5000 Pages of Beginnings: The Journals of Ken Carbone

Exhibition Website

Jan 25 2017 - Feb 26 2017

While working on the signage for the I.M Pei expansion at the Louvre in the late 1980’s, I was shown some of Paul Gauguin’s journals in the museum’s collection. They contained drawings, personal letters, collages, paintings and were visually spectacular. These revealed Gauguin’s private life and were not meant for public view. That made the experience even more memorable. It was like seeing buried treasure. 

From that moment, I was inspired to start keeping my own journals. The books I've kept over the past 25 years are a chronicle of life, art, the times we live in, a collection of ideas and obsessive experimentation. Ordinarily, my work in these books has no commercial purpose. However, once I put something on a page, it is "locked" in my mental database of inspiration and often resurfaces at the just right time for the right project.

I consider my collection of journals as “5000 Pages of Beginnings" nothing finished, nothing too precious. On occasion I'll use these books to sketch out a specific design concept for a client. I like to challenge myself to find a solution to a problem within a single two-page spread to capture the essence of an idea. This constraint is both terrifying and exciting.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Works on Paper
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Ken Carbone

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