ARTS | Book design

Background

William S. Burroughs is best known as a writer and icon of the Beat Generation, but he also was a prolific painter and produced many works at the end of his life while living in Lawrence, Kansas. In early 2014, the Lawrence Arts Center exhibited Williams S. Burroughs, Creative Observer, a collection of his paintings, many never before seen.

Challenge

Burroughs was captivated by the many ways of seeing, and his ideas and art inspired me to help develop a conceptual solution to a traditional book that would become uniquely interactive.

Solution

I chose a mirrored cover for the 80-page exhibition catalog that functioned as a creative way of viewing Burroughs' paintings in the show. The surface, which mimicked the Cadillac paper he used in several works, also attracted the user's fingerprints. This individualized the experience and enforced the idea that none of us see and feel things in exactly the same way.

Art direction and design // Chris Ralston