East Hampton, NY: 2014. Unique artist's book, all on blue Saint-Armand paper, signed and dated by the artist, Barry McCallion on the final page. Page size: 7.5 x 11 inches; title-page plus 50pp. plus colophon. Bound: loose in original blue Saint-Armand paper wrappers housed in blue cloth over boards custom-made cloth clamshell box with collaged labels on front and spine taken from the titlepage and colophon of book. Each verso is hand-numbered by the artist on the blue Saint-Armand paper, with the text (from the Modern Library edition) typed by the artist in 14pt. Times New Roman copied onto yellow paper and collaged to the top border Richard de Bas cream wove sheets (5.5 x 7.5 inches) that are themselves collaged to the blue Saint-Armand. Below the text is an original abstract painting in various colored India inks onto which another collage of painted black paper, with wave-shaped top, forms the bottom edge. The verso of each page is on black mould-made Italian Revere paper, with the text printed in yellow on black smooth paper in "drop-out mirror-writing" collaged to the top of the black Revere paper page, the drawing below in white Koh-I-Noor White ink, with ink painted "wave" of black paper collaged to bottom of black sheet.
From the "Sea-Drift" section of Whitman's LEAVES OF GRASS, "As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life" this well-known American poem was first published in "The Atlantic Monthly" in April, 1860 as "Bardic Symbols" and included in the 1860 edition of LEAVES OF GRASS. Critics have referred to this verse as a statement of Whitman's intellectual despair in which he questions the effectiveness of his writing. He writes of nature and decay by describing what the ocean brings in and out with the tides. With the energetic and colorful abstract images by Barry McCallion, one does not see dying and death - rather, the reader / viewer is caught in the constant push and pull of nature, re-birth and death, all with the images of the waning and waxing tides. The reader / viewer contemplates the mirror writing in white ink on the versos and has the sense of coming and going as it contrasts with the bright images on the rectos. The conclusion that they are each half of a whole is manifest. A wonderful visual interpretation of this great text. Item #10875