Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Howard Munson, Casa de Las Ranas (The House of The Frogs), La Cieneguita, San Miguel, Mexico, nd

This beautifully crafted artist book by this San Francisco based bookmaker is illustrated with finely detailed photographs of the Casa de Las Ranas or The House of The Frogs, and its environs. This incredible artist environment in the countryide outside San Miguel, Mexico has been in the making ever since two American artists, Anado McLauchlin and Richard Schultz acquired the property in 2011.

I recently visited this wonderful place and with a group of collaborators we created a new mosaic mural in the garden. I found Anado to be the most perfect and generous host, and you can get up on his antics at his blog: Made by Anado – Official Site for Artist Anado McLauchlin

Height 7.25" x width 8", 40 pages, single sided, when open 28ft wide. I'm assuming this is a unique edition, although I did come upon another version in the house, but it had the feel of a test copy and was not as polished as this one. Possible date is 2017, as Munson travels to San Miguel seemingly quite often.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Souvenir postcard folder albums, c. 1940s - 1970s, USA

Found a basket of about 80 souvenir postcard folders at a local flee market and walked away with the lot for $10. Who can resist so many accordion publications? Popular from the 1940s to the 1970s these accordion strips of photographs were the perfect souvenir for the folks back home and they only cost 1.5 cents to mail from your hot vacation spot. None of the strips in these booklets are perforated and so the strip exists solely as a folded series of photographs, but they still retain something of the original genre that would have included perforations enabling the postcards to be detached and sent on their way. A variety of printing techniques appear over the years, but there is no experimentation with the format or any play within the generic postcard images of the touristic highlights from each location — apart from the two i'm posting below.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Eric Knisley and Jan Martijn Burger, Factory, 2017 [2nd ed. 50] and Tunnel, 2017 [2nd ed. 50], Raleigh, North Carolina

Here are two really fun and lively accordions that have been created through the exquisite corpse technique between these two accomplished artists, and the accordion format is absolutely ideal for this kind of artistic collaboration. I asked Eric for information about how the two of them worked together as their drawings merge seamlessly across the 11ft span of the works, and below are some selections from his response:

...I've been doing these exquisite corpse/accordion books for about eight years now...I was traveling a great deal for work, on the plane for long periods, and I needed something to do on the plane that required no more than a pencil and some paper, and that's how it started.

These books are done "classic" corpse style: there's about one inch of image showing when each artist gets the book; the prior artist has drawn across two pages plus just a bit of the third page. So we don't get to see *all* of the other guy's work, just a wee bit. We're not allowed to look back at the rest of the art. The transitions are the good parts--we are constantly trying to trick each other as to what we're drawing, so you never know what will happen...

....Jan's a master puppeteer who runs the Paperhand Puppet Intervention, and is also a graduate of the Center For Cartoon Studies in Vermont. So he knows a thing or two about drawing and design. He was great to work with. We know each other's style fairly well, so we often had moments of cartoon telepathy while working on the project; that's why the art styles blend so well. Jan's influences are mostly European cartoonists — lots of clear line stuff. My influences are mostly American illustrators and underground cartoonists, so my lines tend to be much scratchier. You'll notice that there's a giant baby head in "Factory". This is because Jan and his wife had their first child while we were doing the project, and he just rolled that right into the book! Jan's an amazing guy — I was very lucky to get him as a collaborator...

One reason I have done all these books (about 35 at this point) is that they really push me hard as an artist. When I would get the book back from Jan, I'd look at the little one-inch strip he'd left me to work from, and I'd think, "Good grief, this is GREAT!" and then I'd think "Shit shit shit" because now I have to do better. Jan and I are both a bit competitive, so we would deliberately leave some really good work to intimidate the other guy. Ah, men...

Dimensions for both books: 21 pages, single-sided, 9" (h) x 6" (w), when fully open 11ft. See Eric's Etsy store for purchases: Eric knisley

Ian Hamilton Finlay, Textbooklet 2 (1979) and 2 Notices (nd), Wild Hawthorn Press, Scotland

I have to confess I have a total soft spot for these delicate little accordions that Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) produced over the course of his life through his Wild Hawthorn Press in Scotland. There are a number of his other accordions scattered throughout this blog. 

This accordion documents two signs, one of which was installed as part of Ian Hamilton Finlay's wonderful garden, Little Sparta, and the other is a proposed sign for a specific location in the garden. For more information about the garden see: Little Sparta Trust

4 pages, single-sided, 2" (h) x 2" (w), when opened up 8".

 Another visual poetry oriented work that I'm unable to decipher!

8 pages, single-sided, 4" (h) x 2" (w), when opened 16".

Friday, March 30, 2018

Jen Tong, 3 accordions: 1) Plant Life, 2) Structure, 3) Magic, no dates.

Below are three really lively and inventively constructed mini-accordions by this illustrator, print maker, comics and zine maker who lives in Brooklyn, check her out at: welcome

Plant Life, screenprint, 8 pages double-sided, 2.75" (h) x 2" (w), when opened 16" wide, nd.

Structure, screenprint, 16 double-sided pages, 3" (h) x 2.5" (w), open 20", nd [edition: 25]. This accordion is comprised of two same length prints stapled together at the middle, thus allowing the book to expand out in four different directions.

Magic, screenprint, 16 double-sided pages, 3" (h) x 2.5" (w), opened up 27.5", nd. This book also has another similar length print that runs alongside of the cover sheet but stapled together at a different point than the one above. The book expands out into 3 directions when opened up.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Michael Wynne, My Man Paul, London: Kiss & Tell Press, 2017

A fun and brightly colored little accordion that is taken up with all the emotional vicissitudes of loving and relating to one's partner. I'll let Wynne take up the story in his own description of the book: 

A little concertina book for obsessives, those who wait anxiously for him to call. Images, text and illustrations by Michael Wynne.
I love my man.

He is so tall

and he likes me

because I'm small.  

When we're together

he has to crawl

or I ride his back

and never fall.  

...From work, at lunch,

he'll always call,

or text me kisses,

sign off, "Love, Paul."

(extract from My Man Paul

This book was produced as part of a fascinating year-long bookmaking project as described here by Wynne: 

"On the 1st of October 2016, I set out to make a photobook a month until the same time in 2017. For a year and a bit, I made a photobook a month, more or less. Some months I made two books, other books took more than a month to complete. For each month I photographed a different man, and out of that photoshoot I created a book. The book evolved out of a conversation between the model and I, or something they did, or something I’d seen them do online. Some books incorporated text I‘d written previously, for others I was inspired to write something new. With each book, I tried to find the form that would echo the theme. These are the first photobooks I’ve made, evidence of a journey’s beginnning."

On this site I have reviewed another of Wynne's books in this project and it can be seen here: accordion publications: Michael WynneFor an introduction and listing of all the recent books published by Michael Wynne see: Michael Wynne

This book: 26 pages, double-sided, 3" (h) x 2" (w) and fully open at 4ft 4"