David Maroto
The Artists Novel

A New Medium (part 1)
The Fantasy of the Novel (part 2)

Why do artists write novels? What impact does the artists novel have on the visual arts? How should such a novel be experienced?

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of visual artists who create novels as part of their broader art practice. They do so in order to address artistic issues by means of novelistic devices, favoring a sort of art predicated on process and subjectivity, introducing notions such as fiction, narrative, and imagination. In this sense, it is possible to see the novel as a new medium in the visual arts; yet very little is known about it. This two-volume publication is the first to explore in depth the subject of the artists novel.

Part 1, A New Medium, is a theoretical examination that looks critically at the different ways contemporary artists employ the artists novel. It seeks to situate the artists novel within the broader context of the visual arts in the hopes of sparking a much-needed discussion about a practice that has long been ignored by critical strands in art discourse. It includes valuable resources, such as the only existing bibliography of artists novels.

Part 2, The Fantasy of the Novel, is a research project in the form of a novel; it examines the process of creating an artists novel derived from five episodic performances and an exhibition. The creative process was affected by the circumstances of production, including intersubjective relationships usually invisible to audiences. The protagonist assumes the role of a detective who tries to understand the conditions under which an artist decides to write, and how this writing is possible within an artistic setting.


  • Part 1: A New Medium
  • Text in English
  • Graphic design: Jakub de Barbaro
  • Format 153 × 207 cm, 284 pages
  • Softcover
  • ISBN 978-88-6749-422-4
  • Published by Mousse Publishing 2019
  • Part 2: The Fantasy of the Novel
  • Text in English
  • Graphic design: Filip de Armas
  • Format 153 × 207 mm, 292 pages
  • Softcover
  • ISBN 978-88-6749-425-5
  • Published by Mousse Publishing 2019
Publications a
David Maroto The Artist’s Novel