One year from today I was visiting a friend in Venice, LA and checking out Printed Matter’s third installment of the LA Art Book Fair at the The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Japantown. This weekend is the fourth year! If you live in LA and love art it’s a must.
This was my second time in LA and I’m definitely in love. From the shops on Abbot Kinney in Venice, to the artists hanging out selling stuff, it was a fantastic weekend full of very inspiring stuff!
Anyone interested in artist-produced publications, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines should absolutely plan on visiting the fair. It’s generally held the end of Jan/beginning of Feb. The LA fair is housed in a 40,000 square feet space filled with as much art and graphic design as you can stand. If you can’t make it to the LA fair you can always hit up the NY book fair at the MOMA PS1 in the fall.
In 2013 I participated as a vendor at the first Book Fair installment in LA, so it was great seeing visiting and seeing some familiar faces. Jimmy from Jimmy the Zine, Eddie of Eddie Fake and the Gaylor Phenix series, the folks at Hammer Museum, and tons more with lots of great stuff.The best thing about these events is the concentration of art, design energy and experimentation in on place. So many things to look at and sift through. I was able to add some new books my collection including a copy of Invalid Format – a book designed by Project Projects; a journal documenting the online journal of Triple Canopy. It’s chocked full of sweet typography combinations and mix satisfying horizontal and vertical layouts.
In addition to the book fair, I think what I loved the most about my weekend, was as all the food I ate. One of the places I visited was Gjusta, a european-style bakery–deli & cafe off Sunset Avenue in Venice. Almost everything is made in-house including several varieties of smoked salmon, croissants, fresh baked bread, pies, scones the list goes on.
There’s a very smooth laid back style about the place, like the muted colors, natural wood and marble. Even the bathrooms showed attention to detail with antique, turn of the century hardware. My lox and capers came delivered on pewter plate and my chew mild latte came in hand-thrown pottery mug. I also noticed folks eating a decadent parfait served in delicate glass bowls with gold rimmed tops. All of it was beautiful and very well done. There is no seating area in the bakery, just a huge wrap-around marble slab to stand around and enjoy your food while hanging out. There’s a courtyard area in the back of the cafe for those that want to chill for a bit underneath a huge tree surrounded by plastic milk crates to sit on. It’s an awesome mixture of casual style.
If my roots weren’t planted here in DC, I’d most likely be perched somewhere in LA. Can’t wait to head back for more.