All artwork and book design is by Sara Press, unless noted otherwise.
Scroll down page to see all 12 books from newest to oldest. For full image galleries, please click on titles below.
12. Evolve=Unroll,2012. This book presents and considers Snake Detection theory, which proposes that humans specialize in vision and intelligence due largely to co-evolution with snakes. A viewer’s own visceral response (or lack thereof) to the bookform itself might inform whether one agrees with the theory or not. Coiled-up blind embossed & letterpress scroll, inside snake egg felted by Laurie Whitehill Chong. Approx. 5”x 6”x 5”. Edition of 42. $275 each.
11. Panther! And Bear Fight, 2012. Edition of 7. $700 each. A suite of four etchings depicting Mixed-Martial-Arts fighters, interleaved with text from a well-known panther/bear fight advertising poster from the 1850’s. Type designed anew by Dan Mayer. 9 prints inside a solid maple box with title burnt on lid.
10. The Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep, 2012. Edition of 55. $900. Andrew Rottner collaborated on this tribute to printing’s golden age. The story, by Christina Lauritsen, misremembers H.C. Andersen’s classic tale of the same name as a story of revelation and madness. The visual progression of the book mirrors the plot, pitting the beauty of the decorative arts against the intense and unpredictable messiness of human experience. This book confronts the inevitability of loss as well as bows to intellectual freedom and its attendant risks. The book is 7″ x 9″ x 1″, with images (drawn by Andrew Rottner) and text letterpressed on to rich giclée backgrounds. The book features two 26″ wide foldouts and a cut-marbled-paper and brocade cover.
Optional clamshell box, add $200:
9. Philosophical and Miscelleneous Papers, 2012. A suite of forged historical prints.
Commissioned to restore a first-edition Benjamin Franklin book by scientist William Press, I recreated the 3 missing plates using letterpress, and added tiny, forged, anachronistic details. Suite of prints includes a letter to Franklin from the contemporary polymath, who is an astrophysicist/computational biologist.
a) First-edition Benjamin Franklin book (restored by Sofia Baron, Dibner Book Conservator, Huntington Library), including the reproduced/altered prints: P.O.R.
b) 9 portfolios, each with suite of 5 prints: $650 each.
8. The Wolf-Girl of Midnapore, 2010. Edition of 15. $850. Based on the true story of Kamala, a feral child captured in India in 1920, this book features 6 original intaglio/aquatint etching prints set against Indian papers and two letterpress-printed texts, consisting of an original short story narrating Kamala’s experience, and a historical chronology of her life. The book’s rich colors and rough edges combine with a classical scholarly presentation to evoke Kamala’s varied experiences: raised in the animal realm of vivid senses and immediate needs, then forced into the world of a Christian Missionary orphanage, where she eventually evolves language, bipedalism, and her own fierce aesthetic appreciation for the color red. 6” x 8″ x 1”.
7. A Book Of Hours, 2006 Edition of 3 hand-cut copies plus 2 A/P’s. SOLD OUT. A Book of Hours depicting the progression of the year’s seasons, The book uses no ink, and is entirely cut from paper. Book is in a carousel format: when it is tied open, the cycle repeats with no beginning and no end. The book can also be viewed stretched out as an accordion, or paged through as a normal codex.
6. Reared from a Cub: A Selection of Incidents Involving Captive Wildcats, 2006 Edition of 7. $800. This is an examination of humans’ persistence in trying to make decorations and pets out of big cats — creatures that persist in being wild. The 9”x12” volume has a clear Plexiglas cover, reminiscent of display habitats in zoos. The text, (hundreds of news articles describing attacks by captive wildcats on zookeepers, circus patrons, and pet owners) is printed on semitransparent vellum paper, and appears layered, cage-like, over images of the animals. The silk-screened ink drawings feature wild cats in ambiguous settings. Their illustrative presentation refers to their comfortable place in our decorative visual culture, while currents of scarlet color running through the ink suggest otherwise.
5. Predator/Prey I, 2004 Edition of 15. $800. A photo essay explores the meaning of the title’s words in an era where humans have completely changed the rules of the playing field. Presented as a lush, 10×13″ send-up of a coffee table book, the rich photography captures the sort of urban wildlife safari that most city-dwellers must settle for in this day and age. A loving and beautiful treatment of subject matter that is complicated and sad.
4. A Deeply Game Dog: The Sweet Science of Breeding Champions, 2005 Edition of 20: $600 without etching [still available], $800 with etching [SOLD OUT]. Winner of the 2005 Ann Bremer Memorial Artists’ Book Prize from the San Francisco Art Institute, this is a look at the historical and contemporary culture of dog-fighting and breeding for “gameness”. Printed by letterpress, this book is bound as a classic, gentlemanly manual in a rich brown full-cloth binding. Approximately 8”x 6” in landscape format, it includes a smaller 4”x3” removable book inside in a pocket. A Deeply Game Dog contains two found texts by different authors, both culled from contemporary internet discussion groups. The first is an amazing mixture of spelling errors and advanced genetic science. The second text (mini-book, “Jolly Jumper’s Aftercare Guide”), is an incredible document for the strong morality it exhibits within such a context. There is also a section of delicately-rendered dog genealogy charts, as well as a portrait gallery of dogs and handlers. The book’s images, which are printed by letterpress as well, are from original ink drawings and etchings, all based on historical found photographs and pedigree charts. An etching, (“Earl Tudor with Shipley’s Johnny”) is mounted as a removable frontispiece in half the edition.
3. Twenty Short Poems by Zoologists, 2005 Edition of 36/100. $250. A small, full-cloth-bound letterpress book, 4.5″ x6″, of found “poems”, discovered over the years in field guides and zoology textbooks. These excerpts of unintentionally poetic language are delicious both linguistically and in the unbelievable-yet-true bizarreness of the creatures described. The volume celebrates the poesy and affection inherent in the supposedly objective scientific eye, and contains 4 letterpress illustrations of the hands and feet of different species of primates.
2. Play: A Portrait of New York City, 2004. Edition of 15. $650. A series of photographic portraits I took of sections of a New York City parade audience at night while marching as a costumed participant. It is bound as a removable accordion book into endpaper-pockets in a colorful photographic canvas cover with a modified caterpillar stitching. The portraits focus on the shared expressions of joy and puzzlement running across nearly every one of a hundred faces from all over the globe, each one a spectator finding himself suddenly the subject.
1. The Sensitive and Vegetable Souls: a Bestiary, 2001. Variable edition of 30 copies. $1800. This Bestiary is a genealogical palimpsest from a parallel universe, with the construction of an antique tintype album. Twenty C-print photographs depicting “beasts”, set in die-cut windows, are bound into a corkskin cover, 6”x7”x3”, with a sterling silver closure sculpted especially for the project. Biographies of the beasts and their intergenerational history are annotated by fountain pen, typewriter, and silkscreen, and elaborated with inserted ephemera.
Please email sp [at] sarapress [dot] com with your order, or for more information.
Or, you may call (917) 523-4848.