An annual event to witness is the Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair (LAABF) put on by Printed Matter — a New York-based non-profit dedicated to promoting art books. The annual event —now inits third year — takes place at the MOCA Geffen location in Downtown Los Angeles and thisyear attracted over 34,700 people. There are hundreds of vendors from around the world showing their wares — from zines, art books, prints and more. Its main purpose is to showcase art books and the overall quote from most is that it’s “overwhelming” — there are too many publications to see.
PM’s LAABF is more of a Festival. Aside books, there are plenty of other activities, such as live music, dj sets, food trucks, panels, parties, and workshops. As a vendor for the second year in a row, I’m in a position to witness the event turn into the premier book event in Los Angeles. While it once catered to the edgy art fan, the event is now practically a family event — sans some not safe for work art publications. I see plenty of strollers, pets, and kids coming through and being inspired.
Behind the scenes, PM’s LAABF Coordinator Jordan Nassar sends daily email updates telling us vendors about things to watch, promote, how many are coming through daily, party invites, and special events. He tells me that it’s the “best LAABF yet” and it’s a “huge success.”
There are plenty of high-art publications that many will breeze through, yet this is exactly the event to give them their audience. New this year, a powerful photography section was added to the second floor mezzanine. Exhibition areas continue to grow and attract their audience. If you have any interest in books, this is an event that directly helps artists, publishers, and their allies.