Simply Books, Ltd ~ Oregon
(Laura Russell)
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Laura Russell: "My goal as an artist is to open our minds to the visual and graphic landscape we look at every day but never really see. If we pay attention, we find that our urban landscape has a story to tell about our culture and our communities. For many years I have photographed vintage neon signs, brick wall ghost signs, graffiti and other examples of language and graphics in our environment. Recently, I have since expanded my photography to our urban social landscape. I use these photographs to create limited edition, hand-bound artist books that are at once a celebration of the vernacular and my own small effort to preserve our social, cultural and commercial landscape."

Other Artists' Books by Simply Books, Ltd


Casa Milà
By Laura Russell
Portland, Oregon: Simply Books, LTD, 2006. Edition of 25.

3 x 3" closed, extends to 28"; 16 pages. Archival inkjet printing on Janus Duo Card paper. Hedi Kyle's flag structure. Fabriano Ingres accordion spine. Grupo Stardream soft wrap around cover with velcro closure. Original poem and eight original photographs.

Laura Russell: "On a visit to Barcelona I was completely captivated by Antoni Gaudí’s architecture. My husband and I saw every Gaudí site in town and were awed by the magic of his creations. What an amazing visionary and what an amazing city for preserving and honoring his work.

"The eight photographs in this book feature Gaudí’s 'sentinels' atop his Casa Milà (La Pedrera) apartment building. These sentinels are rooftop chimney stacks, vent caps and stairway entrances disguised with huge, fantastical sculptures.

"... I like to think that as you open the book the sentinels dance across the sky just as they do in my dreams of Barcelona."
$45 (Last two copies)


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Out of print miniatures by Laura Russell:  

Consumption Junction
By Laura Russell
Portland, Oregon: Simply Books, Ltd., 2002. Edition of 200.

3 x 3" miniature with 14 pages. Post-bound fan-book structure. Digital printing with archival inks on Mohawk Superfine paper. 12 original photographs. Signed and numbered.

Laura Russell: "Consumerism and simplicity are two themes that show up frequently in my work. Consumption Junction, classified as a “miniature book,” is a compilation of photographs of stencil graffiti found around Denver and New York City. “Consumerism Kills” and “Create More Use Less” are two of my favorite statements on the consumption-driven monoculture that is so prevalent in our world today.

Stencil graffiti is an underground street art form where a message or image is out of a stencil and spray painted onto buildings or sidewalks, allowing the artist to repeat his message many times. While most people see graffiti as vandalism, I also see graffiti as the desperate pleas of our inner city youth. They want their messages to be heard and their art to be noticed. Graffiti can be both a form of urban protest and artistic expression."



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By Laura Russell
2002. Edition of 200.

2.75 x 2.65” with 32 pages. Case bound in leather or cloth. Original digital photography printed using archival digital printing on Mohawk Superfine paper.

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver was billed by ambitious investors in 1908 as the "Coney island of the West." This photographic artist book explores the timeless architecture, graphics, signage and neon of this once-glorious, world-famous theme park. Visitors today are surrounded by art-deco buildings bathed in neon, the original, but tired 1908 carousel, and abandoned rides that are skeletons of their former glory.

Laura Russell: "For nearly ten years we lived in house on a hill in Denver. From the kitchen window I could see a blue neon glow emanating from Lakeside Amusement Park. I could see the grand entrance tower studded with old-fashioned light bulbs.

Most of the rides are old-fashioned carnival-style rides untouched by the modern monsters. Several abandoned rides stand right in the middle of the park overtaken by weeds and rust. Most of the buildings inside the park have an untouched art deco aesthetic. Almost every ride, picnic pavilion or game stand is bathed in neon light. I was stunned by the typography and graphics used on the signage throughout the park."




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Neon A-Z
By Laura Russell
2004. Edition of 100

2.13 x 3", 32 pages. Long stitch binding into paper cover. Archival digital printing on Superfine paper. 26 original photographs. Signed and numbered.

This miniature ABC book contains photographs of letters found on vintage neon signs. The alphabet letters are paired with terminology and fun facts from the fascinating world of neon science and artistry—a world that has changed little since the invention of the neon sign in 1910.

Laura Russell: "I absolutely adore old neon signs. They are quirky and fun and animated and boy, they just don't design them like they used to! This love affair started several years ago while I was photographing examples of lettering in the landscape to use in my graphic design projects. Even today, I stop and photograph any old neon sign that I see wherever I travel. Words and letters from these vintage signs are a fascinating study of our commercial design history."

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Page last update: 06.05.17


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