Monday, November 13, 2017

Estrella Vega, The Paleozoic: a series about life before the dinosaurs, (5 volumes) Vega Star Press, 2016


This wonderful 5 volume project by artist/designer Estrella Vega, came about through "...the realization that most people don't know what preceded the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs, because they were huge and fearsome looking animals, dominate our idea of prehistoric life. Though the Paleozoic doesn't boast huge animals (with few exceptions), it nonetheless laid the foundation of our modern world: from establishing the basic body plans of all existing life forms, to creating the coal deposits that fueled our industrial revolution. Through this series, I hope to demystify the events and life forms of that era to the lay person." The Paleozoic: a series about life before the dinosaurs by Estrella Vega — Kickstarter

Vega does a fantastic job of realizing her original idea with each of these 9ft long accordions comprised on one side of her beautifully printed color illustrations of the animals and landscapes from each time period and the reverse side has text and illustrations explaining the history and development of the animals and lifeforms forms illustrated overleaf. The five time periods covered are: 1: The Cambrian, 2: The Ordovician and the Silurian, 3: The Devonian, 4: The Carboniferous and 5: The Permian.

A smart presentation completes the package with one end of each accordion slipped into a sleeve in the hardcover jacket which allows it to be taken out and the whole accordion can be displayed free from the cover. 

In summary, this is a really great educational project that takes full advantage of the features of the accordion format to realize the artists' original intentions, but what really holds it all together are Vega's beautiful illustrations and the vivid dioramas she creates for her histories of these fantastic creatures. 

Each page of the accordion is 6" (h) x 4.5" (w), 24 pages, double-sided, fully extended at 9 feet and the whole set is available at the very reasonable price of $80 from her website at: Estrella Vega

The Paleozoic: The Cambrian (543-480 million years ago/mya)




The back of the accordion with texts and illustrations explaining the animals and history of the time period.

The Paleozoic: The Ordovician & The Silurian (480-444 mya)






The Paleozoic: The Devonian (420-359 mya)




Back of book
The Paleozoic: The Carboniferous (358-298 mya)








The Paleozoic: The Permian (298-252 million years ago/mya)









Friday, October 27, 2017

Gary Panter, Dirty Drawings, CBO Editions, late 1980s, [ed. 120]


I was really excited to receive this totally cool screenprinted accordion by bad-boy Gary Panter, and it does not disappoint! Amidst the turgid sexual scenarios splayed out across these pages Panter inserts a sea of turds that are just popping out of all the actors' assholes (well, bar one!)...it was interesting for me to observe that the potentially erotic charge of this accordion was totally negated by the turds - unless, i suppose you are into scatophilia. Either way, this book is a winning combination of unforgettable subject matter done in a scratchy low-tech sort of style that entirely fits the contents. For more about this important artist: Gary Panter.

Update to the above: I recently received a letter from Panter in answer to my question as to the date of the book, here is his answer: "I don't really know the answer to your question. The drawings were done over a few years time in the 80s. I don't do a lot of dirty drawings. My friend Bruno Richard always asked me for dirty drawings so sometimes when I was working I would do these stupid drawings & thrown then under the table. After a few years in the late 80s I sent them to Bruno & a year or so later the book arrived in the mail." [ed note: Bruno Richard is a french artist based in Paris whose powerful drawings skirt the borders of good taste, bad taste and everything inbetween]

One-sided, 9 pages, individual pages 8" (h) x 5" (w), when open 45" (3ft 9").







Dogan Surek, Poems 526/527, DS-Documents, Germany, 2017 [ed. 50]


I've always had a soft spot for Dogan Surek's accordion works and this one does not disappoint. As the title suggests the publication is made up of 2 poems, and these are visual poems accompanied with very short texts inserted into each work, such as "real fake," "darkness," "reality check" "null and void." The clue to the thrust of the book can be found stamped on the back of the publication in the traditional place for these details and it reads "Trump Press Made in Anger." With this pointer as our guide it becomes clear that book is a response to the madman who is president of the united states at the moment. It's an oblique response with earth-like orbs moving within a dark outer space landscape coupled with assorted visual elements that contribute to creating an unsettled feeling to the landscape. The coup d'etat is provided by a series of punched holes that create letters across each page of the book that spell out "loveless." As someone who lives in the united states and voted in the last election and now has to face this monster for the next 3 years I would have to say that this singular word speaks volumes regarding the thrust of the policies and politics being generated in this desperate time in the USA.

