Textiles are in Lisa Kokin’s blood. Her parents were upholsterers, and she uses the techniques of sewing and book arts to create detailed, thoughtful work that often transforms found objects and words. Her works include messages about her family, her past, interpersonal relationships, mankind’s relationship with the environment and our relationships with ourselves.
Most of the pieces in the Spines and Fragments series are made from self-help books which I scavenge from the local recycling center. I am continually struck by all the various panaceas promised by the books. Any ailment or predicament can be cured or resolved, often within a specified amount of time, by the smiling person on the dust jacket.
Most of the books I find are in pristine condition. I wonder if they’ve ever been read. The spines and the various ways I can use them are what intrigue me. Sometimes the titles remain partially or wholly intact, but sometimes I sacrifice the titles to make cheery shapes like flowers and leaves, which I hope will create eternal happiness for the viewer in five days or less.
Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
Buchenwald Memorial, Weimar-Buchenwald, Germany
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
University of Washington Special Collections Library, Seattle, WA
Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT
Numerous private collections throughout the United States and internationally