I have always wondered how a normative connoisseur would feel when s/he sees an ‘art’ work of mine on a book cover, a work s/he might have appreciated on the white walls of an art gallery.
I don’t know. But let me say I love doing it. I love to see a work of mine complementing the work of Mario Vargas Llosa or Carlos Fuentes.
I have always envied Andrzej Klimowski for those remarkable jackets he creates for remarkable books. Monochrome images of naked body fragments attains an ethereal quality in those cover designs. I could never think of Kundera’s Mirek (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting) or Sabina (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) or Llosa’s Mario and Julia (Aunt Julia and Script Writer) without Klimowski’s astonishing images.
So it was with great joy that I grabbed the opportunities to be part of the Malayalam translations of my favorite writers. The pleasure doubles when I work on books that have been graced earlier by artists such as Klimowski. No wonder, one of my best collages went into that poignant tale of love between Aunt Julia and the babyish script writer Mario.
Though Keralam has an exciting print culture and publishing industry, I think jacket design didn’t get its due until recently. Over the last decade new generation artists and technologies have managed to give a fresh face to books. I feel so lucky to be part of this revolution.