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Collector's Catalogue Vol. 5, Issue 1: Bibliophilia in the Art World; Art Books and Your Career
by ArtSlant Team


Bibliophilia in Technophobia: A Dream Come True

Mara Goldwyn on the recent resurgence in art- and self-publishing in the art world

Let me tell you about a dream I had.

It was a working-through, partially, of an 80’s era Twilight Zone I probably saw for the first time late at night on a television where there were still two knobs for UHF and VHF, re-ran on YouTube this past year. In the episode, words began to lose their meaning. The word “lunch,” for example, became “dinosaur,” and by the end of the day, there was simply no way to communicate. Sign and signified completely shifted; language was suddenly unintelligible.

In my dream, something similar happened. The buttons I pressed on my phone produced all the wrong numbers, and the messages I typed to friends were all gobbledy-gook. I tried to communicate my way to the hospital, but no one could understand me. The dream ended with a pair of twenty-somethings with knit caps, close-fitting jeans and smartphones in the hallway outside my flat in Kreuzberg, cruelly cackling at me as I begged them in a garbled tongue to help me lock my door on the way out. They finally assented, but to my horror, walked off, laughing, with my keys. I woke up terrified, picked up a pen and notebook that I usually keep next to the bed, and wrote it down.

Now, this record of a dream in my scrawled hand – this text on paper – exists, unmediated, in the world. Nothing, except perhaps basic earthly elements, like fire, air or water, can “corrupt” it. When I die, I fantasize that it will become part of the “Goldwyn papers” neatly catalogued by an earnest intern in a series of semi-matte black cardboard boxes – alongside my book, magazine, pamphlet, postcard, and random-slips-of-paper collections – in an institute founded posthumously in my name; my legacy as a twenty-first century (female) Aby Warburg...

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Why Publishing an Art Book May Do Nothing For Your Career

Daniel Rolnik on the slim profit margins of big art books

The last time I got lunch with my friend, he was in the midst of sending applications to McDonalds. Ironically, he was the last person I ever expected this from.

The friend I was eating lunch with is one of the most published artists I’ve ever met, with over ten book covers and at least three big solo releases of his own.

But what has all that done for him? I mean, right now he’s telling me how it’s literally impossible to feed his family and he’s so desperate for money that in a few minutes he’ll ask the hostess if the restaurant is hiring.

Maybe it’s all because of this particular artist’s inactions or something he hasn’t disclosed to me like medical bills. Or maybe it’s the symptom of something deeper. A truth revealed about what we all aspire to in the art world – artists, critics, and curators alike: having our name on the cover of a book.

What most of us don’t realize is that the fancy art books on our shelves have relatively zero margins. When you buy a $60 book, it very well could have cost the publishing company around $40 to make and distribute. Leaving said company only $20 in profit, which then has to be distributed to employees, bills, artists, designers, etc. – leaving little for the bottom line...


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ArtSlant's Collector's Catalogue is a special edition publication focused on bringing new artists and new work to the attention of our worldwide audience of seasoned buyers, committed art lovers, and first-time purchasers. The artists included in our Collector's Catalogue can be contacted directly or through their galleries. ArtSlant is pleased to present them for your consideration.  

                

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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 11/20/13

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