8 pages, 5.5" (h) x 4" (w), when opened 32" (2ft 8"). Note: Dogan's website describes the media involved in the printing of this book as "linoleum and woodcut" but Printed Matter (where i purchased the book) states "lithography and woodcut." 






Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kate Farley, D704, 2001, UK [ed. 20]



In this rather intriguing accordion Kate Farley has abstracted details of the landscape she observed when traveling in France along the D704 road from Frayssinet to Gourdon to create this lino-print interpretation of the landscape. This bookwork is one of a number in which Farley has been inspired to interpret a landscape into patterns/designs for the printed page, indeed she sees her "...relationship with landscape as the constant in the variety of what I do."

For further information about Farley's work see:

Lino-print, colored wash and pencil. 8 pages, single-sided, 6.7/8" (h) x 3.3/8" (w), open 2ft 3".


Back cover

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Valentin Orange, Dinard Londres, 2016, France [ed. 15]



I'm going to let Valentin Orange explain what this fascinating little leporello is all about with its title referencing these two European cities. This statement is from October, 2017.

"About the book: What is printed on it are photos. You maybe can't really guess at first glance what is on the photos but that’s normal. They are taken in a plane with a GameBoy Camera, a lo-fi camera made by Nintendo for the GameBoy in 1998. It's not unusual to photograph the take-off of the plane or the clouds from the windows with a camera, but doing it with this kind of camera is really different. The result isn't descriptive, or let's say the informations are hidden behind a smog of pixels. 

This particular camera was a center of interest to me and the start of this work (did several tests with it). You can also use it with a GameBoy Printer, another accessories made by Nintendo used to print pictures (mainly the pictures you took with your GB Camera) on a cheap thermal paper. Here were my concerns: you can't preserve well this kind of print and you can't really directly use it to make a book. Moreover, the camera is limited to 40 photos that you can’t transfer onto a computer, the print is the only way to "save" them, but as i said, it's not really made to resist the passing of time. 

What i wanted to do with this book was finding a way to preserve the photos and also thinking about an easy way of viewing/reading them. I printed them with the GB Printer, scanned them, resized them a little, then looked for the right paper and laser printed it. I can't remember the name of the paper and i don't have the documentation about it with me now, i'm sorry, but i chose this one for some simple reasons: good quality, thick enough so you can be able to do a good leporello, and above all because for the texture which kind of copied the raster of the GB screen. 

I chose the Leporello format for several reasons: i find it easer to manipulate than a regular booklet format given the size of the book; you can read it frame by frame or in the whole length-wise, doing so you can see the photos in chronological order (from the take off of the plane to the landing) and compare one to another, doing so it can help to understand what this series of photos is about; the book unfold is also a continuity of the original pictures printed with the GB Printer: this printer prints on rolls of paper, the leporello format is closer to the roll than a booklet format, it's still one piece of paper; finally i did a recto/verso print because you can read it from A to Z or from Z to A, you can see the take off of the plane as a landing and vice-versa. 

Last thing: the little sheath used to hold the book closed was printed using the GB printer and some thermal paper. The drawing of the plane and the title of the book (the two cities related to the flight) were drawn with the GameBoy (the GameBoy Camera allows you to draw on your photos, photographing a bright white background allows you to draw on a "white paper"). This can get erased by time, it's not that much of a big deal, the more important to my eyes are the photos."

Book details: 13 pages double-sided, 4" (h) x 3.25" (w), when opened 3ft 6.25".

 Front

 Back