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The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Jose Naranja’s Notebooks Are Well-Traveled, Personal Artworks

Jose Naranja, a self-described “notebookmaker,” creates works of art out of the typical writing pad. He sells these notes in the form of “The Orange Manuscript,” an elaborate, multilingual exploration of the writer/artist’s mind and observations. The artist considers the work “a love letter to notebooks, a flight of fancy and also a part of me.”


Jose Naranja, a self-described “notebookmaker,” creates works of art out of the typical writing pad. He sells these notes in the form of “The Orange Manuscript,” an elaborate, multilingual exploration of the writer/artist’s mind and observations. The artist considers the work “a love letter to notebooks, a flight of fancy and also a part of me.”

And each page in the notebook comes with elaborate thought, planning, and even a fun backstory. On the above page: “In 2050, 30 years after its discovery, the mysterious half-carved stone was taken from its far orbit and brought to the Earth,” Naranja says. “Even the wisest still don’t know if it’s a product of nature or alien made. Is nature able to create this smooth surface and regular shape? Obviously yes, and even more complex geometries we can find in Earth. Nobody can imagine what’s outside. However something else was carved on this asteroid. Maybe random. Biologists, religious and philosophers debate about the weird symbols found on the surface.”

The artist also recently created Donau’s Journey, a work of art that also serves as a board game. Though it appears as a classic “Game of the Goose”-style endeavor, the artist hid both personal and fun messages across the board.

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