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"queer" Tag

Oh so queer

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Queer-Zines-Box-Set queer_zines_manystuf

Choosing a book

At first it took me a while to even figure out how to find books in the library. All these numbers, letters and no (in my opinion) logical order. So after asking everyone around how they found their book i started to get a grip of the system and chose Queer zines 2.

I walked around, touched, sniffed and saw many many books before my eyes were drawn to the bright colors of this publication. Off course the title spoke to me, although i should not admit that, because in this case i was focusing my research on the design and not the content. Also the fact that these books where in this boring brown cardboard, organic looking box didn’t really made sense to me. These bright interesting neon colors in combination with this organic, trendy box.

When I started looking through the books it looked quite familiar to me. So I dug deep in my memories and remembered all these great queer magazines that i once saw at a exhibition in ‘Witte de With’ Rotterdam. It was old-school, bright, daring and they had a really nice Punky/queer (obviously) design. I remember really liking them. Off course this convinced me to work with this new more modern version of queer zines. Just because i became curious if it could give me that same almost rebellious feeling.

02 AA Bronson & Philip Aarons@

Who made the books

After the last unsold queer zines books were blown away by the American super storm Sandy in 2012, the staff of queer zines found an opportunity to create a better and improved version of the book. The first edition of the book was put together very simple and fast, done by Garrick Gott. They also hired him the second time and in both cases they gave this graphic designer total freedom in whatever he felt was the good decision for the book.

GarrickGott_at-home-with-Koh_250 R-2503151-1287574918.jpeg

Garrick Gott’s studio is based in New York city. The studio focuses on the design and production of fine printed matter. A large portion of the work is illustrated books and catalogs for arts and cultural clients. These can be individual artists, designers, non-profits. But also galleries, museums, institutions and publishers. At this moment Garrick Gott is working on also including film titles and posters in his practice.

Apart from this and the people he worked with I could not find much about Garrick. I did find some interesting details about his marriage and relationships. Garrick Gott is married to Terence Koh, an canadian (born in bejing) artist. Garrick gott is very much involved in the gayscene and this is also why he worked with Queerzines.

If i look at Garrick Gott’s graphic design I see trendy, clean graphic design. I see a lot of bright colors, interesting fonts, and a lot of white. He plays with color, and different kinds of paper (using see through plastic in stead of regular paper he creates new compositions.) I’m trying to put my finger on what it is in his work that does not really speak to me. And I think it has to do something with the fact that if i look at his website, it looks like almost every graphic design website I had to research on my last school, which was graphic design on practical level, and those are just about being commercial. On the other hand I really like what he did to Queer zines, so that brings me to the next point.

antenne.books.queer-zines-second-edition_2 ipp

The design

Let’s take a objective look at the book(s) itself. At first i see a brown cardboard box with a naked man silk screened on top of it. The man is printed in white so it is a bit hard to get a clear picture of him.

You can already see the spines of the bright neon colored books inside the box. We see bright pinks and bright blue colors. If we take the books outside of the box we have two of the same size books in front of us. One in pink and blue and one in orange and blue. Both books are covered on both sides with big images of naked or almost naked men.
If we look through the book you will notice that the whole content is printed in the same dark blue color. Which in my opinion works really well because it brings all these different queer zines together like they are one (and I think that’s the point of this bundle). The fonts change from a typewriter font to a thicker helvetica like font. Sometimes Garrick Gott plays with the fonts of the zines that are on the pages itself.
The images are places in and outside of the columns that Garrick Gott works with. There are pictures, scans, covers and whole articles placed in the book. Some are just really interesting to look at (it’s nice to see the different time and culture in the book) and some need some explanation (which is given). And there are also a lot of interesting interviews shown.
All placed in an interesting way that will keep your attention and will take you further into this rebellious scene.



The content

The content of these books are all the queer zines bound together into these bright color books. I like the way Garrick Gott organized the magazines in such a way that they tell you a story about this queer scene. The book takes you back in time and while reading it i think we all imagine ourselves living in this open minded, rebellious, anarchist way of living.
Now that I read the book, having seen the zines in real, I still like the real ones better. But this is because I have seen them in colour and now these are becoming reproduced pictures of persons, creating an image of a certain time and scene. I think you need color to stretch the real picture. Instead of a blue print picture.

