Cover Artist

Steve Wolfe's Trompe L'Oeil Books at the Menil Collection

Creatively descended from 19th-century trompe l’oeil still-life painters, San Francisco-based artist Steve Wolfe reproduces books in paintings and sculpture with such vivid detail that they could often pass for the real thing without closer inspection. “I finally realized that even though I had a degree in painting, I was allowed to try to make a sculpture, which had never even occurred to me, so that's what led to making the first book sculptures,” Wolfe said of his new exhibition at the Menil Collection in Houston. Wolfe, who has been working since the 1980s, is also presenting his paintings of trompe l’oeil vinyl records. “The fact that the technology has changed completely and that these things are becoming artifacts is a completely unexpected dimension to what I'm doing,” he says.