[NAME] Publications offers certain Miami artists the opportunity to freely create content within two hard covers. Founder Gean Moreno relinquishes editorial control over each book. He says, "I think of them as an architecture that you give someone and they basically fill it. It's their responsibility to make it interesting or not."
Moreno can say this safely because he's chosen artists that take this responsibility seriously and have not yet bored us to bad art-induced tears.
[NAME] is launching its first project in conjunction with an institution, Artist Unknown/ The Free World, next week. Along with the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Moreno has offered the platform for artists Oliver Wasow and John D. Monteith to display their internet photo archive projects in books.
Wasow edited the Artist Unknown portion of the hardcover, which shows sometimes haunting, funny, beautiful, and seriously crazy shots. Moreno says, "He's been collecting these analogical images that are now sort of free-floating on the internet." If you flip the book around and upside down, you get Monteith's The Free World, which shows a mesmerizing collection of early chat room profile pictures. Moreno noted that Monteith has an archive of 16,000 images. The photos in that side of the book are totally entrancing, filled with a myriad of interesting faces (and boobs).
[NAME] Publications builds the visibility of local artists both in Miami and brings their work outside of county borders. "It's been successful locally, in the community. I think everyone's really excited. There's been a really good response." Moreno observes, "I think it's been successful branching out. The books are available at Printed Matter in New York, at the New Museum, places like that. We've been to the New York Art Book Fair twice."
Recently [NAME] won the Knight Arts Challenge for the second year to fund a new project to work specifically with local women artists. They will produce four new books, including ones by Christy Gast and Jillian Mayer. Other upcoming publications will be created by Adler Guerrier and Clifton Childree.
Moreno is working on a second line of books with designers for whom, he believes, "making objects isn't their objective." For instance, they're building a book with Marti Guixe, a designer from Barcelona who works often with the shoe company Camper. In one of the stores, he created an information hub, as Moreno calls it, to inform people about an endangered horse species, "It was almost like the shoes were an excuse, or vice versa. He would cross these systems." With this, [NAME] shifts outside of a South Florida and artist focus to look at other projects that inspire around the world.
Working with the Art and Culture Center involved more negotiating than Moreno was used to, but he considered it an interesting challenge and learning experience. There is an exhibition of Wasow's and Monteith's work currently exhibiting in Hollywood.
Moreno says of the book, "I don't think its a catalogue, because I think it exceeds the boundaries of the exhibition." The book includes some text. There's a word from Jane Hart, the curator of exhibitions at the Art and Culture Center, an essay by curator Marvin Heiferman, and one by art critic and Work of Art judge Jerry Saltz.
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To fund-raise for these projects and to match Knight's grant, Moreno asks artists to create multiples, or a series of 20 works of art. In exchange, the artist receives work by the other ten artists, and their creations are sold for $250. Some are already hanging on the walls at Lester's, waiting for you to buy them.
The book launch takes place on January 5 at Lester's in Wynwood from 6 to 9 p.m. There's a happy hour from 6 to 7 p.m. and you can purchase the book and multiples with your discounted wine.