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Joseph Bellows Gallery : Thomas Allen : Pulp Fiction


Joseph Bellows Gallery presents Pulp Fiction, an online exhibition by Thomas Allen.

Contemporary photographer Thomas Allen began his signature process of repurposing books in college when a professor saw the texts he had cut up (spawned from a childhood interest in pop-ups and dioramas), and encouraged him to seek his MFA. Allen continues to fashion narratives from the books he cuts and folds into three-dimensional vignettes. He uses pulp novels, vintage paperbacks, and textbooks, creating works that tell a story with the subjects of their adapted illustrations—characters such as cowboys, heroes, detectives, and villains. Allen refuses digital technology, insisting that an image fastened with tape and pins is much more of an illusion than anything created with a computer.

I cut, crimp, crease and convert the covers of vintage paperbacks into three-dimensional tableau and photograph them–an idea that feeds my penchant for pop-up books and other things 3D. The subjects are bit players who, for a brief time, found fame printed on the glossy surfaces of dime novels. My mitts and an X-acto knife work together to persuade skirts and gumshoes to return to the stage for one final performance in a slightly different production. This re-imagined look at a product of pop culture—whose sales relied more on seductive, eye-popping visuals than literary content—proves once-and-for-all that you can judge a book by its cover!Thomas Allen


Joseph Bellows Gallery
7661 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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