The first annual “LA Art Book Fair” presented by Printed Matter

February 6, 2013


When Printed Matter organized the first NY Art Book Fair in 2006, their aim was to bring together the worlds most respected art publishers and booksellers under the same roof. In fact, last years NYABF was presented by 283 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-six countries.

Over the years, the fair became the perfect place where attendees could browse through a selection of zines, monographs and art catalogs—and at the same show, meet the people behind them. Independent booksellers also found the gathering as a good way to reach an audience much larger than the ones within their local communities.

Last week, Printed Matter made it out west for their first annual LA Art Book Fair. Much like their New York event, the fair was free to the public and brought in an audience made up of artists, designers and book-seekers throughout the halls of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Some of my favorite installations included Larry Clark’s pop-up, hosted by the folks at BOO-HOORAY,  the Zine Masters of the Universe show featuring work by Mark Gonzales, Ari Marcopoulos, Ray Pettibon, and Dash Snow, and The Thing Quarterly’s booth, where people were finally able to see those brown mystery boxes in person.


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The LAABF showed me that there is still a healthy subculture for printed publications, even with the growing popularity of the digital format. Yes, the fair was there to celebrate print, but more specifically, as described by the NY Times’ Holland Cotter, “This fair is primarily devoted to books as art, rather than to books about art”. I had a great time at the LAABF, but I must admit, it was a bit overwhelming. There were so many things I wanted to take home. As long as I’m living in Southern California, I’ll definitely make my yearly trip out for the show.

And lastly, Printed Matter, like many of our friends back east, was hit pretty bad by Hurricane Sandy. To help their cause and keep this book fair free, limited prints by David Benjamin Sherry, Andrew Kuo and Wes Lang are available for purchase. Go support if you can.


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The Thing Quarterly!

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Bad Day Magazine having a good day.

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Above, the Larry Clark Pop-up. Below, shots from the Zine Masters of the Universe show featuring work by Mark Gonzales, Ari Marcopoulos, Ray Pettibon, and Dash Snow.

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Above, the Werkplaats Typografie room. Below, Family Books.

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Bam and Lannie profile.



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A day with Gary Benzel. @huganyc #igloostore

January 16, 2013

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A few shots from my Instagram feed on a quick visit to the Gary Benzel residence. One of my favorite people. Be sure to check out for your favorite design goods.

Studio visit with type G. Solana Beach, California

January 16, 2013

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In 2004, Mike Nelson began typeG studio to help brands find a deeper connection between themselves and their audience. Along with Art Director Mark Cruz and Timothy Ryan, a Telly winning Producer/Director, typeG  provides a variety of creative services which include branding, design and interactive and video initiatives. As a three-man agency, their small scale allows them to spend less time analyzing and more time for creating great work. And their small size doesn’t mean that they aren’t able to take on big clients. Over the last few years, the studio has earned work for accounts including Quicksilver, Sklz Training Products and Pacsun. It’s an efficient bunch and they get things done.

Located in open, airy studio space in Solana Beach, their office gives off a coastal bungalow vibe—making those Monday deadlines just a little more welcoming. In between their extensive design library, the mini Polaroid museum and a lunchroom that comes with a beach, I’m not too sure if there many studios out their can seem more pleasant. In a few weeks, typeG will be launching their new site which will include a space for a their current projects and an updated archive of their past work. Be sure to bookmark it.

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Above, Mike Nelson and his Volvo 164 piece by Neil Blender. And below, Mike hitting a handrail (BS Noslide?) in an old Venture Trucks ad.

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Right behind Tim is an old billboard from Lou’s Records (I was here!). It was on its way to be trashed until Mike was able to save it. Smart move. Such a relic for the San Diego music scene. I can only imagine some of the handbills that have been pinned and stapled on this thing that I would’ve liked to keep. If walls could talk.

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Above, the 4th Beastie Boy in vinyl. #moneymark

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East of PDX. Government Cove, Oregon and somewhere near St Cloud, Washington

December 14, 2012

Neil DaCosta wielding some super expensive camera gear. Thanks for showing us this spot, bud. Below, Alexander Barrett destroying the face of this huge rock.

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. Portland OR

December 14, 2012

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co may just be my favorite shop in Portland. I really don’t think that there was a single item in that shop that I didn’t want to take home. So, if anyone want’s to send me an early Christmas gift, that IBM Clock would look perfect right above my desk. :D

The Portland Bazaar at Sandbox Studios

December 14, 2012

The Portland Bazaar is one of the premiere platforms for Portland’s creative community. Under one roof, the city’s finest handmade goods and their makers gather together for a perfectly timed retail event just in time for the holidays. These makers of the bazaar consist of, but are not limited to leatherworkers, butchers and carpenters making a variety of things you can wear, eat and even sit on.

