Unbelievable Celebrity Phone Book Carvings

Alex Queral is a Philadelphian sculptor best known for using old phone books to carve their pages into celebrities faces.

Some of the celebrities he’s made sculptures of include Barack Obama, Jack Nicholson, Frida Kahlo and John Goodman.

The process takes at least a couple of weeks to complete.

He begins by sketching the famous person’s face on a piece of paper and laying it over the phone book, after that he uses a razor blade, patiently carving away at the thousands of pages that lie within phone book to create the 3D portrait.

He then paints each face with a monochromatic wash to distinguish the portraits from the pages.

Queral says that creating these portraits is a very tense process because it takes so long to do, and if you “cut something away you can’t get it back again.” Below you can check out 20 unbelievable examples of his carvings


Compiled exclusively for WDD by Zoe Ajiboye.

What do you think of this type of art? Please share your thoughts below…

  • Dan

    This is very cool

  • http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/ Jack

    It seems that your eyes will feel unconfortable when looking at these very closely. From far away is better and really nice.

  • http://www.appsheriff.com/ App Sheriff

    Loving Barack Obama in it!….

  • http://hypertransitory.com John G

    Man, he’s very patient. Very impressive.

  • Evi Loveres

    It’s awesome too that he placed them so the picture matches where the celebrities’ name would be in the directory! (top right)

  • http://airopia.org Tom – Airopia

    That is so cool!!!!!

  • http://pixelbehavior.com/ CupidsToejam

    Alex, is such an amazing artist! Who ever thought to sculpt using phonebooks?

  • http://sexidesign.com Melody

    Is the second one Frida Kahlo?..She’s my favorite artist..I didn’t even realize how 3D the carvings were until passing the first two..Awesome work..I love when artists find their own unique mediums to work with..

  • http://shop.boomskins.com BoomSkins

    Thats awesome. I wonder how he gets the pages to stay that have basically been carved away from the binding. Id like to see these in person for sure!

  • http://joseph-sims.com Joseph S.

    I thought these were some sort of convex intaglio before the sixth… I don’t understand how he is doing this is bas relief… what keeps the top bits from falling away?

    • man


  • http://twitter.com/jazminderr Jaz

    truly awesome thanks for sharing! xx

  • http://zoeingram.com Zoe

    omg that is very amazing

  • John Watts

    Wow, that is truly incredible dude! I mean serious stuff

  • Nadine

    I think that is amazing. Obviously the pages are lacquered together somehow, but to even think of such an art, that is truly unique. Love it!

  • Gavin

    I love this kind of art work, but I’m glad there’s a market for it. I only wish my local MoMA had more features like this. They tend to feature alternative art that is too abstract for my taste.

  • http://rreplicainchina.com webmaster921

    Amazing That,s really interesting

  • http://www.bighdesign.com Justin Moore-Brown

    HOLY CRAP! This is some of the coolest art ever. I’ve never thought of this type of art. Some people’s creativity just astounds me!

  • i_alcocer

    Ed Rusha in the 60’s did already that.

  • http://www.webdesigns-rosenheim.de michael

    That’s really incredible! Can’t believe what kind of ideas people have ;-)
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://mydepictions.blogspot.com Naj

    I imagine the pages are stuck together before he begins carving, maybe by soaking the book in water & PVA or something..I think it’s a very ingenious re-use of old phone books and very inspiring!

  • http://www.splashnology.com Splashnology

    Super 3d artworks, I love it.

  • http://www.aledesign.it aledesign.it

    So really nice…So cool! Great idea! Congratulations!

  • http://blog.insicdesigns.com insic

    wow! how they made it possible? this is amazing!

  • Jeffries

    All democrats. What a waste.

    • Kurt

      lighten up francis.

  • http://www.amdzines.com Abhilash M

    unbelievable !! it’s true that all are political figures still we should appreciate the person or the team who did it.

  • LaSt

    Best use for phone books EVER!

  • pesho

    thanks it’s so amazing

  • Stacey

    Wow. How do you even do that?

  • http://www.itpixels.com mark

    digital artwork looks great, but this one it’s awesome!… it takes pure talent, dedication and patience to accomplish one..

  • http://www.itpixels.com mark

    oh by the way.. i forgot to include “weird” :)

  • http://www.itsselvam.com Selvam

    unbelievable carving….awesome…..

  • Bethany

    This is really something… Amazing craftsmanship.

    *Since phonebooks are outdated within six months, this art could technically be considered creative recycling. :)

  • Ricardo

    you are one talented person! Thank you for sharing. Just one question…how long does it take you to do one?

  • Brian

    What’s really cool is the fact that the page that’s solid show you who the image is. Look in the upper right corner at the page range information.

  • http://maunderingme.wordpress.com MaunderingMe

    I love these! I actually saw a few of these in the airport (Philly) a few months back!

  • Fernando F.

    unbelievable! amazing! really awesome!
    Why isn’t this shown on national TV is beyond me.
    So much garbage is shown hour after hour after hour.
    This is awe inspiring.

  • http://www.wearingrainbows.com/mens-waistcoats-ties-c-2659.html Billy

    Ingenious work! very creative and original, great !!

  • Donna Stone

    I dunno; it’s either bad art or bad talent when Willie Nelson looks mean-spirited and President Obama looks modest.

  • http://www.martinlachapelle.com Martin Lachapelle

    wow very impressive, pactience and lots of tallent, how much money could that cost…
    Bravo j’adore witch meens in french congrat’s i realy like it….

  • http://www.welovechief.com CHiEF

    …amazing, but i’d like to see more shots from the side…

  • http://www.nosolosporting.com nosoloSporting

    amazing… great photos and great job!!!!!!!!

  • londogilak

    OMFG you’re the man!

  • http://www.ricardojorge.net Ricardo Jorge

    Very good. Should have more images from other perspectives

  • http://www.free-press-release.com/news-joe-nuzzolo-and-salvador-dali-1290641044.html Dan

    That is a trip!

  • http://dreambox-dvb.com/ dreambox 800s

    Really awesome carvings. I like it so much. These celebrity are good persons in the world.