Johan Deckmann (previously) presents existential notions of life, love, and self-doubt as self-help titles on hand-painted books. The fictionalized novels contain no words on their pages, however their size often directly correlates to the messages on the front covers, such as his series of blue books, which read “Good ideas” on the smallest, “Mediocre ideas” on the mid-sized work, and “Bad ideas,” on the largest.

The Copenhagen-based artist is also a practicing psychotherapist who recognizes how language can be a powerful tool in both art and therapy. “The right words can be like good medicine,” he explained in a statement for the Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen. His chosen phrases are both humorous and wise, often cutting to a deep truth with just a handful of words like his title “How to search forever for what is already inside.”

In addition to books, Deckmann also paints poignant messages on record sleeves, wooden boxes, and briefcases. He recently had an exhibition at the Arp Museum in Remagen, Germany titled “It Takes Time, It’s Risky and It Might Last Forever” which closed in mid-July. You can see more of his works on his website and Instagram.

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