Crazy-wonderful turn out for the Los Angeles Art Book Fair at MOCA’s Geffen-Contemporary in Little Tokyo over the weekend. If you could squeeze through the curious hordes — those on a quest and those just browsing — you could check out all-manner of printed matter (posters, postcards, art books, curios, first editions, t-shirts and totes). There was a real emphasis on D.I.Y — projects and products — as well as some fascinating specimens of the art book re-imagined as a lavish multimedia event (one such vendor exhibited a sort of 3-D computer-generated viewing “experience” that was coupled with various folios telling different paths of the story).
I have to say that I was just as taken by the carnival swirl of the event as it spilled out onto the plaza. A band set up; a line to get inside snaked even further out the door. It felt a bit like a county fair, but instead of scent of burgers and fries churning out of the food trucks , onion, curry and turmeric smudged the air.
Just steps from MOCA’s front doors a white-gloved hand pushed a shiny postcard into my open right palm. The glove caught my attention. I didn’t bother to read the text. Instead I looked up and into the eyes of what was a pretty remarkable Michael Jackson impersonator, right down to the super-shiny, short, blue-black ponytail and the precisely penciled-in brows. I’d thought my reaction was somewhat discreet, but apparently it was enough prompt a comment in that familiar delicate whisper: “Sorry to startle you, but I’m just down from Heaven for a little bit .” With that, he turned was lost in the flow and vivid color of the crowds. Why not a little bit of performance art to top off the day?