Blonde Art Books & BABZ Fair News

The big news is that Sonel Breslav, Founder of Blonde Art Books, has recently been hired for the position of Director of Fairs & Editions at Printed Matter, Inc. 

photo by Azikiwe Mohammed

It is a great honor to be joining the Printed Matter team as Director of Fairs & Editions. Over the years, I’ve regularly attended, reported on, and participated in both the fairs in NY and LA. For me the fair has always been an ultimate place of discovery. Over the course of a few days I would have countless ‘studio visits’ and learn about an artist’s work directly from the artist, be exposed to innovative publishing practices or get to hear from legendary artists and historians through the free public programs, and I would reconnect with friends and colleagues from around the world. These experiences are powerful and unique in the sense that they facilitate new personal, professional, and creative relationships.

One of the driving forces of Blonde Art Books has been the idea of distribution as not only the distribution of books as material object, but distribution of ideas and of resources. Our mission has been to create a platform of exposure and accessibility for independent publishers, small press, and self-publishing artists- closely aligned with what Printed Matter has been up to for some time. The first Bushwick Art Books & Zine Fair, in 2013 was very much inspired by the NY Art Book Fair, and has continued to be something in dialog with it. The BABZ Fair explored ideas around distribution while emphasizing independent publishing, community building, and diversity. I’m excited to continue this awesome work on a new scale at Printed Matter.

The NY Art Book Fair team will be entirely new this year so the main goal for the 2018 fair is to put on a strong and cohesive event.  One thing that I’ve learned in my past work is the importance of exhibitors feeling supported, so I look forward to personally connecting with all of the exhibitors at the NY and LA Art Book Fairs. As the fair organizer, it’ll be my responsibility to push the fair in new directions each year, to evolve, and to listen, to recognize changes in the community, and make space to address the most urgent questions—all under the umbrella of Printed Matter’s mission to serve artists’ books, artists, and the broader public.

I expect to be pretty busy with directing two large-scale book fairs, and everything else I will be doing at Printed Matter, including working directly with artists on Printed Matter fundraising editions.

With that said, Blonde Art Books will not be organizing a fair this year. The project will continue to exist in some capacity but it is unknown what the future may bring. It was always important that BABZ Fair evolve into something new with each iteration. Last year was our fifth annual fair, and in addition to over +100 exhibitors, I managed to organize a rigorous schedule of programs in collaboration with some very talented people including Andrea Arrubla and Corina Reynolds of Small Editions. This programming was an especially inspiring experience, and I feel that there is still a lot of work to be done within the community.

I am extremely proud of the contributions that I have made to the artists’ books community thus far. Thank you to the artists and publishers with whom I’ve had the honor to learn from and work alongside over the last six years. I hope we will have many more opportunities to continue this work in the future.

Sonel Breslav
Founder, Blonde Art Books

I encourage you to apply for NYABF 2018.

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