I leave for the 10th Annual New York Art Book Fair at MoMA-PS1 tomorrow morning early. I think I've only missed two of them, one during the summer that I moved to Arizona. It has changed and grown much larger (30,000 attendees last year) since the years it was at the old Dia Foundation space in Chelsea.
My old friend and book fair partner of past years, Clif Meador, and I have decided for the second year to not have a table. The table price doubled last year to $1400, and unless one has several new books selling for under $50, sales will be minimal and extremely hard to cover that cost. Even without a table I still go to the event for many reasons. It is a very exciting place to see new work, especially from European and Asian (specifically Japanese) publishers. Virtually every important indie photobook publisher is there. And there is lots of other, non-photo artists' book work on display. Throughout the three and a half days, there are many publishing events and book signings. This year, two that I am looking forward to are Mike Mandel's new compilation of his groundbreaking 1970s work, plus a much-anticipated new bookwork by Christian Patterson.
Last year I was also fortunate to be the subject of a critical panel on my work at the concurrent Artists' Book Conference that Tony White coördinates. This year there are a number of interesting panels, including one by Johanna Drucker and Brad Freeman marking the 20th anniversary of the publishing of A Century of Artists' Books. There are also many tangential book events around town. On Wednesday night at the Columbia University Rare Book Library there is a celebration of Steve Clay's 30th year of Granary Books. Friday night there is a party and talks at the Center for Book Arts honoring the 40th year since their founding by Richard Minsky.
Clif and I are also on a mission. We are scouting for new publishers to be included in a large book art show that will open in the Fall of 2016 at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, conceived and coördinated by Mary Anne Redding, the Art Gallery Director there. And I will be bringing some new work along, especially Celsius 233, which I might be able to sell to some collectors who attend the book fair.
And of course it is also a chance to visit with my musician son Martin and his talented girlfriend Bri, who live in Brooklyn. It is so much fun to see and visit with all of the other wonderful friends that either come to the NYBF or live in the New York City area. I am forever grateful that Karen and I are also perennially and generously hosted by our dear friend Champe Smith who has an amazing apartment in Penn South in Chelsea. So it is always a trip that I look forward to eagerly. Sadly, because of the amount of Fall travel this year, Karen is coming with me this year. The book fair ends Sunday evening and I will be heading home to Tucson on Monday afternoon.