BySponsored Content

Oct 9, 2014

When it’s time to recycle your phone book, there are many things it can be upcycled into — a wreath, earrings, and coasters, to name a few — but we’ve yet to find anything more exquisite or mind-boggling than the hand-carved phone book portraits from Philadelphia-based artist Alex Queral.


“I carve the faces out of phone books because I like the three-dimensional quality that results and because of the unexpected results that occur working in this medium,” Queral says on the website for Projects Gallery, which represents his work. “The three-dimensional quality enhances the feeling of the pieces as an object as opposed to a picture.”


How does he do it? An X-Acto knife and small pot of acrylic medium are all he needs to turn a phone book from functional information provider to artistic rendering.


“In carving and painting a head from a phone directory, I’m celebrating the individual lost in the anonymous list of thousands of names that describe the size of the community,” Queral says. “In addition, I like the idea of creating something that is normally discarded every year into an object of longevity.”


If you’re not an artist like Queral and no longer want to receive phone books — or if you want to change how often you get them — visit


Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Dex Media is one of these partners.

Feature image courtesy Martin Kenny