I enjoyed studying this book. It is totally in my area of interest and even though I thought Garrick Gott’s graphic design is a bit trendy. I really admire what he did to this book. The more I looked at it the more I discovered.

Rietveld library catalog no : 708.4 bron 1


Not all boys dream of being kings, not all girls dream of being queens

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The intimacy of Grayson Perry´s drawings and the DIY characteristic
of punk and queer movements


The first time I came across Grayson Perry´s work happened on the same week I had a discussion with my classmates regarding minorities and the quantity of women inside the art academies X how many of them do we actually see in contemporary art galleries and museums.
Not only for briefly getting to know his beautiful works, but I was mostly glad to hear he was a successful and Turner Prize winner artist who also happened to be a transvestite. He made it out there despite for his choice of appearance or behavior and above all: his body of work does speak about all of these matters in a very subjective and personal way.
I hadn´t thought or researched much more about Perry until I visited the Hand Made exhibition at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam with the Foundation Year. For my surprise the centrepiece of the exhibition was The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, by Grayson Perry.

The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman is a tomb in the shape of a ship, which has been cast in iron, a floating reliquary that is forever earthbound. This, he says, is the tomb of the unknown craftsman, dedicated to the many thousands of artists over the centuries whose work survives but whose names will never be known. The political and whimsical aspects of the work promptly awakened my curiosity and interest in his art, so I decided to start researching about him.

Perry is mainly known for his ceramic pottery and tapestry, where he combines classical forms with his drawings and sketches. The drawings have a strongly autobiographical aspect, often depicting himself as Claire, his feminine alter-ego, and his teddy bear, Alan Measles, as a representation of the father figure, always providing comfort and affection. Many of his works picture sexually explicit content and for that reason they have been raising harsh criticism among art critics. But Perry habitually portrays the life of the working class as well as inciting discussions about minorities, sexuality, class and race. He has said, “I like the whole iconography of pottery. It hasn’t got any big pretensions to being great public works of art, and no matter how brash a statement I make, on a pot it will always have certain humility… For me the shape has to be classical invisible: then you’ve got a base that people can understand”.

Looking closely to the drawings on the pottery and trying to understand what they wish to communicate I could not help but think that their guerrilla-like motto and storytelling elements reminded me of the punk zines and the DIY (do it yourself) aesthetic of the punk and queer movements. In my mind, the way Perry uses the form of traditional vases as a free base and platform for the materialization of his thoughts immediately related to the intimacy and freedom of speech of the hand made booklets.
The hand made zines played a very important role in the punk movement in the late 1970s. Through the making of a zine one could express his own or a group´s principles and spread the word while being able to escape from the control of the publishing companies and media. In my opinion the exceptionally underground aspect of it is what provided the freedom necessary for the makers to loosen up from any possible apprehension regarding public judgment in order to feel welcome to express their most genuine political thoughts. I can recognize this very same bravery and freedom of speech in Perry´s drawings.

For Perry art should be able to communicate to the public and not only to the high-class art related intellectual minority. He also reflects on crafts as a form of art and in an interview to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, he mentions that craft and art are greatly linked and that is actually one great thing about it. Craft by definition is something that can be taught to someone else, you can teach someone how to throw a pot and they can become as good at it as you. Whereas art is very much linked to an individual vision and it´s not necessarily something that can be taught. One can be derivative and take up someone elses vision but he won´t ever become that person.
Perry calls himself an artist and craftsman and he makes use of crafts as a solid and clear base for his art, a base that becomes a tool for the expression and carriage of his message.
Not surprised I discovered Perry was involved in the Chelmsford punk scene in the late 1970s, he lived in squatted houses and at some point shared a house with the pop singer and transvestite Boy George, who became an inspiration for him. He is also the father of Flo, a 21 years old girl, and the husband of the author and psychotherapist Philippa Perry.

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