My favorite parts of the L.A. Art Book Fair! (in no particular order)
1) THE THING! Reminiscent of Visionaire, the visionary press that challenges our definitions of “art” and “book” by creating regular 3-dimensional art projects for readers, The Thing is an equally undefinable object-based publication produced quarterly by visual artists Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan, each conceived of by a different contributor (L.A.-based graphic designer, Brian Roettinger, for example).
2) The Ice Plant. This small L.A. Publishing house publishes the eccentric, eclectic, creative, and memorable. Their unique and lovely sensibility infuses every project. From Bad Luck, Hot Rocks: Conscience Letters and Photographs from the Petrified Forest (letters sent to The Petrified Forest National Park which protects one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the world, by folks who stole rocks then later returned them out of guilt) and their exquisite five-year diaries, to (their now out of print) Retrieved (portraits of the surviving 9/11 search dogs) to co-founder, Mike Slack’s haunting Polaroids in OK OK OK, among others.
3) Dogtown Dogs Food Truck. We didn’t have any hot dogs but, damn, the tater tots were good.
4) People Watching. From the girls dressed in their Hello Kitty-inspired attire in honor of “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” the exhibit now at the Japanese American National Museum, just next to the art fair at the Geffen, and local artists in their obvious element; to east side hipsters and west side art/book collectors, the parade of people was a celebration of L.A.’s creative spirit and diversity.
5) The Zines! The passion of zine authors for their projects is, arguably, unsurpassed. Some were still breathless from the final pen strokes and stapling, and subject matters, in some cases, bordered on fetish and obsession.
6) RedFoxPress. All the way from Ireland, these folks seemed to be there to share their art rather than sell their merchandise. Letterpress. Artists’ books. Handprinted editions. Limited edition prints. Frottages. Their table was an explosion of color, collaboration, and creativity.