This past weekend The NY Art Book Fair was held at the MoMa PS1 in Long Island City. It was presented by the non-profit Printed Mattter, which is the raddest book store in NYC, filled with all sorts of art books and self published awesomeness. The event was free, art filled, jam-packed, two tents, 3 floors, and a dome full of rare art publications- both new and old. From 3-6 dollar Xerox (one of a kind) self published work to $500 screen print treasures. 350 book sellers, antiquarians, artist institutions, and independent publishers from 28 countries (including South Korea, Australia and Germany), first time exclusive and lesser known vendors all came to celebrate the pure simple FUN that is the art book.
Unfortunately, I was busy with family stuff (those pesky kids!) but luckily for us, Raquel Cayre hit it up and shot it for us to enjoy here at Sketch. She and I have been art hoarding books lately with abandon (check out her apartment, it’s bursting with art!) and calling it “research” so I gave her the challenge of a $200 budget to buy us both as many of the coolest books as she could. Raquel loved the challenge- She felt it helped her really sort through the abundance of stuff, connect and talk to the artists and publishers, learn about their work and how they got started- and really got to appreciate each and every book. Although, the first book she picked up was a $30K Christopher Wool limited edition book. Ha, isnt that always the way? In a see of $2 art books, the first one you see cost thousands? “At first, I was so overwhelmed by all the material,” she said, “I was very close to walking out with nothing. However- I went back to a lot stands at the very end- the ones that I had a personal experience with.” There was also a Gang Gang Dance reunion performance– people were jamming out, like Coachella filled with art kids. (LOL.)
Here is her photo tour:
And here is what she bought, in her own words:
-I met a street photographer/ publisher, Ricardo Lozano based out of Brooklyn (where I grew up). Peep his work HERE.
-I bought two books (Grace Happens and Petty Thieves Five) from independent publishers based out of Minnesota and Philly- whose dream is to get to LA and NY- really happy I supported them.
-I purchased cut outs and paper books for $3-$12 dollars from a really awesome publisher/ illustrator/artist, Thomas Colligan from Geneva, Switzerland , who now lives in NY. He even gave me a free book because he saw how fascinated I was with with his work. It’s the small moments that count. He packaged his work in a hand illustrated manila envelope. http://txtbooks.us/ and www.thomascolligan.com
-I stumbled upon this pop up cart right outside the school- the owner was from Germany- his whole shop was for sale- (no lies) he bought all the wood and materials in NY. He had to give it away because he couldn’t bring it back home. I wanted it so badly- and made plans to come back the next day to pick it up. He was open to a trade or a reasonable offer. But he messaged me later on that a teacher wanted to donate it to a University. I let her have it because she’ll be doing something better with it.
-A poster that says “Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner” from @Mattee_Guakci on Instagram. Jay Z is very important.
-I went a little out of my comfort zone at the fair and bought some small contemporary photography books from a vendor based out of Switzerland.
-I picked up a pop culture paper fortune teller and a Freda Khalo illustrated sticker from a small stand in the tent.
-I ended off with a signed Cory Arcangel book from his latest exhibit “All the Small Things’ (featured at Team Gal until October 26th- highly recommend) and a Christopher Niemen lego book (a playful homage to NYC) to feel like my self again.
-Proud to say I stayed way under $200 dollars, had an amazing experience and I have a small story for each purchase. I really feel connected to all the work.