An Exhibition of Artist books by Marc Shanker

The Library will host an exhibition of Artist Books by self-taught artist Marc Shanker. The show runs from Monday, December 6th, 2021 through Friday, February 4th, 2022.

“My books are words extended by images, and images extended by words. The physicality of books focuses attention and adds to their significance. Whether large or small, books exert a power unlike any other object,” states Shanker.

The exhibition includes over thirty prints and eleven Artist Books. Shanker’s books include collage and mixed media adaptations of Aeschylus’ The Orestian Trilogy, and Looking into the Eye of Doom, The Diary of a Greek Soldier in Troy, an anti-war narrative of The Trojan War. Shanker is also author of his own pithy proverbs and sayings in Cheap Gems, Precious Rocks; Signs; and Bunkum, Blather, Balderdash. He also published Traces of Sepharad, Etchings of Judeo-Spanish Proverbs, which includes forty-five etchings of medieval proverbs in Ladino.

Shanker rejected a formal art education, preferring instead to work alone toward a realization of his own unique style and content. His “high & low,” naive style of drawing serves as an expressive lens through which he interprets the complex, surprising and sometimes whimsical ups-and-downs of life.

His style is whimsical and satirical with a cutting edge meant to provoke the viewer to reflect upon him/her self and society. “My books are meant to make people see, think, laugh and reflect,” says Shanker. The subjects of his books range from the profound to the absurd, often both apparent in the same image.

Marc Shanker grew up in the Boulevard Housing Projects in East New York, Brooklyn. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School, and studied Sociology at Brooklyn College. He spent most of his work life in the labor movement.

He is the founder of Gravity Free Press, and publishes Artist Books and posters, and collaborates with poets on books and broadsides.  Marc Shanker is on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and at

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