Paintings on discarded books by Mike Stilkey


Mike Stilkey creates captivating paintings on discarded books using acrylics, inks, coloured pencil and lacquer. Almost Tim Burton-esque, the distinctive style of the Los Angeles artist features depictions of melancholic characters ‘inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales’. Drawn to painting and drawing on vintage paper, record covers, book pages and the books themselves, Stilkey also creates whole installations by painting the spines of stacked books, some of which are up to 24 feet tall. His works are inspired by Weimar Germany Expressionism and his style has been likened to both Edward Gorey to Egon Schiele. Pictured above – The Lady of Arlington (2013).


Beginnings of Modern Science (2015)


Faces in the City (2013)


Installation at LA Art Fair 2015


Tomorrow’s Dream (2014)


The Treasure of Friendship (2015)


Far From Customary Skies (2010)


Opinions of a Philosopher (2014)

Images via Mike Stilkey

Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).