Friday, December 12, 2008

Inspiration from Frederik Averin

Walked to Half & Half to have coffee with Fred Averin, a thoughtful designer and human being. We had first met at Half & Half several years ago.

Fred suggested an assignment for our coffee: we each bring three favorite books.

I didn't take the assignment seriously enough and brought some okay books.

Fred brought incredible books.

Here's Fred's criteria for choosing a book, grabbed off his website.

All the books Fred brought were new to me. He brought a number of things by the concrete poets, writers/artists from the 1950s who treated words and letters as objects. The books are equally interesting as writing and design.

Jean-Francois Bory is obscure enough not to earn a wikipedia entry, yet look at this great piece of conceptual writing from 1968.

I can't believe I have never heard of Bern Porter. He was an early publisher of Henry Miller and Anais Nin. He was a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project without his own knowledge, and upon realizing it, spent two years in Japan to atone. Later he became an artist and poet himself. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen his work before.

When I got back to my studio I went to and bought some of these wonderful books.

Next time I will take the assignment more seriously.

Do you have books/artists I should know about?

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