Much like the set up at Union Pine’s Give Good Gift, the organizers of the show did a great job creating a community vibe within the space and had no problem filling the entire warehouse with attendees. At times, the show seemed to reach capacity, and my advice to the organizers is that they may need to find added space to compensate for its growing popularity. But this is a good problem. From an attendee standpoint, the curated roster of vendors seemed to help promote rather than compete with each other. Every vendor seemed to compliment the next.

Campfire Cologne. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. It’s fun stuff—and I like fun stuff. Greg Hennes, has successfully carved out a space in the firewood cologne market that no one can ever touch. It’s like the iPhone of incense and it’s got a rad advertising campaign. Use with caution, because fire can be dangerous. Respect the Beard.

The amazing Aaron Draplin. I wonder if he still thinks America is fucked.

Give Good Gift. A Holiday Pop-up at Union Pine. Portland, OR

December 14, 2012

After the success of their first holiday fair last year, the folks at Union Pine held there second installment of Give Good Gift. Backed by some of Portland’s finest brands, shops and artisans, Union Pine provided a warm, intimate atmosphere that felt more like a friends’ brunch gathering than a shopping event—and that’s a good thing when it can easily feel a bit too clustered during Portland’s holiday craft-fair weekend. Between local leatherworkers, book dealers and entrepreneurs, Give Good Gift allowed you to really get to know the vendor-stories and the people behind them.

Some of the notable vendors included, Carbon Audio—a local audio company and creator of the Zooka wireless speaker, Trust Co—the only company that I know of that that refurbishes vintage Axes, and lastly, The Good Flock—the green-minded accessories company best known for their Pendleton-wrapped “iWooly” collection.

Above, Byron (WK12) showing everyone how to use the Zooka and below, the guys from Trust Co (Hi Gene!) posted for a few photos in front of their refinished axes.

“Coming Home From Gwar” by Paul Wig

December 13, 2012

On the left is artist, writer, comedian and former WK12er, Paul Wig. Since leaving Portland over a year ago, he now spends his time in New York as a writer for MTV. Coincidentally, Paul was in town during my Portland visit for the opening of his latest show, Coming Home From Gwar. Spanning across a variety of mediums, his work carries the kind of witty cynicism that makes you smile inside. Ultimately, CHFG is the type of show that enhances your love for pizza and extraterrestrial life. Thank you, Paul.

“Brain/Cloud (with Seascape and Palm Tree)” by John Baldessari

October 30, 2012

As part of the Murals of La Jolla project, John Baldessari juxtaposes a brain-like cloud hovering over a coastal palm tree on the largest wall facing La Jolla Cove. After grabbing lunch just up the street, I took these two photos of the mural after remembering a friend’s recommendation to check it out if I was in the area.

When asked about mural, Baldessari reveals, “A brain can look like a cloud if you manipulate it in the right way. We see things in clouds. It looks like it’s hovering almost from outer space. I like banal images and I can’t think of anything more banal than a palm tree and an ocean.” Personally, I think he’s just having a little fun with the folks eating at George’s at the Cove.

John Baldessari grew up just 20 minutes south of La Jolla and spent a great amount of time as a young artist in the 1960s exhibiting with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which at the time, was known as The Art Center in La Jolla. His ties to the small coastal town also extend just 2 miles north at UCSD—where he spent time as an instructor before moving to Santa Monica in 1970.

Since then, Baldessari has found a way to permeate some of the world’s most renown collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Broad Collection, the Guggenheim Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. With over 200 solo and 1000 group exhibitions under his belt, John Baldessari was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Not too bad, right?

For more info, visit the Murals of La Jolla website. Thanks for the heads up, Esoteric Survey.

Studio visit: Edison Mfg Company

October 25, 2012

Having worked within the footwear and apparel industry for over 10 years, San Diego’s Dave Mckinney decided to launch Edison Mfg Company—a leather accessories label that not only focuses on making their goods domestically, but locally as well. How local? Well, about 30 steps away and around the corner from Mckinney’s front door lies Edison’s machine shop. Nestled within a converted bungalow in San Diego’s hip, North Park district, the workshop is fully stocked. Among a few stray completes from Mckinney’s extensive skateboard collection is a fleet of industrial sewing machines and everything else you would need to cut, sew, rivet and tan those Edison iPhone wallets that you’ve been meaning to pick-up.

Above and below are a few photos that I snapped on a quick visit to their studio. For those in San Diego, wanting to see their goods in person, come by the Edison Pop-up Shop at Pigment space. It’ll be up for a another couple of weeks. Go on and check em out.

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