My Favorite Book

My Favorite Book was a live, serialized, online program that took place on weeknights in the month of June 2021. It was hosted by Monica McKelvey Johnson, with special guest Marshall Weber. This exhibition is a culmination of its recordings, and will further connect viewers with the books presented and the artists behind their making.

 

My Favorite Book came into being because of the challenges of the pandemic. It forced us to shift into online programming and encouraged us to revise our values and how we choose to bring those values into public and professional spaces. One thing is clear to us now–artists should be centered within the discourse about the work they do. To that end, we let each artist guide their own presentation. We told them, “You will have 15 minutes to show your favorite artist’s book. How you want to do that is entirely up to you.” 

 

We were astounded by the richness of the results. Some artists cradled the work in their own hands while talking to the camera; others presented slideshows or videos; some juggled childcare responsibilities while presenting; some dazzled with live infrared camerawork. For some, 15 minutes was not enough and others said everything they needed to say in far less. We deeply appreciate the diversity of approaches these artists have pursued in presenting their work, and we hope that you do, too.

 

TIP: swipe through and watch the videos in order or click on the “grid” view at the upper left corner to see them all.

Candace Hicks presents THE CASE OF THE ISOLATED SEAMSTRESS

Candace Hicks collects coincidences from the books she reads and gathers them in her artists’ books and explores them in her installations. Her compendiums of coincidence are records that show the world through a particular, specific, sometimes obsessive, point of view. She is an Associate Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University where she teaches foundational courses in two-dimensional media. Her work consists of artist’s books, video, performance, printmaking and drawing. Books from her Common Threads series are in more than 80 collections around the world including, Boston Athenaeum, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Grolier Club, Harvard, Hungarian Multicultural Center, MIT, MoMA, Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, UCLA Biomedical Library, Stanford, and Yale.

1/18

María Verónica San Martín presents DIGNIDAD

María Verónica San Martín is a multidisciplinary and educator New York-based artist. She was a studio artist at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, an artist-in-residence at Art OMI, Ghent, NY and a Scholar at The Center for Book Arts in NYC. San Martín addresses memory as a pivotal factor for the understanding of the neoliberal, globalized present, turning recently to the subject matter of the Chilean dictatorship’s violence (1973-1990), vis-à-vis the United States and Nazism’s involvement in that violence. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including The Immigrant Artist Biennial in New York, 2020. San Martin has been performing and lecturing her Moving Memorial series and Dignidad project at international museums, galleries, public libraries and schools since 2016. She was recently awarded with a New York Foundation for the Arts grant (NYFA), has received three Chilean National grants (FONDART). Her work is part of more than 50 collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the MET, and the Museum of Memory in Chile.

2/18

Erik Ruin presents A THRENODY FOR THE DISPOSSESSED

Erik Ruin is a Michigan-raised, Philadelphia-based printmaker, shadow puppeteer, paper-cut artist, etc., who has been lauded by the New York Times for his "spell-binding cut-paper animations." His work oscillates between the poles of apocalyptic anxieties and utopian yearnings, with an emphasis on empathy, transcendence and obsessive detail. He frequently works collaboratively with musicians, theater performers, other artists and activist campaigns. He is a founding member of the international Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, and co-author of the book Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism (w/ Cindy Milstein, PM Press, 2012). Current projects include the Ominous Cloud Ensemble, an ever-evolving, collectively-improvising large ensemble for projections and music which at times has included/includes members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Bardo Pond and Espers.

3/18

John Vasquez Mejias presents THE PUERTO RICAN WAR

John Vasquez Mejias creates woodcut comics, prints and costume/puppet performances. He is also a public school art teacher. He lives in the Bronx, USA.

4/18

Eliana Pérez presents FALSO+

Eliana Pérez lives in New York City. Born and raised in Colombia, she studied Fine Arts and Printmaking at the Universidad Nacional in Bogotá. She’s currently working on a series of artist books exposing social and environmental devastation in Colombia. Her work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art NY, Yale University, University of California, Irvine, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, among others.

5/18

Danielle McCoy presents DISTANCE FROM HOME

Danielle McCoy is an Antiguan-born, multidisciplinary designer and artist currently based in Portland, Oregon. In the realm of graphic design, she predominantly focuses on brand/visual identity, editorial design and art direction for commercial and cultural clients across various mediums. She believes that design should ultimately serve people by facilitating their lives, both in function and aesthetic. In her art practice, Danielle is especially interested in examining the routine’s role as a foundational constituent of behaviour, language, identity and institutions. It is through that lens she explores race, gender and culture.

6/18

Ganzeer presents THE SOLAR GRID

Ganzeer operates seamlessly between art, design, and storytelling. His work has been seen in a wide variety of art galleries, impromptu spaces, alleyways, and major museums around the world. He is also the recipient of Foreign Policy's Global Thinker Award. Egyptian born, he is now based in Houston, Texas.

7/18

Mylo Mendez presents DON'T [email protected]#$^&* TOUCH ME

Mylo is an artist and educator that currently resides in Austin, TX.

