NY ART BOOK FAIR
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1. Scene out in front of P.S. 1, circa 5 p.m. 2. Anthony Bryant & Matthew Goodrich, who said the books and posters were really cool but also expensive. Still, they managed to get a lot of “free shit.”
This weekend, P.S. 1 hosted the fifth annual New York art book fair, which consisted of “over 200 international presses, booksellers, antiquarian publishers, artists and publishers from twenty countries, offering the best in contemporary art book publishing.” The fair began on Thursday evening with a preview, and is open today through five o’clock, so we decided to check it out yesterday evening, and man, was it CROWDED. The scene outside of the museum in the amphitheater out front was of people relaxing, and we stopped to talk to some of the attendees before going inside. Let me tell you this: artfags are infinitely more stylish than litfags.
1. Max Eisenberg, aka DJ Dog Dick, Jonas Asher, & Zeljko McMullen. Mr. Dog Dick will be DJing at P.S.1 Sunday afternoon. 2. Alice, a fashion designer, Azul, an actress, & Valeria, who works in advertising. Alice & Azul are from Argentina and Valeria is from Uruguay.
Once inside, we were overwhelmed again, this time by the massive selection of everything that was going on. P.S. 1, if you’ve never been there, is kind of a confusing place, with its three floors and multiple stairwells. I texted my artist roommate for suggestions and he gave us a couple ideas of booths to check out, so began a sort of arty scavenger hunt. Before heading upstairs, we wandered around the first floor, which featured independent/alternative presses and therefore more inexpensive wares.
1. Chris Billias, who is a poet who began writing with conviction again about five years ago. Since then, he has written about 300 poems. 2. The Guerrilla Girls booth. 3. David Rogers-Berry, of the band O’Death. He was disappointed that so few people were actually buying things.
1. The crowd in front of P.S.1 from the second floor, circa 6 p.m. 2. Sam Gould of Red 76, standing in front of his confusing t-shirts. Apparently, the words on the t-shirts were North American political slogans which were translated on the internet into Spanish, and therefore got mangled. This project shows a “solidarity in miscommunication.”
The second floor had the bigger guns, and you could buy things like salt and pepper shakers labeled “Heroin” and “Cocaine” for a measly $125. Or, if living is more your kind of thing, then you could buy coffee mugs that said Fuck Death, for the more reasonable (although still far too expensive for people who live off a salary of breadcrumbs and sawdust) price of $15.
1. Susan Sontag sighting #1, along with some pretty awesome patches. Feel free to buy these for me and then mail them to the EL office, as I don’t have $12 to spend on patches, no matter how awesome they are. 2. Susan Sontag #2. AIDS!!!!! METAPHORS!!!!!!!!
The third floor had a room dedicated solely to artist zines, which uncoincidentally smelled like hippies — and I don’t mean that it smelled like patchouli. By then the heat and confusion of the museum was getting to us, and it was almost closing time — we’re still trying to figure out what new or useful things we gleaned about art.
1. Conrad Bakker, who works with a lot of wood, and came to the bookfair with this “cite-specific project.” In his Book-of-the-Month, subscribers receive a surprise “book,”hand-painted and carved, each month. 2. Colin Turner, the Associate Publisher of Last Gasp Books, which publishes such favorites as Banksy, Coop, Mark Ryden. Colin showed us a couple of his favorites (Hi-Fructose and Onikage: The Art of Toshio Saeki) I found Saeki’s art to be particularly intriguing, as he depicts his personal psychological fears, in hopes that others share theirs as well.
–Julia Jackson is working on her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College, and is a regular contributor for Electric Dish.