Mike Stilkey Turns Book Covers Into Art in Amoeba Storefront

Posted by Billy Gil, September 30, 2011 01:34pm | Post a Comment
Mike Stilkey's book stacks-cum-canvases adorned with surrealist, gothic characters have landed in the window display of Amoeba Hollywood. His piece at Amoeba depicts a horse, buffalo, owl, and giraffe playing in some sort of quartet — they're using cello, acoustic guitar, banjo, and accordion, so you be the judge.

Stilkey's pieces have attracted the attention of the likes of The New Yorker. He said once the store approached him about doing a piece for the window, his inspiration for the piece was Amoeba itself.

“It was just my experience with Amoeba and loving the store,” he said. “I just wanted to make a really fun piece that incorporated my characters, plus a musical theme going on."

He said they'd wanted to use records, which he has done in the past, but he thought that might be too obvious, so he went with his more usual method of stacking books, upwards of 1,000 in this piece alone, mostly discarded old hardbacks from the library.

“I tend to use the more colorful and funnier titles for the pieces,” he said.

From there, he uses hot glue and builds them up like bricks. Once they're up, he brackets them to wood and layers acrylic paint over the carefully arranged bindings and covers.

“I've kind of always painted on things I've found on thrift stores and whatnot,” Stilkey explained. “That happens to be records and old books. I've had a phobia of a big white canvas for a long time, so I would paint on other things that would make it a little less intimidating.”

Here are the pieces on their own, prior to being installed in the Amoeba windows:


Head to Amoeba Hollywood to check out Mike Stilkey's installation today! It's on display in the windows facing Sunset Blvd.

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