Preparing to follow the paper trail through some of the city’s best publishers, zines and books? We’ve got your itinerary covered
Book fairs, like all rooms crammed full of people and tables, can be disorienting. You go to find new stuff, but end up drifting towards the names you already know. Avoid doing this at Printed Matter’s L.A. Art Book Fair. Sister to the NY Art Book Fair, the weekend plays host to a feast of paper wonders at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Grab a ticket to the preview evening to catch a Ticket Edition by Edie Fake and performances by No Age and Prince Rama, or show up during regular hours for zip, zilch, zero dollars. From tiny little gems of zines to big shiny photography books, there’s something for everybody. To help you navigate the paper trail, here are Dazed’s top picks of the stands – happy perusing!
THE ICE PLANT
L.A. publishing house The Ice Plant has been making artist books for a good few years now, but their catalogue is ever-fresh. With titles from fave photogs Mike Slack, Ron Jude and Melissa Catanese on their roster, The Ice Plant are sure to bring a stand stacked high with clean, bright, essential work.
GIRLS LIKE US
Dutch magazine Girls Like Us is like a teen girl: nice looking on the outside, but underestimate at your peril. Their latest issue features heartthrobs Juliana Huxtable and Linda Yablonsky, as well as art from Melissa Gordon and others. An uncommonly pretty thing.
In 2008, the Architectural Association in London founded Bedford Press, a publishing arm dedicated to exploring, broadening and firming up the theory and practice of making books. Check out ARCHIZINES or All Possible Futures for high-quality work that is firmly in the tradition of 20th-century graphics but also points somewhere new.
The “Mexican Magazine for Homosexuals” is getting its first issue release in the U.S. at the fair! Irreverent is hardly the word for this mag – anarchic might be better. Unrestrained? Some combination of all those words. Just don’t miss your chance to catch it in the wild.
Einstein Studio runs a massive contest, the Japan Photo Award, to find Japan’s best young and upcoming photographers so you don’t have to. Track them down at the fair for a look into the future of Japanese visual culture and a model for supporting underexposed artists.
Ditto is a print and design studio, shop and gallery in London who also concoct educational events and specialise in dreamy Risograph printing. Their prints are out of this world but they also boast a pretty stellar catalogue of books, mags and zines – no doubt they will bring suitcases full of graphical happiness to L.A. this year.
Atlanta/NY-based artists’ books press J&L Books produces beautiful, beautiful objects. Founded by Jason Fulford and Leanne Shapton, they only churn out a few titles each year but every single one is a gem. Shapton’s own work is outstandingly good. Also, she drew the armpit-sex picture from film Her (2015).
Okay, so this is a bigger one. Artbook/D.A.P. is no upstart little art book company, toiling sweatily over their zines. They are a major distributor and publisher. Smaller, book-ier fairs like this one will benefit from their presence, however, since Artbook/D.A.P.’s catalogue is just so very good. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the reassuring uncle in the room.
There is something so deeply charming about billy ocallaghan and his accordion books. Here’s how he describes the practice:
“I make a series of copies of the image, with each new image 10 degrees further along the “hue” spectrum (as defined by Photoshop) from the prior image, repeating this process through the 360 degree hue spectrum (as defined by PhotoShop), with the final image 10 degrees on the hue spectrum from the original image. I line these up in sequence for an accordion fold zine, adding front and back covers (with the original rainbows flipped horizontally so they match the zine). I print these on a big piece of paper. My mom cuts them into strips. I fold these into an accordion (so that each rainbow crosses a two-page spread) and bind the folded strips together. I wrap this folded book in paper and press it overnight (to fully break the folds i’ve made). Resulting in tiny, 72-page, accordion fold zines.”
Genius! Everybody should get their mums to help. The cascading zines are, as Billy says, a “cross between a flipbook and a slinky” and therefore super fun to play with.
LAND AND SEA
Little Oakland press Land and Sea has been putting out books and records since 2009. Their work is unusually lovingly put together. Group print collection #21-Overview, a 79-page pile of risograph prints in a box, is particularly delightful. Their artists seem to be a broad slice of special people: Collin McKelvey and Ryan Wallace are our favourites.