The art-grunge set came to flex at Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair this weekend.
For 12 years, Printed Matter has hosted the New York Art Book Fair on the first weekend of fall at MoMA PS1 in Queens, and it has grown to become NYC’s premier book/art/fashion-nerd gathering. Because it’s free to the public, and draws artists and publishers from around the world, the fair has also become peerless for people-watching—that is, if you can stand the crowds and the heat. With flocks of creative-leaning attendees (more than 30,000 last year) cramming through the museum’s minimally air-conditioned doors, things can get real intimate real fast.
But braving the crowds means you stand a chance of witnessing performances exclusive to the fair and walking away with any number of fine art treasures. This time around, highlights included free posters from artist and Raf Simons collaborator Sterling Ruby, Know Wave–hosted happenings, and DJ sets including a live reading of Timbaland’s memoir by artist Jason Polan. We saw custom skateboard decks by Jeffrey Cheung, a T-shirt that declared “More or Less Female,” one-of-a-kind hand-painted sweatshirts by Misaki Kawai, and every status tote bag worth carrying. Not surprisingly, this year also saw an uptick in political/anti-Trump fashion and artworks, including more than a few benefiting the ACLU—perfect for rage-spending. We hung out, spent a little bit too much on books, convened with our art-world heroes (IRL and by printed proxy), and gawked at the endless parade of good T-shirts, socks, pants, sunglasses, and hair. Here’s a sampling of the best and the weirdest (in a good way) style in the wild this weekend.