For the first time ever, the exceedingly fantastic LA Art Book Fair, touched down not too far from Nasty Gal HQ last weekend. Imagine a gigantic gallery convention where 220 international publishers—all the people who not only have access to beautiful conceptual takes on life but are the ones making it—are intimately sharing what they know. And it was especially a big deal because it usually only happens once a year in New York City, and we too got to enjoy all the zines, books, catalogs and rare weird stuff that inspired the artists that inspire us.
Small presses and zines harken back to the times when really specific information about strange self-invented worlds and perspectives came handmade and delivered in a mailbox. Popular belief says all that’s gone by the wayside thanks to the internet, but the Arts Book Fair shows otherwise.
It’s not exactly a library, but there is a free education involved, if you can focus long enough in one place. All the information, visual and written, is incredibly over stimulating, sparking off a zillion ideas all at once. And the event builds and supports community—soooo many of us from the Nasty Gal team bumped into one another there, not to mention thousands of other people pouring in and out and meandering around in clusters like curious molecules. Here’s some of the stuff we found…
“Babe Rainbow, next to Brian Eno, with a little Warhol in the background. Yep, that about covers it!”
“The now ultra coveted and revered WET magazine ran from 1976-1981 in Los Angeles. On the surface it claimed to be about the “gourmet bathing” but in reality was about dipping into art and music that we love now but was waaaay ahead of its time.”
“It’s totally OK to be on the fence!”
“One artist made giant glitter paintings and an intensely large book with pages made entirely of different prismatic combinations of sparkle. This made us so surprisingly happy to the point of actual giddiness.”
“This was definitely the most fun installation we found. They let everyone go crazy on the gallery wall with electric-hued electrical tape.”