Exhibition: David Fokos Solo Show: “The Book Pages Project”


February 5, 2016

On View Through:

April 3, 2016

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The Drugs begin to Take Hold, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson, 1971
War is Peace, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1949
Catch 22, Catch 22, Joseph Heller, 1961
Fashionista, Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, Stephen Fried, 1993
Big Brother, Nineteen eighty-four, George Orwell, 1949
The Right Stuff, The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe, 1979
Cyberspace, Neuromancer, William Gibson, 1984
Thought Police, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Geroge Orwell, 1949


The first decade of the 21st Century will be remembered for the radical paradigm shift brought about by the introduction of a vast array of portable, personal, information technology.

On Monday, July 19, 2010, Amazon announced that for the first time, it had sold more e-books the previous quarter than hardcover books.

This project is an homage to books. “Real” books. Books with covers and dog-eared corners; books with pulpy paper and yellowing pages. Musty smelling books fading into history.

The Drugs Begin to Take Hold - David FokosIt is an appreciation of the book’s physical form – the fonts, the layout, the ink, the printing, and to the art of their authors and the contribution they have made to our culture.

For this project I have chosen works that I believe demonstrate the power of books. Every so often, a writer coins a phrase that goes on to have profound cultural significance, either as part of our daily vocabulary, or as the iconic representation of a point in history. And though, at the moment of inception, they may have been just one or two words among the hundreds of thousands that make a book, these few have lived on to become linguistic superstars.
Life’s a bitch. Or so it’s been since 1950 when Joy Davidman penned those words on page 184 of her novel Weeping Bay. The now common notion of “Cyberspace,” for example, didn’t exist until 1984 when William Gibson invented it for his book, Neuromancer. For this series, I went back to the birthplace of these ideas to witnesses the moment in which they winked into existence.

Fashionista - David FokosWith this project I not only wanted to highlight specific words, but I wanted the viewer to see them as works of art rather than mere information. To imbue the creations of these writers with physicality I have manipulated the pages to subtly reference the content. “The Right Stuff” is formed into a conical shape, evocative of the nose of Chuck Yeager’s X1 or a NASA rocket. “Big Brother” is meant to reference police tape, suggesting that Big Brother is preventing you from going past the tape and reading the subversive text on the page behind. “Fashionista” has been formed into a sexy, little dress heading for the catwalk. And after Hunter S. Thompson writes “the drugs began to take hold”, I folded the rest of the page in a way that distorts the text as if the drugs were taking hold of the reader.

Here, in these images, the viewer sees the work of these authors as art, both literally and metaphorically.

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David Fokos

About the Artist:

David Fokos was born in Baltimore, MD in 1960. He graduated Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

Fokos’ photography has been collected by the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX, the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID, Microsoft, and McGraw-Hill, to name a few.

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