances.

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 Posted by at 5:43 pm
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