So what do you do with your phone books when the new ones arrive? Do you even keep a phone book anymore or do you simply dial 1223 or access the internet to get a number?
Alex Queral is a 51 year old artist who respects the rejected telephone books. Based in Philadelphia, he developed the idea of using telephone books in his artworks 14 years ago when he was looking for wood to sculpt and came upon a pile of discarded phone books. Queral carves the phone books into 3 dimensional sculptures, then paints them with transparent acrylic paint, to make them durable and give them a glossy finish.
He carves and finishes about 2 works a month.
Click on pics to enlarge...“I carve the faces out of phone books because I like the three-dimensional quality that results and because of the unexpected results that occur working in this medium. The three-dimensional quality enhances the feeling of the pieces as an object as opposed to a picture.
In carving and painting a head from a phone directory, I'm celebrating the individual lost in the anonymous list of thousands of names that describe the size of the community. In addition, I like the idea of creating something that is normally discarded every year into an object of longevity.
It can be quite tense work sometimes because it takes a long time to finish and when you cut something away you can't get it back again.
Nearing the end of the carving and then suddenly having it ruined by a careless cut can be pretty crushing. You have to start all over again."