A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

Visiting the LA Art Book Fair

February 7, 2013

I visited the LA Art Book Fair this past Saturday. What a great event! My favorite part of the fair was the “Zine World” section. The zines exhibited there were all by these younger, mostly under thirty-years-old, creative, avant garde artists. These artists are all self-published, and their work is just absolutely fantastic – rich in talent, rich in creativity and imagination. Most of the zines were printed by the artists themselves,  mostly from their own computers. With this mind of creativity, just imagine if they had the means, the possibility of their art books being supported by more money, then they could have the advantage of better presentation and better distribution so that there would be more people who would enjoy and appreciate their great art like I did.  I think these types of free, imaginative style of books and zines will be the way of future. I ‘m so glad that Printed Matter, the organizer of the show, at least had given these artists an opportunity to exhibit their rich talent by allowing them space in the “Zine World” section and at the exhibition tables.

After leaving the “Zine World” section, I walked around the exhibition tables and decided to talk to one of the exhibitors. I asked her what she thought of this year’s fair. She replied, “Just great. There is such an organized community sense amongst all the exhibitors. There has been a tremendous turn out of visitors this year, and we are all are really hopeful to see that printed books are still alive and people are still interested enough to come to the show. The only negative thing I could say,” she added, “would be that even though people spend time at every booth, examine the books and show interest, they do not buy any, even though there are a lot of low-priced, affordable books on each table.”

I asked, “Are the exhibitors this year all from Los Angeles?” She answered, “Sixty-percent are from the west coast, and forty-percent are from New York and internationally.”

Walking around all these great publishers’ tables, I was still thinking about the art books I had seen in the “Zine World” section of the show. There didn’t seem to be any more of that refreshing sense of surprise anywhere else, but there were a lot of great books to look at. I thought certainly one day would not be enough if you wanted to look at every thing at the exhibitors’ tables. Turns out I was so involved with the fair that it was already dark outside and the fair staff were closing down when I had left the place to drive back home.

Printed Matter’s LA ART BOOK FAIR
February 1-3, 2013
Opening: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 6–9 pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA


Printed Matter presents the first annual LA Art Book Fair, from February 1-3, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. An opening will be held on the evening of Thursday, January 31.

Free and open to the public, the LA Art Book Fair is a unique event for artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by 220 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-one countries.

Featured projects include an Homage to Mike Kelleypresented by Gagosian, a Larry Clark Pop-Up Shop by BOO-HOORAY, and a stunning new installation by John Armlederwith Three Star Books. Fulton Ryder will present publications by John Dogg and Howard Johnson; unique books and Untitled Originals by Richard Prince, and naughty pulp paperbacks.

Zine World is a super-sized subsection of the LA Art Book Fair, featuring zinesters from home and abroad, together with three zine exhibitions. GSD: Skate Fate till Today begins from Gary Scott Davis’ early, ground-breaking zine publishing of the 80s. Zine Masters of the Universe features zines by Mark GonzalesAri MarcopoulosRay Pettibon, andDash SnowBedwetter and Beyond is a survey of the artist books and zines of Los Angeles-based artist Christopher Russell.

The LA ART BOOK FAIR is the companion fair to the NY ART BOOK FAIR, held every fall in New York. Over 20,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts attended the NY ART BOOK FAIR in 2012.

Read More at http://laartbookfair.net.


Photos taken by Mahvash Mossaed

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