This weekend, Blonde Art Books, the Brooklyn-based proponent of self-publishing communities and local arts initiatives, is holding their third installment of Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair (BABZ) at SIGNAL gallery (260 Johnson Avenue). Bushwick’s own free art book fair returns this year with twice as many participants and even more diverse programming.
Founded in 2012 by Sonel Breslav, Blonde Art Books has continued to explore and expose art books through a variety of forms. By curating book-centric exhibitions, partaking in small pop-up shops throughout the country focused on independent art publications, and organizing events like BABZ Fair, Blonde Art Books actively brings together local artist and writing communities and creates an accessible platform to continue conversations that surround both independent publishing and individual art-making.
This year, Blonde Art Books has thoughtfully curated a varied lineup of participants featuring new publications and limited editions from over 30 independent publishers and individual artists and writers.
There will also be a series of readings and an accompanying program that will run throughout the weekend including: a bookbinding workshop presented by Brooklyn’s Small Editions, poetry and music performances by poetry press Birds LLC, stand-up comedy routines by NYC-based artists/comedians Heather Guertin and Sean J Patrick Carney, artist Augustus Thompson laying out some sonic sets, and more!
The fair will kick-off with Queens-based artist Eartheater. As a nice bonus, BABZ Fair will also exhibit independent publications by Detroit-based artists and writers, with the selection curated by Maia Asshaq of Detroit’s DittoDitto.
Some Indie Publishers On Our Radar
Birds LLC — The thing I love the most about this small press is that they are the only one that offer PDF downloads of their books. As someone who uses a Kindle, I really really appreciate this. (Sorry, but I really like digital versions over hardcopies.) I also like their quirky book trailers, like this one for Nina Pollari’s Dead Horse.
Mixed Media Recordings — Mixed Media commissions artists to produce limited edition sound recordings for vinyl and that includes a “Mundane Afrofuturist sound work” by Martine Syms and Paul Cowan, which “considers what an average day looks like for a young black woman in 2050 Los Angeles.” Love this.
Mossless Magazine — A contemporary photography magazine that started as a blog, Mossless is well-curated and smart, even if not always “experimental,” which is a term they use to describe themselves. Regardless, you should see why Time Magazine named their The United States: 2003–2013 issue one of the best photobooks of 2014.
NURTUREart — A Bushwick arts nonprofit, their latest book, Golden Age: Perspectives on Abstract Painting Today, is collection of mostly Brooklyn-based artists and writers, who reflect on the state of painting in this supposed golden age. Included is an collections an essay by Greg Scholette that looks at the topic through the lens of Occupy and its possible implications for abstraction and social practice.
Ugly Duckling Presse — One of the best indie poetry and fiction publishers in the country, this press creates attractive volumes from skilled wordsmiths that are sure to tickle your fancy. Lewis Warsh’s Alien Abduction came out this year and has this great line (among others): “Darkness commensurate with discomfort — this style of writing.” Poetry lovers are sure to find something to love and read (and reread).
Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair
July 10–12, 2015
Preview and Reception: Friday 7–10pm with Eartheater at 9pm
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1–7pm
FREE & open to the public
Beer provided by Brooklyn Brewery and BBQ by Miles Around.
We can’t wait.