Once a year you’ll probably get a new phone book (and a Yellow + White pages too), they’re heavy books aren’t they?, and quite useless nowadays. But Alex Queral takes any of those and carves a face into this object of so many faceless names.
Using a very sharp knife, a little pot of acrylic medium to set detail areas and a great deal of talent, Queral literally peels away the pages like the skin of an onion to reveal the portrait within. Once the carving is complete, he will often apply a black wash to enhance the features and then seal the entire book with acrylic to preserve the work. However, he never loses the line registration; and the book remains quite pliable.
Alex, originally Cuban, graduated in Fine Arts by the University of Pennsylvania and his work has always turned around the human head… “a natural choice of subject matter because of its inherent expressiveness”.
“In carving and painting a head from a phone directory, I’m celebrating the individual lost in the anonymous list of thousands of names that describe the size of the community. In addition, I like the idea of creating something that is normally discarded every year into an object of longevity.” See many more of these modded phone books on the Projects Gallery web.