Some years ago I came upon this old French ledger book and decided to turn it into another of my books. BOYS' LIFE.
I cut and pasted and painted and glue and tore and gouged and turned the pages to work on another spread. The entire process took me about a week and a half and the result is a heavily glued and painted and collaged and tells a non-narrative story of how a boy ventures out into the world and encounters God, love, sex, friendship and drunk driving.
The book contains 48 spreads. I have exhibited it only once, in Miami, in 2005.
There is quite a bit of text in BOY'S LIFE, but it doesn't borrow from the magazine of the same name at all. Some might remember BOYS LIFE as the Boy Scout magazine that circulated widely in the 60s and early 70s detailing the true life adventure stories, and quite a few fictional stories about boys working the wilderness, or figuring out how to make a buck (cutting lawns, cleaning out garages, shoveling snow or doing good deeds). There was plenty too about making things (motorized noise for your bike – a playing card and clothespin) and plenty to buy – knives, radio kits, bikes, boots, tents, seeds (another money making venture kit). I loved the optimism of these magazines and since my boyhood was not as positive as those who played in the pages of these publications, my book is more like a manual that really doesn't help anyone to anything.
The texts are coded in simple way and combined with images fill out the young boy's dream of making himself more real. You'll find a number of dogs, birds, letters, photographs and abstractions here (his death dream), along with a somewhat double image of many pieces like the pages above.
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