A Dan-D-Noser is a tool used by taxidermists to create the appearance of a live deer’s nose. A dandy, on the other hand, is a man who affects extreme elegance in his clothes and manners. Both have something to do with manufactured artifice, which becomes especially clear after reading this lovely little book, which combines quotes from online taxidermist message boards with quotes about the dandy from Baudelaire and Camus. Message boards and online groups serve to create community and intimacy, even among the especially masculine. Take a minute and experience the entire spectrum of possible masculine identities within the span of a short booklet: the craft knowledge behind creating a realistic deer nose, the attention to detail in dress and illusion, the community bonds that small subcultures foster.
The text is interspersed with gorgeous two-color illustrations from artist Kirsten McCrea (more work on her site here), which mixes pattern and decoration with her fanciful images of deer. There’s a statement in the back of the book which explains the work as a whole, and tells us about the artist’s father, a hunter who she says “is a quiet and emotional man”.
The book is one of my favorites that I picked up this past fall at the NY Art Book Fair. Publisher Jp King tells us on his website that his publishing endeavor Paper Pusher is “is more than just a publishing house, it is a publication research lab, living classroom, and collaborative platform where curiosity and relationships serve as inspiration in the pursuits of artistic and cultural production.” King’s books are published using a risograph machine, which is kind of like if a photocopier and an offset press merged to create something more amazing than themselves. Produced in an edition of 100. You can pick up a copy through Paper Pusher’s website here.