Creative: San Francisco Art Book Fair

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This makes three. San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York. Art book fairs I’ve attended. If you haven’t been you should go. Although I’m not entirely a fan of the format, just based on being overwhelmed, these shows are well worth a look. If you are a book lover be forewarned. It’s deadly. Within five minutes of entering you will be contemplating jacking some lesser attendee so you can pilfer their cash and buy more things. Don’t feel bad, we all do it. Why go?

1. Incredible range of books.
2. Zines
3. Prices from $5 to $4000.
4. Creative publishers.
5. Exclusive items.
6. Young, talented crowd.
7. Reason to wear you mesh outfit.
8. Chance to make fun of fellow book geeks.

What you realize at an art book fair, as opposed to a more traditional book fair, is that the power is with the artist. There were major publishers at this event, with some legendary books from legendary artists, but frankly they felt somewhat out of place. The art book fair is about equality. You can be a lone operator in your garage, producing one book per year and you are still on equal ground.

Comments 9

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  1. Dan,

    Books, books, books. The blog has been hot and heavy into cerebral territory here for awhile.
    I find myself jonesing for, you guessed it; a good old fashioned gear review!
    You’ve been holding out on us. We all know it; you’ve had new gear and we need your authoritative voice to come forward and speak to it…in that reluctant, back handed compliment sort of way you save for your “this is not really a gear review” gear review.
    And c’mon however great the traffic is here on the blog, it can always get better. We both know there is only one, best way to do that.
    Let’s do this! 😉

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      Ha. Well, here is the reality. Most of my gear is the same age as me. 48. The only new gear I have is an XT2. I’m not sure what I could possibly say that the geeks haven’t already gone over in painful detail. I will just say this. The camera works. It’s small, quiet, fairly durable and doesn’t seem to have any fatal flaws. Having said that this will never be a film camera, and I know a lot of people grab these hoping it will be something it isn’t. But for the money you can’t beat it. The other thing I will say is that I’m so turned off by the volume of gear talk, not just in photography, that the idea of doing something to add to the noise is beyond me. When I think about bikes, and flyfishing, hiking, camping, etc. Heck, even the gear related volume about my Tacoma is overwhelming. The XT2 isn’t something I ever think about which means it’s doing its job.

  2. I just posted about it too 🙂
    To me this was my second year attending. Last year I fall in love with it, this year was the confirmation that the love is real, LOL.
    So many creative people, so many publishers, as you said from established ones to people that has a copy machine in their garage, so much stuff to see … And most importantly, you come out of it wanting to create s#!t … and with less money in your pocket, LOL. This year I got a limited edition (1000 copies) from Nobuyoshi Araki, which I love; and one from Deanna Templeton, funny thing she walked in with Ed while I was looking at her book, so I had to buy it and get it signed.

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      Man, Araki is a machine. I was looking at some limited things as well. Long Beach Zine Fair….August 6th.


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