The Forgotten Book Painter

Have you ever found yourself doodling on the cover of a book, even just tracing over the lines of the artwork with your fingertips, or be it drawing moustaches with a permanent marker on magazine covers? I think we can safely say that American artist Joseph Decamillis has taken this practice to a whole new level…

Decamillis’ book inspired art is a whimsical example of mixed media, in which he takes old discarded books and adds his miniature postage stamp-sized illuminated paintings to the covers, framed in carved niches that emphasize the storytelling nature of his work. Each finished book becomes a totally unique dimensional art piece, collaging elements of the book cover with his own oil-painted miniature paintings (on copper) and carefully selected text additions.

All the books are indeed real, either found as discarded library books, thrift store bargains, or given by friends and family. Joe loves books and says he often researches the books he works with to find potential monetary or historical value before altering them.


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