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The New York Art Book Fair 2012 At PS1

the NY Art Book Fair was held at PS1 in Queens and I was there taking photos. From Thursday until Sunday, people coursed through the museum, looking attractive and lazily hunting for books. It was a lot like a comic convention except that it was in a museum that used to be a school. The other difference was that the gay erotica didn’t have to pretend to be about superheroes. If this were the nineties I might make a joke about how the people at comic cons are unattractive but it seems like comic cons have some pretty comely attendees these days. There were a ton of fashionable hunks and babes, poor ventilation and expensive objects that no one needed to survive.

Hours after I finished writing this blog article I discovered that Terence Connor who I’d hung out with at the NY Art Book Fair was killed by a hit and run driver while on his bicycle. The time I spent with him at the book fair was my last. Rest in peace, Terence.
Some old and uncool looking people were lurking around the entrance to PS1 protesting the cafeteria in the museum serving horse meat. Recently M. Wells had taken over PS1′s restaurant and they are known for serving some occasionally non-traditional but always delicious food. I personally hate horses very much and am glad that someone is working on killing them.
Pictureplane and DJ Dog Dick performed a set of awesome noise music on Saturday. They were pretty great and did something more ambitious and pretty than I’d expected.
PictureBox had a presence at the fair and was selling a rare Hairy Who comic for a mere 750 dollars.

Heather Benjamin who just put out a book called Sad Sex was there too. Her stuff is really pretty and gross.
I met these nice girls from the Netherlands and asked them to each pick up their favorite book. They couldn’t choose and each grabbed several.
I thought this looked neat. I think this guy was making funny faces because he saw me taking photos.
And this.
One room had been converted into a series of closet sized booths in rows. Each one contained something different. This one reminded me of my bathroom.
There were snacks in the closet-booth room so that the occupants never had to leave.
Artforum had a room that just contained these books with red and black squares.
This handsome and dissatisfied man was also in the Artforum room.
One thing I may not have conveyed strongly enough was how attractive and well dressed everyone there was. You’d turn a corner and get dizzy from not knowing which impossibly beautiful and interesting person you wanted to look at.
This guy just wanted to be alone.
I finally got to meet Sandy Kim who does a lot of stuff for Vice and is a teeny little adorable lady.
I ran into Pictureplane and his friend Stephanie. I learned that Pictureplane is more into comics than I thought.
I like Pictureplane’s stuff.
 This weird Jingle Book lady wandered throughout the entire fair and would ask you to look at her jingle books. She was like a kid-eating character from a fairytale.

My friend Jerry snuck in his dog.
These girls liked Jerry’s dog. I liked the girls and the dog equally.
While exploring the zine tent I found the worst magazine.

I also bought the last copy of Hula Hoop Girls from this artist name Eunice who runs a company called Fantasy Camp.

Wowee Zonk had also come down from Canada. Ginette LaPalme was there selling cool handmade wooden jewelry and drawing zines.

I could probably do a whole zine made up only of photos I took of pretty girls talking on their phones.
I’m not sure what this shack was being used for but I doubt that whatever it’s purpose was could be as fun as a little glass shack in the middle of the PS1 courtyard.

In the basement someone had put a selection of books and shit on the ground and made a sign that said that these things were free or good for trade. It didn’t seem like whoever had done this had gotten the consent of PS1.
Check out this cool group of college kids. They were all super friendly.
My friends, the Boo Hooray Gallery, had their own huge section. They published a bunch of new books related to Crass and are having some cool shows coming up.

I don’t really get the fetishization of 90s rave fashion. I thought it was ugly when it was going on and I think it looks even more awful now. Look at that big blown up photo they made. She looks dumb and smug in her dumbess on top of looking blobby and sweaty and high. Maybe I’m turning into my parents but I think the woman in that photo looks awful and so do the people underneath her.

This design company or branding firm had hired a comic artist they found on Craigslist named Rick Ross to make a poster of undead famous artists eating the booshie art people at an opening. The guy at the table seemed kind of ashamed of it. He kept saying that it was disgusting. I told him that I draw similar stuff and that shut him up.
I thought this wall looked like candy.

While wandering around I found a book dealer who was selling very fancy old monograph books as well as original art from lurid Mexican comics by Dorrantes.

He also had all these porn novels about librarians which I found hilarious at a book fair.

This is Harper, the book dealer. He is a degraded and raped librarian.

By the end of Saturday I’d seen everything that the NY Art Book Fair had to offer me and the concrete walls that border the museum started to feel like a jail. I went to some shitty after parties and went to bed. I think the art book fair is pleasant but like most things that happen at PS1, I’m more impressed by the building itself than anything it houses. Walking through an old school house is more powerful and nostalgic than most things you could hang on a wall. I’ll see you folks at the New York Comic Con.
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32 Responses to The New York Art Book Fair 2012 At PS1

  1. Sorry kid, that sweaty Rave girl was definitely a fashion DO in the Imaginary Vice mag of the time.

    I like how you managed to find more sexy than books.

    • Nicholas Gazin says:

      Vice did exist in the 90s. She probably would have been a do but it’s hard to say since trends change.

  2. Kristine says:

    Seriously? 5 grand for librarian porn?!? I’ve seen all those (and more and better, and way way cheaper) at Quimby’s and Counter Media, so shop local, people.
    My favorite paperback at Quimby’s: parrot porn titled POLLY WANT A CRACK. Thank you, Shappy, for pointing out that gem. CM has some great alien porn, too.
    Are the tables at the Art Book Fair crazy expensive?

