‘The 48 Laws of Power: 1-25’


Collage: book pages, graphite & silk on paper

h 168 x w 168 cm 2013-16

Unframed: can be tapestry-hung on a pole, float-mounted on wall or mounted behind non-reflective perspex/glass

In stock (can be backordered)


“The 48 Laws of Power” is a fantastic book. Written by Robert Greene, it explores the history of power and contains countless examples of uses and abuses of it “the essential–and controversial–guide to modern manipulation”. It makes me laugh – it’s got a wonderfully irreverent tone to it, and when this copy came into my possession, I knew immediately I’d like to explore (or manipulate!) it in depth and make a piece of work from it.

Bold and Elegant

Physically, the book is huge – it has presence! Designed by Joost Elffers, the pages of this book are quite stunning, with a clear visual rhythm throughout. There are bold variations with the fonts, with clear red and black print combinations. It has elegant lettering in bold and italic, with headlines, body text, quotes and notes – so although it has no illustrations, it’s got lots of variety in it visually.

48 Laws, 48 Chapters…

As I split up the pages in the studio into the 48 chapters I realised quite how big this book is – these powerful laws also take up a lot of paper! Re-laying them out flat into this labyrinth piece, I chose a meandering Roman labyrinth pattern to accommodate all this content; a triple meander path to be exact. This means the path loops back on itself 3 times in each of the quadrants. Even this wasn’t a long enough path though, and the full 48 chapters filled two whole labyrinths, not just one.

Conversation Starter

This first labyrinth contains Laws 1 – 25 and is 168cm wide and tall – perfect for large spaces like reception areas, boardrooms or wide corridors where people frequently pass through. This piece unfolds on many levels over many times of seeing it and is a great conversation starter. Even as someone who’s spent a lot of time reading both the original 48 Laws (and the concise version) and the artwork I’ve created from them, I continue to spot or notice new phrases or elements in the work whenever I spend a few minutes looking at it.

This piece and other artworks are also available to rent. Contact Michelle for details.

‘The 48 Laws of Power: 1-25’ was last modified: December 15th, 2018 by Michelle Rumney

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