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Cover Stories: Bookface by Laura

Umbrella Gallery

My bookface portraits are inspired by my love for the printed word and my interest in exploring the book as a physical object. As a librarian, first in a public library and then as the solo librarian at Fossil, Inc., I spent almost a decade surrounded almost daily by books, connecting their contents to the information needs of the patrons who visited my libraries. Books became one of the tools of my trade, very interesting and nuanced and often beautiful tools, but tools all the same. To watch a book cover blend into a scene, to merge with its background and the model, takes me back to a moment in my librarian life when books were a backdrop, the props of my daily working rituals.

The portraits themselves charm me—they have since the beginning—and have apparently charmed the people in my life who encourage me to continue creating them. I want those who view these portraits to be similarly charmed by the forced perspective, the layers, and the cheek and humor that I hope imbues each photo.

As important and interesting as the book is, the person sitting for the portrait is even more so. It’s fair to say that I’m obsessed with the amazing people in my life—the way they think, smile, move, love each other, work, play and laugh (especially when it’s at me). I become completely uncool when I stumble across a book that reminds me of a person I know. There may be a physical resemblance somehow or content that connects the book to the person. It’s best, and most sweetly serendipitous when it’s both.

Let me end with a disclaimer: No books were judged by their covers in the making of these portraits.


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