I will be teaching a workshop on photographic constructions at the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) this fall. MAKING PICTURES WITH THOMAS ALLEN, a 20-hour, hands-on event, takes place September 18-20, 2015 following a lecture/presentation on Thursday September 17 at 7:30pm. Register before April 30th and receive 20% off tuition. Complete details can be found here.
Since the book is now available for pre-order, I think it’s safe to share details about a recently completed project.
The idea to picture an open book shaped like the United States (lower 48) came from Nayon Cho (Art Director at Penguin) along with this rough sketch:
My immediate thought—”I can do this with a scroll saw!”
To do this, I selected a medium-sized book to work with and broke the spine to make it lie flat. Next, I glued a template (with an outline of the U.S. printed in reverse) to the covers on the flattened backside. Then, with a thin, spiral-shaped blade attached to the saw, I slowly followed the guideline and made one, continuous cut all the way around.
This was the result:
This was left over:
The end product was too flat, so I glued the spine back together and rolled the pages. Here it is with the background color changed to red:
Now, if you were paying attention, you saw that the title of the book I altered is DISPATCH THE GENERAL (see the negative space photograph above). However, the text pictured in the final image is from a classic work of fiction—added post-camera (by request). To make it work, I had to remove the particular pages from my own worn, paperback copy of Mark Twain’s HUCKLEBERRY FINN, affix them to the pages of another book with a matching curl and then photograph the entire thing at a similar angle.
The end result was achieved with a bit of Photoshop magic and a whole lot of patience:
Driving to Mt. Pleasant, MI today to visit Central Michigan University. Speaking at Wightman Hall at 5:00 this evening. Workshop tomorrow from 10am – 3pm!
Last month I was interviewed by DPI Magazine in Taiwan. My complimentary copy arrived this week. The entire issue is devoted to space and absolutely beautiful to look at.
I will be in New York next week (November 17 – November 20) for two special events. On Tuesday night (the 18th), I will have a conversation about my work with Stacey Clarkson—Art Director of Harper’s Magazine at the Penumbra Foundation.
I will be at FOLEY the following night to celebrate the opening of a group show of FOLEY artists at its new location.