Daniel Gordon: Houseplants

Photographs by Daniel Gordon. Pop-ups by Simon Arizpe.


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This highly collectible, limited-edition pop-up book is a work of art in itself, rendering Daniel Gordon’s sculptural forms into a new layer of materiality and animating them in a pop-up performance. The book consists of six works in pop-up form, some featuring simple plants, others unfolding more elaborate tableaux.

Inspired by his interest in the popularity of certain subjects on the internet—houseplants among them—Gordon meticulously cuts up pictures found online to create sculptural and fantastical still lifes. He uses photography not to show reality, but to present a new version of it. The crumpled paper and mix of realistic and unnatural colors render the objects slightly goofy. “Without seams and faults and limitations, my project would be very different,” Gordon says. “The seamlessness of the ether is boring to me, but the materialization of that ether, I think, can be very interesting.” His pieces are a perfect marriage of digital and analog processes and of high and low artistic references, complicating what is understood as sculpture, photography, painting, and the cutout.

Produced in a limited edition of 1,000 copies


Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 12
Number of images: 6
Publication date: 2020-11-17
Measurements: 9 x 11 x 1.9 inches
ISBN: 9781683952060

Photographs by Daniel Gordon. Pop-ups by Simon Arizpe.

Daniel Gordon (born in Boston, 1980) earned a BA from Bard College in 2004 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. Notable group exhibitions include New Photography 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Greater New York 2010 at MoMA PS1, New York; and Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2018). He is the author of Still Lifes, Portraits, and Parts (2013), Flowers and Shadows (2011), and Flying Pictures (2009). He won the 2014 Foam Paul Huf Award and had a solo exhibition at Foam, Amsterdam, in 2014.

Simon Arizpe is an award-winning paper engineer and illustrator based in Brooklyn. He holds a BFA in illustration from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and has worked in the field of pop-up books for over twelve years. He is recipient of the 2018 Meggendorfer Prize, as well as a Society of Illustrators Award of Excellence. His clients include Aperture, Fantagraphics, IFC, La Mer, MoMA Design Store, Netflix, the Washington Post, and Workman Publishing. He teaches paper engineering at Parsons School of Design, New York, and Pratt Institute.