Book-Art Love: The London Art Book Fair

Our Editorial Intern Emma went to the London Art Book Fair last weekend and wanted to share her experience in today’s blog post.

You know that feeling, of holding a book that’s not only great in content, but also has a cover and design that makes you want to consume it, melt it into your skin and into your dreams? Sweeping your fingers across the book, you imagine that by treating it as your own baby you will automatically absorb all the creativity and greatness that the cover communicates …

London Art Book Fair

London Art Book Fair 2013, Whitechapel Gallery. Photo: Dan Weill

Well, perhaps I’m getting a bit carried away, but that’s what really great book art can do to you! And that’s how I felt this weekend when I visited the annual London Art Book Fair at Whitechapel Gallery. The Fair’s mission is to celebrate the best of contemporary art publishing – but this is not limited to books about art. Sure enough, if you (like me) are a keen lover of art, you would have found plenty of books to satisfy your interest. But my best finds were the objects that made art out of literature: tiny versions of classic reads fitted into customised cigarette packs (a much better use of those little boxes if you ask me), a fold-out story on a beautiful hand-painted background by ottoGraphic, and prints of quotes from everyone’s classic ‘chic lit’ fave, Jane Austin.

Finds from the fair

I could easily have gone completely berserk in there if I’d had no limitations of time and cash. But sadly, you quickly run out of funds in such a place where the objects of your desire are expensive to make. Yes, it is an unfortunate though necessary truth. But if I can contribute even just a tiny bit to the livelihood and longevity of extraordinary book makers and book sellers, I will be a happy camper!

What kind of books and covers make you go inspiration-nuts?