Artsy Things

Published on August 18th, 2009 | by Kelly Rand


Artist Uses Phonebooks to Create Portraits

Via the UK Telegraph, I recently learned about Alex Queral, an artist currently living in Philadelphia, PA who creates portraits of celebrities and politicians, but what is interesting about him is that he carves these portraits out of discarded phone books.

On the Road Again, by Alex Queral

Queral started using phonebooks when off looking for some wood and happened upon some abandoned phone books. They can be advantageous to use as they are often a free material that can be found in recycle bins and trash piles. Queral carves the famous faces into the phone books and slowly peels away the layers to create a low relief sculptural portrait.

While Queral may have been reusing discarded materials for about 14 years, it is still refreshing to see another example of how upcycling is used in art and craft.

Read more about Queral from the Telegraph and watch a video of Queral working.

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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.

6 Responses to Artist Uses Phonebooks to Create Portraits

  1. Pingback: Artist Uses Phonebooks to Create Portraits -

  2. Pingback: Artist Uses Phonebooks to Create Portraits

  3. Teresa says:

    Brilliant! I’ve only used phonebooks for make-shift high chairs and to press wildflowers…but sketching in them is a great idea.

  4. Pingback: Artist Uses Phonebooks to Create Portraits « Energy Portfolio Managers Blog

  5. Pingback: New Ripley’s Believe It or Not Book Features Extreme Trash to Treasure Stories

  6. Pingback: New Ripley’s Believe It or Not Book Features Extreme Trash to Treasure Stories – Crafting a Green World

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