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  • It's a magic book art.

  • I am one of those rather strange artists,

  • who paint pictures that people can't see;

  • it's a discreet painting,

  • it's only there when you know how to unlock it,

  • now you see it, now you don't.

  • My name is Martin Frost,

  • I am what's known as a fore-edge painter,

  • so I paint pictures on the edges of books,

  • but I do it in such a way, that they become invisible,

  • unless you fan the books up in a particular way

  • and then you un-fan the book, and it vanishes again;

  • they're gone, vanished,

  • because the gold has hidden the image.

  • It is pretty much a British, if not English art form.

  • Vanishing fore-edge paintings date back to about 1660.

  • It really got going back in the 18th century

  • when it became quite popular.

  • I was working in illustration,

  • and I met a fellow, who was a fore-edge painter,

  • and he showed me what he was doing and I liked that,

  • I thought, "that looks fun, I could do that."

  • And that, as I said was over 40 years ago now.

  • Most of the work I've done has been on antique books.

  • I'll show you this one:

  • Now here, we have here a large Shakespeare;

  • it's 1860 leather-bound, split double,

  • two different images on one book.

  • This is a book entitled "Desert Isles."

  • It was produced in the 1920s.

  • This is known as a two-way double,

  • one one way and one the other,

  • and both of them will be hidden under the gold.

  • I'm often asked by people, "And how long does this take?"

  • "How long is that piece of string?"

  • If you're working on a very small book,

  • it will take you a few hours,

  • generally speaking, for a typical book

  • of about that sort of size, a day-and-a-half, two days;

  • if you're working on something like a big Bible,

  • it's not difficult to use a week.

  • The price reflects the time that goes into it;

  • the bigger Bibles, the big ones,

  • ooh, six, £700, something like that.

  • Ah, yes,

  • another Harry Potter, let me just open it up.

  • Gone.

  • I find these quite satisfying.

  • As far as I know, I am the only

  • commercial fore-edge painter working,

  • and so long as my eyes hang on in there

  • and my hands, I'll continue,

  • but if I'm ever asked to describe myself, I say "I'm a dad,"

  • I'm a grandad and I'm a fore-edge painter,

  • that works for me.

It's a magic book art.

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A2 UK GreatBigStory fore painter hidden art form art

A Hidden Art Form You’ll Flip For

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    Samuel posted on 2018/07/16
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