Libellum Books

Judge is an artist’s book collaboration between poet Vincent Katz and artist
Wayne Gonzales. In 2005, during the confirmation hearings for Judge John
Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court, Katz wrote a long poem made completely
of text taken from The New York Times, highly edited and compressed, focusing
on color words and details in order to get at emotions behind the facts as
presented by the newspaper. The poem’s alternately mundane and jarring,
often contradictory, barrage of phrases suddenly evens out into unexpected
humor or calm. Around 2002, Gonzales had similarly begun to appropriate
images from the media in an attempt to record the emotional and psychological
climate of the time. The artist subjects these images to extreme blow-ups of
their visual information, creating images that, while recognizable, have a haunting, ghostly quality. Both artists were responding to the ascendancy of the Bush administration, America’s response to 9/11, the buildup to the war in Iraq and
the war itself, the 2004 Republican convention in New York City, and the
politicians and media who sold it all to the public. Poet and artist realized their
work could combine in provocative ways. The resulting book, designed by
Gonzales and Katz, is a real blending of visuals and text, a uniquely successful experiment in layering messages in order to arrive at an aesthetic mediation.


80 pages / 60 illustrations / 39 in color
Available through D.A.P.