Monster Children rolled through the LA Art Book Fair with some recommendations in mind and our eyes greedy for pages and projects yet to be discovered. With enamel pins created by artist Sigrid Calon, DJ’s onstage and cold beer flowing, it’s a good first impression. Inside, an artbook utopia awaits.
You can cruise in solo (highly recommended), but there’s bound to be someone you already know or recognize inside. On preview night, Photographer Brad Elterman whisked half of the press away to his book signing, introducing us all with flattering but totally fabricated titles. For the rest of the night, I’m with both Monster Children and the New York Times, and it’s hardly up to me. Elterman recently photographed LA local’s The Buttertones, who were spotted cruising around the fair with a happy entourage.
Upon wandering into the void of colors and tables to your right, it was impossible to miss the FER YOUz exhibit. Artist Brian Tucker’s old drafting table was set up in the corner, with an incredibly personal and striking display of posters, jackets, and flags lining one wall and framed groupings of photographs all down the other side of the hall. This duo clearly had an insane time in 80’s Los Angeles and one can only imagine how many people they befriended and photographed.
Thirsty for visual history, we sought out exhibits like the Ampersand Gallery booth, featuring stacks of hundreds of original mugshots, mostly from LA county. These events are a good place to ask a lot of questions, because the curators and galleries all have cool shit to say. These mugshots resulted in a lengthy group discussion about how all of our digital mugshots have such a different future. Not everyone gets printed on a teeshirt like Lindsay Lohan, you know.
The fair had notably large prints this year, consistent throughout the whole show. This rules, for the simple fact that big prints are fun to look at but also because you can appreciate a wall without fighting through the crew standing between you and a table. Hamburger Eyes released a 100 edition poster by photographer Alex Martinez, to celebrate their anniversary, with yet another party on Sunday at Slow Culture gallery.
(XE)ROX & PAPER + SCISSORS was also home to our friends at The Deadbeat Club, conveniently located where we found them last year. Notable mentions here include Clint Woodside’s first book, Undercover Cars, and a new zine from photographer Grant Hatfield. Ed Templeton sold out of Disneyland by 1 pm on Friday, so there is some obvious merit in showing up early if you’re trying to score a limited edition. Rumor has it that Ed walked over to Arcana and Family books to drop off the last exclusives. Its utterly overwhelming to try to keep up with any one zine, table or person during the event, but that’s what fairs are for. You find what you can find and the rest is eye-candy.
That’s a wrap for 2016! Check out our 2016 LA Art Book Fair image gallery below. You can catch Printed Matter in New York year-round. Meanwhile, the LA Zine Fest starts March 6, followed by the Long Beach Zine Fest in April.
Print is dead. Long live print.