The books for Bookmeat are steadily coming in. We’re speechless by the outpouring of support from the artworld’s best and brightest. We asked artist for their favorite book. What we’ve been getting (in many cases) are original artworks made out of their favorite books.
Case in point: Christopher Russell. 2009 was a pretty darn incredible year for Christopher, starting off with his first ever solo museum show at The Hammer. Artillery Mag summed things up nicely, “Christopher Russell is everywhere these days. In order to catch up with him, you may have to stalk him.”
For Bookmeat, Christopher donated a dog-eared and heavily-annotated copy of Les Chants de Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont — the vivid and violent 19th century poetic novel that Salvador Dalí, André Breton, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Max Ernst each cited as a major influence on their development.
Christopher altered several pages with this shark motif… half way thru the book, the pages appear to have been eaten. Without giving too much away, Christopher’s “secret inscription” speaks of discovering and devouring this seminal proto-surrealist book during his formative years in Sacramento.
Written in 1869, one year before Lautréamont’s tragic and mysterious death at age 24, Maldoror’s lead character is a figure of absolute evil who is opposed to God and humanity, and has renounced conventional morality and decency. The book combines a violent narrative with vivid and often surrealistic imagery, and begins with a warning to readers:
“God grant that the reader, emboldened and having become at present as fierce as what he is reading, find, without loss of bearings, his way, his wild and treacherous passage through the desolate swamps of these sombre, poison-soaked pages; for, unless he should bring to his reading a rigorous logic and a sustained mental effort at least as strong as his distrust, the lethal fumes of this book shall dissolve his soul as water does sugar.”
- Written on 04.11.2009