Long-time readers may recall that I am a huge fan of the work of local artist (and friend) Jain Faries. Jain is best known and makes her living from her work in fabric, which you can see here and which though I appreciate it is not the sort of thing I seek. The art she creates that I love is her weirder stuff, some of which you can see on her personal site and at the occasional convention. She gave me one of her "balls onna stick," and I adore it; for more on them, read this earlier post.
Lately, though, Jain has expanded into small, hand-built libraries, one of which she made for me and gave me as a Christmas gift. Here it is standing up; sorry for the crappy photography and the glare off the protective plastic sheet, which I left in it.
For a sense of the size of this wonderful creation, here's a (less glare-covered) picture next to a Mac Magic Mouse.
Every compartment in the library is a little box that you can remove. On the back of each box is a burlesque image. Jain made every single wee volume, each of which features different texts or images and a variety of binding styles. Yes, that's a skull in the lower center, and an acorn above it.
What does it all mean?
What I love about this piece of art is that I suspect no one, including Jain, can definitively answer those questions. Each viewer mixes her or his perceptions with what Jain builds to create her or his own meanings.
Jain's weirder art generally does not sell as well as her more conventional stuff. That's a damn shame. I think this little library and others like it should be going for many hundreds of dollars in galleries and at conventions.
If you like what you see, contact Jain, bring real money, at least a couple hundred bucks, and commission her to build something for you--but leave the commission just that vague. You'll be glad you did.
This is not, by the way, a paid advertisement. I even violated my own rules for the blog and wrote this without first consulting Jain. Jain's first knowledge of this blog entry will come when she stumbles upon it. I simply feel strongly enough about the quality of her work that I wanted to pimp it. If she's a bit embarrassed by this post, she'll just have to get over it.
Imagine the hours of enjoyment you could have exploring your own little library.
Now, make that dream a reality.