Acrylic, Collage, Hand-painting, Ink, Monoprint, Natural Pigments, Rubbing, Salt, Stencil
Gifu Shoji paper, Rives BFK
Hand-sewn, Paper case
20 × 15 × 0.75 in
Thorn is the fifth unique manifestation of Weber’s Thorn poem in a limited edition or unique artist book. It features rubbings from architectural plaques of the Chrysler building and the General Electric building from 41st Street near Grand Central Station, a plaque of a portrait of the Statue of Liberty, and historical plaques from the labor history memorial in Union Square, all in NYC.
The wax rubbings are then inked, mono-printed, painted, and collaged into the fantastic urban cityscapes that the stencil painted and hand-written poem floats through. The media is various waxes, turmeric pigment, various inks, acrylic, salt, and Gifu Shoji, Arches Rives BFK, French, and other papers, the binding is by Sara Parkel.
The Thorn poem is illustrated by specific architectural fragments and the historical and contemporary associations of those icons contextualize the melancholic story of unrequited love that the poem evocatively describes.
The loss described in the poem expands from the pain of the emotional persistence of the memory of a lost lover to the contemporary experience of experiencing the loss of the urban culture of an entire city.
Marshall Weber’s unique book Thorn combines poetry, quotations, and images of notable monuments of New York history to comment on contemporary issues and their systemic origins. Wax rubbings and monoprints from Gregg LeFevre’s bronze plaques in Union Square show notable New York landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Chrysler building, and General Electric Building. Lines from Weber’s poem Thorn are interposed with quotes about recent, politically troubling events, including references to the Black Lives Matter movement. The hand-sewn binding encloses a variety of page sizes and orientations, allowing for the manipulation of these images and invocation of the deeper liberties they symbolize.
by Marshall Weber
Take this thorn from my heart
that I might bleed
and forever fall asleep
Unstop that petit barbed dam
it keeps me awake
awash in sad dreams
Who could imagine a flower
harbored such an assassin
not to kill but to keep in torment
Open that unseen wound
and release those memories
which beat against every part of me
Let it flow away, let it flow away
fade my tide of consciousness
for the thorn’s rose wilted long ago
and I shall sink into the garden
to rest in a history of soft blossoms
the thorn will outlive us all.