I grew up in a home surrounded by books and spent countless hours in libraries. One of many childhood favorites was Dan Greenburg’s Porno-Graphics (1969). It’s a tongue-in-cheek art book where the nudes have been covered up. Readers can remove the layers of acetate with painted on clothing or manipulate the pop-up pages to reveal the original, well-known works of art. As a little kid who was taken to art museums, this was hilarious. Many of the books I grew up with have ended up on my shelves in San Francisco decades later. Alas, our family’s copy of Porno-Graphics was lost (I believe it was a casualty of a burst pipe incident that flooded a bookshelf). Recently a friend generously gave me his copy – I have my replacement heirloom.
Revisiting the book sheds new light on the Geo Graphic Mail Art Series I started in 2012. My desire to “censor” art with maps is starting to make a little more sense.