  3. “by the end of Saturday I’d seen everything that the NY Art Book Fair had to offer me …I think the art book fair is pleasant but like most things that happen at PS1, I’m more impressed by the building itself than anything it houses.”

    Maybe you could tell us about some of the actual content of the books you looked at there (as you had seen ‘everything’ that the fair had to offer) to justify such a blanket statement.

    • LWV says:

      I think he’s running that next week at Vice.

      • Nicholas Gazin says:

        LWV speaks the truth, my next comic column is a con haul report.

        Also, I stand by my reporting of the event. The books were not the main point of this event or the most interesting part. There were protesters and installations and music perforamnces and all of the most fashionable people crammed into one amazing setting. For my report on the NY Art Book Fair to be more about books than the Art Book Fair should have been more about books. I commented on what I observed.

  4. the auhtor has an interesting aesthetic that would have been cool as a lens to view the show from. and who doesnt like photos of cute people? but this feels like a visual grindr account

  5. jasontmiles says:

    nice costumes

  6. Graham says:

    I like Gazin’s “photorolls” like this in his column for Vice, but it feels a little out of place here.

  7. BVS says:

    do not like. this is just like the lame vice column. the comic book witch hunt was actually interesting when he’d savagely review comics and set then on fire. my hypothesis is the burning comics thing rubbed most publishers the wrong way and they dropped him from the comp lists. it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him review more than 1 or 2 new books. the whole “here’s some girls I saw, and here’s some stuff I saw on tumblr is weak. bring back Frank Santoro’s column.

    • Nicholas Gazin says:

      You know that when you criticize stuff anonymously it shows a lack of conviction?

      The column went from monthly to weekly giving me less time to read comics. I changed the name from Witch Hunt to Love In because Gabriel Fowler and other people were saying that I was writing less hatefully. I stopped burning the books because it stopped being fun.

      • BVS says:

        it’s not anonymous, my name Is Brett Von Schlosser, for the sake of convenience I often use my initials. but if you want conviction, here we go: I Brett Von Schlosser hereby state with conviction, that Nicholas Gazin’s recent online comic book criticism and commentary is lacking both the substance and wit that was once present in in his previous column: vice’s comic book witch hunt

      • Scott Grammel says:

        See, it wasn’t anonymous because he knew what the initials stood for.

      • o0o says:

        you know when you criticize people for not using their rl names online it shows you are cancer?

        but on the other hand like your columns.

        I DONT KNOW WHICH ONE TO SHOOT

  8. michael (not that one) says:

    my favorite part of nick gazin’s articles are austin english’s responses

    • Nicholas Gazin says:

      I have no clue how that man’s brain works. Our concept of the universe is very different.

  9. Nonny Mouse says:

    No no no- Gazin for Santoro is a bad trade! Nick Gazin is the last honest guy in comics-reviewing, he’s irreplaceable. A little bit of crass fashion stuff is a small price to pay (assuming you don’t like crass fashion stuff) for his not-team-comics non-fluff call-em-like-you-see-em real deal comics reviews. More Nick Gazin!!

  10. Anthony Thorne says:

    Dave Sim published the first, rational response I’ve read to Kim’s offer over at A MOMENT OF CEREBUS today, indicating that (a.) okay, he does have rational reasons for both dragging some things out and taking forever to post his comments to us, and (b.) he really is his own worst fucking enemy as if he’d posted his latest response to Kim anytime over the past week rather than pre-empting things with a long build-up, Kim would have had a shitload of useful comics-specific discussion to respond to rather than counting his bruises from the ‘eccentric’ fan Michael. FORM & VOID isn’t a dealbreaker for Sim, and he’s open to starting with early volumes – restoration issues and prior obligations to Diamond are some of what (he says) ties his hands for a couple of months. I learned more from this latest Sim post than I did in the prior near-month of insane rambling (not all of it from DS) on that epic prior thread. Christ, Dave, why didn’t you mention some of this earlier?

    http://momentofcerebus.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/the-fantagraphics-offer-update-13.html

  11. Andrew White says:

    I hope the Dave Sim stuff slowly takes over every comment thread on the site.

    • J Lundberg says:

      Yes, and then all of the internets and then the universe!

      As a side note, as someone who wasn’t able to go, I really liked this column. It seems like a a good general overview (a “feel”) of the event. It made me want to have been able to have gone.

  12. Nice post Nick. Fuck these haters.

  13. Katie Wagner says:

    Great post Nick. Your photo of Terence is beautiful. Tell me, who did the candy wall? Missed that

  14. Sophie from the french Alps says:

    Thanks a lot ! I wish i was there !
    You are killing me with your sense of humour ! Love it !
    You’re the proof of the existence of God !
    Wish you the best
    Sophie

  15. ant says:

    Looks like a load of trendy poseurs to me.
    That big black and white zombie Craigslist drawing IS great, though.
    Hahah funnily enough my first thought was “I bet this is running simultaneously at Vice”, turns out I was only half wrong…

    • Don Druid says:

      Good thing you’re not a trendy poseur, huh?

    • Nicholas Gazin says:

      Are they trendy or poseurs? Which one is it?

      My perception from speaking to them was that they were mostly college aged kids or working artists.

      I was pretty resentful of how they all looked though.

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