We’ve read their novels, listened to their albums, and marvelled for hours in front of their artworks, but what would the world’s writers, musicians, and artists say if they had to fit just one sentiment onto a humble Post-it note?
Brief musings from creatives like Zadie Smith, Grimes, Björk, Marina Abramovic, David Hockney, Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, and Vivienne Westwood fill the pages of a new pocket-size book by the star-curator Hans Ulrich Obrist publishing on October 12. Readers can expect to find uplifting messages, shower thoughts, drawings, questions, poems, and jokes all written by hand.
The quips often offer a strikingly candid view into the artists’ perspective, in just a few words. “You don’t get better, you just get better at it,” wrote painter Paula Rego, shared when she died in 2022. Some range on the prophetic. “Art is humanity’s capacity of imagination,” wrote digital artist Refik Anadol on a Post-it shared in June last year.
The project has already won a legion of fans on Instagram where Obrist, artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London, has been publishing the Post-its since he set up his social media account in December 2012. Thanks in part to the popularity of these easily scrollable snapshots of an artist’s mind, he now has over 380,000 followers.
“The speed with which words and images are circulated throughout the globalized world and the ubiquity of the typed word means that we are left with the potential disappearance of handwriting,” said Obrist in a statement. “Working with artists every day, it became clear to me that it is urgent to preserve this. So even in this digital age, a lot does happen on paper, and that’s why I think it is interesting in the end to save it in a book.”
Check out a selection of Post-its from the book below.
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