It’s hard to believe that a city as flooded with distractions as LA can pay attention to anything for three days straight, but regardless, the Los Angeles Art Book Fair managed to stay packed and bustling for the whole weekend.It’s a beautiful season for art-lovers and gallery-goers in Los Angeles, the culmination of which might be the Los Angeles Art Book Fair. The Fair was an enormous book showcase occupying the Geffen Contemporary at the MOCA in downtown, right next to Little Tokyo. At LAABF, ‘book’ meant about a dozen different things: art perdiocals, handmade zines, signed antique pieces, art catalogs. The event opened its doors to basically everyone and anyone who did art and happened to showcase it on paper.
The Los Angeles Art Book Fair Believes in Art for, and by, All
After the paid preview night on Thursday, February 11, the Los Angeles Art Book Fair was free to the public for the rest of its residency. The sheer democracy of the event was chaotic, beautiful to see, and palpable in its festivity. I loved that the books on display proved as diverse as attendees. Established contemporary artists shared hallspace with DIY zinesters; you could buy signed Warhol photobooks from a dealer in one stall, nab a 3D printed pipe from the installation next door, and pick up handmade children’s clothing from the colorful booth at the end of the aisle. It was mad, confusing, and thoroughly engrossing.
Outside the Los Angeles Art Book Fair, a fleet of food trucks kept attendees hydrated and gorged on fare ranging from vegan tacos to street dogs to craft coffee. The small outdoors stage hosted DJs and bands throughout the day, culminating in a performance from none other than Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. Ms. Gordon had her own incendiary piece on display at the Fair.
This was the fourth year running strong for the Los Angeles Art Book Fair. The event comes courtesy of Printed Matter Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to being the most well-stocked, egalitarian dispenser of art books around. Though they’re based in the Chelsea Arts District in New York, I appreciate them making the cross-country trip, and can’t wait to return next year.