The Hidden Art of Fore-Edge Paintings



There are numerous disciplines to be practiced within the field of painting, but one involves books.

“It's funny how the beauty of art has so much more to do with the frame than the artwork itself.”― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

An old and tricky technique of illustration not seen too often is that of so-called fore-edge painting.

This form of painting puts the slightest edges of a book's pages to better use than being blank and papery. There are actually two variations to this strange and fanciful art: On one hand, an artist can paint the edges of a closed book's pages. A good enough trick, but there's a trickier one... Fanning the pages to be painted. Thus the final image can only be revealed by fanning the book's pages and is invisible when the book is merely closed. Very clever.

"Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous." - Banksy

Below, you'll find some excellent examples of this unique art form, both old and new. Enjoy and take a look at Martin Frost's many fore-edge paintings here!

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Check out our post on the art of Sophie Calle!


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