8/18

sTo Len presents THE END PAPERS

sTo Len is a genre-fluid artist with interests in printmaking, installation, sound, video, and performance. The cross-disciplinary nature of Len's work has included collaborations with bodies of water, transforming public space into art studios, recycling waste into art materials, and hosting performances at Superfund sites. sTo Len is based in Queens, NY with familial roots in Vietnam and Virginia, and his work incorporates these bonds by connecting issues of their history, environment, traditions, and politics.

9/18

Homie House Press presents SAMMIES

Homie House Press is a skeleton bones crew of femmes creating + publishing in the foto book medium. We are photographers + book makers + educators holding space for and with underrepresented communities. We are a playground where fotos become books, a safe space for secret stories and an open house for honest content. Find us migrating through the in-betweenness of all that we are, and al otro lado del charco.

10/18

Evgenia Kim presents KORYO SARAM

Evgenia Kim (b. 1988 Republic of Uzbekistan, USSR) is a New York based artist working in printmaking, book arts, and installation. She received her MFA degree in painting from Moscow State Regional University (2012) and MFA in printmaking and book arts from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2019) respectively. Kim addresses ideas of identity and diaspora in a globalized present, and the effects of the forced migration on the individual. She explores the ways in which printmaking can be a critical tool in building and educating not only the local community, but also related followers across the globe. She exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her work is collected by The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Princeton University, NJ; Stanford University, CA; The Maryland Institute of Art, MD; Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University, GA among others.

11/18

Josh MacPhee presents SECURITY

Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, and archivist. He is a founding member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative (Justseeds.org), the author of An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels, and co-editor of Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture. He co-founded and helps run Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements (InterferenceArchive.org).

12/18

Hyperlink Press presents REMEMBERING LB CITY VOL. 2: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Hyperlink Press is a zine/curatorial collective that seeks to distribute work by artists that navigate in-between spaces of the internet, queer communities, and diaspora experiences. Our mission is to uplift the marginalized and underrepresented experiences, identities, and histories in the art gallery and technology field. Hyperlink Press reminisces the early 2000s that showed us exciting alternatives to traditional forms of community building for a more equitable world. Hyperlink Press was founded in December 2018 by Taehee Whang (RISD BFA 2016), along with Jeong Lee (RISD BFA 2016), and Minsoo Thigpen (RISD BFA 2018). They were awarded Printed Matter’s Shannon Michael Cane Award 2020, Abrons Arts Center AIRSpace residency 2020-2021, and MoreArt Engaged Fellowship 2021.

13/18

Beldan Sezen presents WETROCITIES

Beldan Sezen is an artist and writer. Her work includes graphic novels, artists’ books, drawings, essays, and installations. She is Turkish by ethnicity, German by birth, and a resident of both the Netherlands and the U.S. – all of which allows her to observe society as an insider and outsider simultaneously. As a curator of artists books, she is part of the Booklyn team. She is the editor and co-publisher of Cypher, a digital comics magazine that brings audiences into the radical lives and dangerous work of human rights defenders around the world.

14/18

Sofia Szamosi presents SPIT WALL

Sofia Szamosi is an author and illustrator who makes graphic novels, zines, and artists' books. A number of university libraries have added Sofia's work to their collections and her fine art has been shown in group and solo shows in New York City, Chicago, and Detroit. Her illustrations have been featured in publications such as Loose Threads, Sleek Magazine, and Vice. She received her BA with honors from NYU's Gallatin School for Individualized Study in 2017. She is the illustrator for Whole Girl by Sadie Radinsky (Sounds True, Feb 2021) and is the author/illustrator of Unretouchable (Graphic Universe/Lerner, forthcoming Fall 2022). Originally from New York City, she now lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and one-year-old daughter.

15/18

Leopoldo Bloom presents THE MIGRATORY PATTERNS OF NORTH AMERICAN QUEERS AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY

For over twenty years Leopoldo Bloom has been creating visual memoirs that document his life as a transgender artist on the margins. His photographic-based work deal with his experience of cultural exile and the contemporary sense of place as it relates to queer identity. His first memoir How To Transition On Sixty Three Cents A Day is an unbound book of postcards that challenges the current fad of placing queer lives in traditional narrative mediums.

16/18

Colette Fu presents A DAY IN THE TERRACED RICE FIELDS

Philadelphia based artist Colette Fu makes complex three-dimensional compositions that incorporate photography and pop-up paper engineering. Her pop-up books are included in the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many private and rare archive collections. Colette’s numerous awards include a 2020 Joan Mitchell Artist and Sculptor’s Grant, the Meggendorfer Prize for best paper-engineered artist book, and a Fulbright Research Fellowship to China. In 2017, Colette created the world’s largest pop-up book measuring 21×14 feet, where people were invited to enter the book. Colette teaches pop-up courses and community workshops to marginalized populations at art centers, universities and institutions internationally.

17/18

Half Letter Press presents PRISONERS' INVENTIONS

Temporary Services is Brett Bloom and Marc Fischer. We started working together in Chicago in 1998 as a larger group. In 2008, we started Half Letter Press, a publishing imprint and online store. We are currently based in Chicago and Fort Wayne (IN). We produce exhibitions, events, projects, and publications. The distinction between art practice and other creative human endeavors is irrelevant to us.

18/18

View works featured in My Favorite Book here.

Download a checklist of all participants.

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