Friday, August 27, 2010

How this happened Pt 2

The first person I thought of for the show was Craig Atkinson. He's a great and prolific drawer and runs Cafe Royal where he has published and distributed lots of the kinds of books and zines I was thinking of.

In the past Craig made more traditional painting but a few years ago he stopped and started over with scratchy, simple and sketchy drawings and collages. He quickly began to publish that work in little zines and books (one of my favorites is one where he documents both why and how he made that big aesthetic switch).

In his drawing I admire and enjoy how close the work seems to his life - he draws electronic equipment he wants, celebrities and politician he sees. His lines range from crude to subtle but he seems to be always searching around, looking for things, finding unexpected images. Craig and I have been secretly working on a collaborative books for a few years and in our back and forth drawing volleys I can see him riffing and finding.

He has a great collection of his sketchbooks online and he uses raw material from those in a variety of projects.  Looking through them one can see bits of images that are later used in other books, drawings and collages. He seems to cultivate an attitude of letting work flow all over. That attitude goes into his books as well where he publishes things that seem random and strange but still interesting to him - there's a book of photographs napkins he got while on holiday in Spain and another of doorways in China.

He also publishes and distributes other artists work under the Cafe Royal Books imprint. Lately he's focussing more on photography (esp with the fantastic Field Trip Magazine - all analog photography), but he still has a bunch of  drawing based books in his arsenal. We'll have a bunch of books to sell and hopefully some of his original work to hang up, but I wanted to find a way to highlight the sheer energy of what Craig and Cafe royal have done over the past few years.

I thought of Cafe Royal Magazine, a series of books he published featuring work from a variety of artists from all over - I had a piece in the first issue (numbered "issue zero"). For Leaf and Signal I've gotten a ton of pages that were published in CR Magazine and plan to hang them in a huge wall of paper in The Bridge. I'm hoping it's a drawing OVERLOAD when one stands in front of it.

Next - who else to add to this tornado...

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