Thomas Allen‘s pop up art is created from old books, but it brings them to life in a new, fascinating way.
Allen’s art employs illustrated characters that are cut out of books, often giving the flat images a “pop up” effect. These works primarily use the covers of old pulp fiction: vintage paperback westerns, romances, mysteries and adventure stories.
The works also frequently combine characters from multiple covers in collage-style images. These strange juxtapositions can give the images new –sometimes more erotic or more funny — meanings. The technique of photographing the cut-outs also sometimes changes the appearance, such as by adding depth or having some parts of the image out of focus. You can sometimes see the books more clearly and they are part of the composition, while other times they are not as visible.
Allen’s work has been featured in magazines such as Mental Floss, The Atlantic, and Harper’s. It has also been used for some of the covers in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series of books. Fforde is one of my favourite authors, and I think Allen’s pieces are extremely fitting for the series, in which the main character can “magically” travel into the world of books and interact with the literary characters.