A Hidden Art Form You’ll Flip For

A Hidden Art Form You’ll Flip For


– 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.

100 thoughts on “A Hidden Art Form You’ll Flip For

  1. This is the loveliest video to ever feature in my recommended list. Absolutely gorgeous artwork, and such a soothing voice.

  2. I didn't know this was a thing five minutes ago, and now I feel that if the artform ended, the entire world would be lost.

  3. It's sad to know he's the last working fore-edge painter left 🙁 I don't want to see this art form die out!

  4. How many of these books have we walked past without realising? Maybe we need to give all our books a squeeze

  5. 💩
    🎽
    👖
    👟👟
    This is jimmy he haves a poop head be a curse 1like=a 5% of the curse go away

  6. 😲This is incredible. I read books all the time and I never heard about this art form until today. So sad that he's the last one. I'm really surprised other artists haven't picked this up.

  7. Unique,enchanting and beautiful. So glad he's still doing this amazing art work! wish my Harry Potter books had his work on them.

  8. Hi! I do crafty art. But what you do is stunning! It takes quite a steady hand to paint such a small and detailed paintings! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful art with us!! 💖🙋🏼💖

  9. The first thing I did after watching this was check the pages of my Hans Christian Andersen book😂 it's gold but there's no picture😭

  10. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

    (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭24‬ NIV)

  11. There was something just lovely about seeing him smiling in a kitchen stocked with copious amounts of tea, talking about the magic of book-edge paintings.

  12. So when you paint the edges of an antique book, does it increase the value or decrease the value? Your paintings are beautiful and obviously would add value to a normal book. However with antique books, I can't imagine adding something non original to the publishing being positive to its value as beautiful as it may be.

  13. 1:37 How can he draw a two-way double painting? I understand that he bend the book to paint. But with the two-way double, how did he bend the book? Just how???

  14. I want to learn that! I'm a book lover and I don't want this craft to die. Mr Frost, can you teach me that incredible art?!
    I am a student, becoming a teacher, married and hopefully someday mother… but I also am a crafter and painter at heart. And I adore books – the medium, the stories, the letters, the smell… Did I mention I love books?

  15. This weekend in Amsterdam, masterclasses by Martin Frost at the Ambacht in Beeld Festival: https://ambachtinbeeldfestival.nl/programma-2018-2/fore-edge-painting/

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