Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Keiichi Tanaami's "Hop Step Jump" published by Nieves

by Suzanne on October 21st, 2011


Double page from Hop Step Jump by Keiichi Tanaami, published by Nieves, 32 pages, 19.5 x 25.5 cm, color offset, 2011 - click to enlarge

I guess I have expressed my huge love affair with the small(est) press and tiny publication houses/rooms/shoeboxes here often enough by posting about releases by My Dance The Skull, Shelter Press, Le Dernier Cri, Atem Books and obviously also the now sadly defunct Kaugummi Books and Les éditions derrière la salle de bains. And everyone I forgot.

A small publisher that's been around for a decade now releasing book after book and zine after zine is Zurich's Nieves. Their catalogue is really diverse and eclectic and they have their own iPhone app and they're an incredibly progressive and very driven bunch of people.

Why am I telling you all this? For mainly three reasons:

• Because a lot of small art zine publishers are struggling to survive due to a low-to-non-profit nature of their business and no-advertisement approach while doing highly important communication work for the visual arts. So they deserve your support.

• Art zines are often super cheap, a lot of them numbered and limited in edition size, lovingly produced - a lot of them screen-printed or printed on Risographs or Goccos, and they simply offer you so much more authenticity and genuinity than a glossy mag.

• Nieves has just released a little book on the art of Keiichi Tanaami and it's super tasty and psychedelic.


Double page from Hop Step Jump by Keiichi Tanaami, published by Nieves, 32 pages, 19.5 x 25.5 cm, color offset, 2011 - click to enlarge

Hop Step Jump is a fantastic visual journey through Keiichi Tanaami's memories and nightmares. Born in Tokyo in 1936, he absorbed the horrors and grotesquery of warfare from early childhood and later wrote about these experiences and how they affected his art:

“I was rushed away from my childhood, a time that should be filled with eating and playing, by the enigmatic monstrosity of war; my dreams were a vortex of fear and anxiety, anger and resignation. On the night of the air raid, I remember watching swarms of people flee from bald mountaintops. But then something occurs to me: was that moment real? Dream and reality are all mixed up in my memories, recorded permanently in this ambiguous way.”

You can preview the book here and purchase it here.