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Artist Statement

My Wind-Up Bird gives visual form to the space that both literary scholarship and imaginative reading occupy. As I read and re-read my English copy of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, I translate my experience into drawings, paintings, and a variety of print media on the pages of the book itself, at once celebrating the power of the author’s words and questioning what is missing. This marginalia-turned-art not only hearkens back to the content of illuminated manuscripts but also facilitates vigorous dialogue between myself, the text, and the author. It interrogates and comments on questions of authorship and cultural transmission. It demonstrates adoration for the author even as it amends the text. It is a venue where detailed reflections on story threads and intertextual analyses can meet a fan's intense desire to participate in the production of literary experience. Most importantly, My Wind-up Bird reveals that reading need not be a solitary or passive endeavor; reading critically and creatively is a social act whose generative potential to make new art and new literatures ought to be shared.

Websites: jmlehman.com
jmlehman.wixsite.com/mywindupbird

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Artwork by John Lehman - Hear the Wind-Up Bird Sing
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Pen and Ink on found paper, 2019
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Artwork by John Lehman - Defilement, pgs 300-301
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Etching, Chin-Collé on found paper, 2019
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Artwork by John Lehman - Weel Done, Cutty Sark, pgs 554-555
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Pen and Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic on found paper, 2019
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Artwork by John Lehman - Mr. Wind-Up Bird Acts, pgs 336-337
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Pen and Ink, Watercolor, Colored Pencil on found paper, 2019
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Artwork by John Lehman - Guts, pgs 318-319
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Pen and Ink on found paper, 2019