Constellation Cafe Books : Pain

One of the most interesting books to come out this year has been Pain by Toni Amengual. Curiously enough there hasn’t been a lot of talk about it so I decided to talk to Toni about the work and the book.

 So I’m going to start with a few notes on the book and in the next post I’ll bring in Toni to speak more about it from his point of view.


Pain is Toni’s first book and if I can say he’s nailed it. The book is not very big, about 8 x 5 inches and unexpectedly very light for its thickness. Softbound in a bright red jacket, the design calls out for you as soon as you see it. The title “PAIN” is printed in bold black letters on the cover, loud as it can be like a accident on the side of the road you’re compelled to look at.

Pain is a quiet book until it explodes like a visual secret hidden in plain sight. Brilliantly designed, the book follows Japanese two fold design but encourages the viewer to physically cut through the pages to reveal the images inside.

What I love about the book is its politically charged statement and the way it engages you to act physically before it reveals anything. The act of cutting open a book is poetic and harsh at the same time and it couldn’t have been conceptualized better.

I am a little hesitant in terms of the final emotion of the book. When all the pages are open and you go thought them, the realization of a perennial state of hardship lingers. The book in all its beauty and engagement has a very strong opinion which at times hinders the viewer imagination.

In the interview with Toni I shall speak more about the images inside and how he looks at the society and existence in the work.

Pain is a beautiful book which is more than just a book. Its a installation which engages you to move and take action, to cut open something precious to be able to see its core. I’ve already added one copy to my library and you should definitely pick one up from his website before the limited edition of 500 is sold out.


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