Dave Buchen ~ Puerto Rico


Dave Buchen: "I work in the medium of linoleum prints. A choice based partly on a luddite-ish rejection of the convenient. So I carve each page and print them by 'hand,' using a manual Vandercook press, and then bind the books by hand.

"I started making books after moving to Puerto Rico and finding myself in artistic and linguistic crisis.

"I had worked in theater till then, with a group from Chicago, Theater Oobleck, that is very text based. In Puerto Rico, I found my Spanish manageable to eat and greet but not to spin a story ...

"And so I began to print books. I had for years printed posters and calendars, but books, and 'children's books' no less, offered me the chance to work with a minimum of words, that could be proofread, and could stand in for much more complex ideas."


El Librazo
By Dave Buchen
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Dave Buchen, 2011. Edition of 150.

8.5" x 8.5"; 92 pages. Japanese stab binding. Linocuts. Text in Spanish. Stiff cardstock binding with linocut image on front cover. Initialed and dated by artist on the title page.

Dave Buchen: "El Librazo is a new book based on the Spanish suffix - azo which when added to a word means to be hit by. So add - azo to libro (book) and you have 'hit by a book.'"

Illustrated words include
Un batazo (...by a bat)
El bizcochazo (...by a cake)
Un escobazo (...by a broom)
El espadazo (...by a sword)
El fondillazo (... by the butt)
El latigazo (...by a whip)
El lenguetazo (by a tongue)


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By Dave Buchen
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Dave Buchen, 2001. Edition of 100.

2.8 x 4.7"; 210 pages. 29 one-sheet books, each sheet folded to 8 pages. Linocuts. Text in Spanish. Housed in 6 x 6.5 x 4" wooden cigar box.

An illustrated Spanish alphabet. 29 volumes for the 29 letter of the Spanish alphabet: a through z plus ch, ll, and ñ.



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Dave Buchen titles Sold / Out of Print Title:  

Bilingual ABC
By Dave Buchen
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Dave Buchen, 2009. Edition of 100.

5.5" x 8.5"; 33 pages. Japanese stab binding. Linocuts. Text in Spanish and English. Stiff cardstock binding with linocut image on front cover.

A colorful alphabet with Spanish and English words. Linocuts using primary colors illustrate each letter.


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Why is a Tiger a Tiger?
A Bestiary of Etymology

By Dave Buchen
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Dave Buchen, 2012. Edition of 750.

8.75 x 11.25"; 80 pages. Codex bound, offset printed, hardback with image of a tiger embossed on front board. In illustrated dust jacket.

Dave Buchen: "Why is a Tiger a Tiger? is a book that I have been meaning to make for years now. It's a bestiary of etymology, a collection of the words we use to name animals and what they mean. For example, the lemur's name originates in the name Remus, one of those twin founders of Rome. The leopard's name is a combination of the Greek words for lion and panther as people thought they were the offspring of those two animals. There is the 'swift' tuna. The gull comes from a word meaning 'to weep.' The bear is literally 'brown.' and the partridge gets its name from a word meaning 'to fart.'

"The illustrations are made from paper cuts. I started making paper cuts last year for a cantastoria project and immediately was taken in by this new form.”

Why is a Tiger a Tiger? is an 80-page hardcover book featuring the stories behind some 70 animals’ names accompanied by all new paper cut illustrations. Learn what the ant has in common with the trout, why we humans are similar to the mole and the mammoth, who created the word insect, where the lemur got its name from and why a partridge’s whooshing sound turned into its name.”

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 Page last update: 06.05.17

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