Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Paris Paper Show February 2016

The boxes are back from LA and the material sorted out. I'm pulling some things and along with ditching my summer wear for winter long sleeves, a coat and gloves, heading out to Paris for the February edition of the paper show. Looking forward to seeing all the usual suspects, spending time with friends and colleagues and finding paper treasures for my clients and the upcoming fairs. I'll be there 2.25 to 3.5 so let me know if you're in town, we can meet for drinks. Above, the boudoir room at Nicole Canet's Au Bonheur du Jour galerie.

There are two great shows featuring contemporary artists at the Arts Factory Galerie and the Halles St.Pierre.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vasta stand @ LA Art Book Fair '16

It was a total love fest at last weekend's LA Art Book Fair with people jamming the Vasta stand each day. Sunday was very special as we celebrated Valentine's along with the launch of Autre magazine's LOVE issue featuring an interview of two of our favorite women: Audra Wist, the sex columnist for the magazine interviewing the exceptional model and muse, Tessa Kuragi. You may remember Tessa's seductive face and figure graced the cover of the artist's book, Hide & Seek, published by Vasta Editions in 2014. 

Thanks to all of you who made it to the fair and stopped by to say hi, take in the sexpapers exhibition and buy some books and magazines. Simon, Audra and I had a great weekend and we look forward to returning next year to do it again in LA!!

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sexpapers exhibition

Simon and Audra my amazing crew on opening night

Happy to see Rose again at the stand, showing off their glittering fingernails and below, Sophie Marie, a new friend, holding Beautes Teintees my book of hand-tinted French postcards, published in Paris by our mutual friend, Alexandre Dupouy @ Editions Astarte.

 Simon above in the mix sorting out the details.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

sexpapers NYArt Book Fair '16 Newsstand Smut

The Vasta stand (I02) at the NY Art Book Fair Sept. 15~18 2016 continues its presence in one of the main exhibition spaces, featuring sexpapers, silk screened limited edition artist's books, vintage o/p books, periodicals and ephemera, 1960s to the present in our areas of specialty: the body, the nude and the erotic. Along side the vintage material will be a large selection of the latest European silk screened, limited edition artist's books, published by re:Surgo! in Berlin and Le Dernier Cri in Marseilles. More here.


Our selection of sexpapers will feature erotic publications featuring provocatively illustrated covers, exceptional typography and graphic design. The offering of vintage magazines and newspapers available for purchase, includes: Love, Eat, Sex, Hate, Suck, Club Orgy, Screw, OOH!, Fun, Finger, Love Lights, San Francisco Ball and numerous other American and international publications. Prices on request. More about sexpapers at the end of this post. Looking forward to seeing you at the NY fair. 

Here's the review from VICE for sexpapers at PS1 in September '15 click here and scroll down ... and here's more love we received from hyperallergic, and Autre.

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SEXPAPERS Newsstand Smut 1970s ~ 1980s  

Printed on newsprint, sexpapers are Erotic publications with provocatively illustrated covers, exceptional typography and graphic design. American publications include: Screw, Eat, Love, Hate, Ooh!, Finger, San Francisco Ball, Kiss, Suckotash, Suck, Love Lights, Club Orgy and numerous other rare, and until recently, overlooked publications.

As federal laws in the United States were relaxed* redefining what was considered “obscene”, the flood gates opened and out poured an endless stream of adult oriented magazines, photographs, books and films. In a cultural and commercial sense the first legally protected “smut”, in the form of sexpapers, was now able to move out of fluorescent lit adult bookshops, into the daylight of American newsstands.

The most widely know of these publishers, Screw’s Al Goldstein, a hardcore New Yorker, displayed a “take no prisoners” attitude pushing free speech limits and community standards week after week. Along the way Goldstein and his talented staff created the look for a profitable sexpaper, received tons of publicity and gained notoriety based on explicit content and chutzpah! In its wake Screw influenced a cascade of imitators including a few, non-commercial, “free thinking” hippie types who reworked the concept into what could be called “adult only ‘zines”.  

These publications, Love, Hate and Finger took the form of “reader written” magazines, filled with articles, letters and photographs. They followed Suck, an international adult tabloid, published in Amsterdam by writers and libertines including Willem de Ritter, Germaine Greer and Jim Haynes. Suck was short-lived and disbanded amid internal squabbling in 1971 after seven issues. Out of its ashes came Love, circa 1975, with Willem de Ritter, relocated to the United States, at the helm.                                    

What makes these publications historically and culturally important is evident. What makes them rare? Like every other newspaper, they were made to be read and thrown away, the epitome of paper ephemera. Other than hoarders with a Collier Brother’s disorder, no one saves news-papers, especially sexpapers. Thankfully, smut collectors display their own type of obsessive compulsive behavior. What would we do without them!

- Joseph Vasta

* Federal obscenity law in the U.S. is unusual in that there is no uniform national standard. Former Justice
Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court of the United States, in 1964 in attempting to classify what material
constituted exactly "what is obscene," famously wrote ... "I shall not today attempt further to define the kind of material I understand to be embraced [as obscene] ... but I know it when I see it ..."

Additional judgements by the supreme court in 1966 and 1973 added definitions to what could be considered obscene. However, even though the court created criteria in ’73 to help define what was obscene, it left the deciding factor to be judged by “local community standards”. Today, these three rulings, the most recent over 40 years ago, still stand.