Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fascinated by Lisa Kokin

 When I was small- hurt and pissed off 
by whatever broke my tiny heart that minute,
 the worst revenge that could be exacted on my father 
was to violate a book.

What I didn't learn in Hebrew School - By Lisa Kokin

 I still have that Dr. Seuss book, 
ball point pen scrawled with dyslexic "d's and "b"s back to front -
unhappy recriminatory words to my father.
Man, did I get into trouble for that.

   So it's a wicked thrill
 to see the work of Lisa Kokin.
Lisa cuts, stitches and re glues books into collages
and mixed up messages,
 but it is with her work on photographs that I am fascinated.

Both the cutting out and the space
 it leaves behind is full of meaning for me.

Stitching right onto these relics, must be exciting. 
After all, they are one off fragments of a lost person's life. 
Always sad to see them in a flea market bin for sale.

Stitch transforms any medium to the land of textile.
A plastic pocket becomes a quilt.
Found faces become a patchwork or a tactile family tree.

Lately I have been playing with digital images,
 brushing up on photoshop skills and using found images in other ways.
What if these figures could stand up by themselves?
What if they had some crazy color and were stuffed,
 or stuffed into jars for "preservation"?

I've taken some fun images and begun to play.

Selective coloring isn't new. 
It's new to me and I am taking a leap to see where it goes.
All photoshop tips gratefully accepted.


  1. this stuff. I have a few year books in my basement that need a scissors!

  2. During childhood defacing a book was something so heinous I wouldn't have dared to do it. I still get that nervous butterfly feeling when I'm about to cut into a book for art. There is amazing altered art out there! To me the most delicious image is the layered piece with the caste shadows and script within the space left after cutting out the "portraits".

    1. I thought the same thing! My favorite is the work with the text behind the cut out portraits. It resonates with me emotionally ... my presence being removed ... but my outline remaining ... and a hand-scripted text there in my empty spot. Love it. Thanks for sharing this work.

      - karen

  3. What amazing work, thanks so much for sharing... Sarah x

  4. This is fascinating stuff! Love both your work, I am often drawn back to collage, stitch and paint and it's so interesting to see how others treat this medium.


    1. Mrs B: I feel like I am orbiting back there too - funny how the beginnings are always revisted..

  5. I like your thinking on this Grrl+dog. Looking forward to seeing where the journey takes you..


  6. Loving your new photographic playfulness.

  7. This looks like a really exciting way to go. It's very poignant too!

  8. yes!!! I very very very very very much love her work, so I do!

  9. I could have written the title to this post as I am also fascinated by Lisa's work. Thanks for highlighting it here!

  10. Wow, loving all the artwork. Lightbulb ideas are going off in my off to raid the old photo albums

  11. Loving all of this- I have tried to sort of do this to books or old photos but I always have epic fails! Then I feel terrible for having ruined something.

  12. Denise, I've had a beginner course in PS, but I honestly can't give you any tips. However, I can tell you that this post has really hit me. You've expanded my view before, but this really did it. I'm going to go check out Lisa's work. But basically, I'm finding that I have so much more derring to do.

  13. A wonderful form, thank you for the introduction. At her site, I was especially drawn to the button works and the story behind them. I have looked at the Photoshop learning curve (at least in theory) and know it is not on the list of things I'll accomplish this lifetime, but you are part-way there. Of course you'll do it and beautifully. xo

  14. Love the post and photos of Lisa's work, a very unique and personal twist on using vintage photos! I do lots of altering photos digitally. I only use a few functions (Paint Shop pro) but they've taken me a long way.

  15. I am fascinated by this artist too... love her collages.. thanks for sharing.


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