The Melbourne Art Book Fair is the perfect melding of the old and the new, the famous and the soon to be, global and local and the corporate and the independent. Here zines sit side by side with monographs of well known artists, publications are created right before your eyes, and ideas are shared across time and space.Running along side the book stalls is a series of talks, workshops and book signings which makes this way more than just a commercial event. Often the people selling you the books are the people who made them, whether the publishers or the artists themselves, and it’s wonderful to hear the back stories of the publications direct from the source.
There has definitely been a movement towards supporting independent publishers, and the Melbourne Art Book Fair is evident of that. In a world where the competition for major publishers is so tough, it’s little wonder that people are getting out there and publishing their own work.
There are some truly beautiful books on display but for me the main drawcard is the Zines. Zines are such a fantastic example of the democratisation of art, they are an inexpensive, often ephemeral, object which is easily distributed. With their growth in popularity many are blurring the lines between the Zine and the more traditional artist’s book, the level of quality is rising, and they are often made in a numbered edition or are made one of a kind through the use of painting or drawing in addition to printing.
The Melbourne Art Book Fair is a wonderful way to truly become involved in, and support, contemporary art in Melbourne. Just getting to talk to the artists alone would be enough reason to go, but it’s even better that you can bring a little part of it home to keep forever.
The Melbourne Art Book Fair
Friday 29 April – Sunday 1 May 2016