Los Angeles Art Book Fair Wows Again!
Written & Photographed
By Patrick Quinn
Last weekend saw the return of one of our city’s most exciting annual events, the Los Angeles Art Book Fair. Presented by Printed Matter, this was the fifth time that the 4 day event has made its home at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Each year, LAABF involves vendors and artists from across the country and around the world. The public was invited to browse and shop for art books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by over 300 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers. The first fair in 2013 expected to draw a total 5,000 visitors and got that on its opening night.
This year, the total attendance was close to 40,000.
LAABF is a spin-off of the New York Art Book Fair which debuted in 2012. Both are presented by Printed Matter, an independent grant-supported bookstore and artist organization located in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
The event is divided into different sections. There are areas devoted to independent publishers, antiquarian book dealers, art galleries, photography, magazines, and a massive space devoted to zines. There are also special art installations and displays. Throughout the weekend, there are related talks, presentations, and live performances. And of course, it wouldn’t be an L.A. occasion without the ever-present row of food trucks.
Slow Culture & Deadbeat Club joined forces to present THE FOTOMAT, a pop-up installation that paid homage to vintage drive-thru photo kiosks. Photographer friends worked the window selling exclusive prints. Also available was film & photography accessories, zines, photo books and other photo related ephemera. A series of limited-edition artworks were created specifically for the fair as fundraisers for Printed Matter.
The Gagosian Gallery teamed up with the Shamrock Social Club to create a pop-up tattoo parlor. The gallery commissioned Kenneth Anger, The Haas Brothers, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Analia Saban to create limited edition tattoos. Each design was only used six times before being retired, a true example of a limited edition. These unusual works of art cost patrons $250. Some would say a bargain for work by a famous artist.
One of the highlights of the fair was the Teen Angel exhibit curated by David De Baca. Teen Angel was a zine launched by David Holland who was a writer and illustrator for Lowrider magazine. The exhibit offers numerous examples of his work along with a re-creation of his studio.
The Los Angeles Art Book Fair presented by Printed Matter from February 24 to February 26 with an opening night preview on February 23rd.
The event was curated by Shannon Michael Cane and coordinated by Jordan Nassar.
The Fair was held as it has for the past five years at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
For more information, please visit- http://laartbookfair.net/