Two posters by Dash Snow

Untitled [Quarterback 2]
Poster print (offset on paper)
30.3 x 47.8 inches (77 x 121.4 cm)
Los Angeles: Peres Projects, 2008

Untitled [The Sky's the Limit]
Poster print (offset on paper)
47 x 35.5 inches (119.4 x 90.2 cm)
Los Angeles: Peres Projects, 2008

Snow made his best work in the most ephemeral media, namely zines, newspaper collages and, as here, posters. Snow created these 18 posters (all of which began as small newspaper collages) for a brief exhibition at Peres Projects' booth during the NY Art Book Fair in 2008. The size of the edition is not stated and posters were not signed but the print run is known to have been small, perhaps fewer than 50 copies of each image, and several of posters sold out in just three days at the fair. 
$500 each 

Damien Hirst: The Beautiful Afterlife

  Smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide without actually dying. I smoke because it's bad, it's really simple.
-Damien Hirst

HIRST, Damien. The Beautiful Afterlife. Zurich: Bruno Bischofberger, 1997.

4to; fully illustrated in color; pictorial wrappers. Fine.

First Edition. One of 1,000 signed and numbered copies; this is number 14, signed and inscribed, Damien Hirst, for Ruth.

The Beautiful Afterlife is Damien Hirst’s most successful artist’s book. Replete with his usual cheek and bad-boy panache, the book is a neat summation: he addresses his recurring theme of mortality and the inevitable decay of the body while simultaneously paying tribute to Andy Warhol, his principal artistic forefather.  In particular, the book is an overt homage to the immensely influential catalogue Warhol created to accompany his 1968 exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. As an object its dimensions are nearly identical to those of the Stockholm catalogue and the photograph on the exterior wrappers of Hirst’s book, an arrangement of artificially bright and garishly funereal flowers, overtly references the day-glo bright flower paintings Warhol used on the front and back covers of his book. 

Whether his materials are sharks or cow carcasses preserved in formaldehyde, neatly arrayed pharmaceutical products, or human skulls encrusted with diamonds, Hirst’s work rarely strays too far from thoughts of the weakness and fallibility of all flesh.  In this instance, as with some of his most celebrated sculptural works, the medium is cigarette ends.  Page after page, each butt is photographed dead in the center of a stark white background. With so little to look at, small variations loom large. Each Gitane, Rothman, Lucky or Marlboro is the remnant of a brief, half-conscious gesture; some are half smoked and daintily extinguished, others sucked down to the filter and emphatically crushed out. Though repetitive, the sequence of images is oddly fascinating. After so much hypnotic dullness, three images which appear at unexpected intervals (a box of matches, a bit of crumpled foil packaging, and a butane lighter) deliver a far greater jolt than such mundane objects have any right to do. 

In Hirst’s book there is a faint echo of Eliot: like Prufrock measuring out a life with ‘coffee spoons,’ these images show the arc of life through its small habitual acts. Even so, Hirst’s tone is hardly melancholy—defiance is more his style. Like Warhol, who used intimations of mortality to amp up the cool glamour of his work, Hirst digs death because to laugh in its face is by far the best way to create a rebel style. Or, in his words, "Let's have a drink, a smoke and a screw while we can because we'll all be dead soon... "

Five 1965 Girlfriends by Ed Ruscha

[Ed RUSCHA]. Design Quarterly 78/79. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1970.

4to.; illustrated throughout in black and white; printed wrappers; spine lightly toned. Near fine.

First edition. This is a double issue of the Walker Art Center’s architectural journal Design Quarterly which was devoted to “conceptual architecture” and comprised of a series of multi-page sections. Each section was created by one of the eleven designers, artists, or architectural firms who had been invited to contribute, and was printed exactly as they submitted it, without editing, commentary, or any alteration of the layout or overall design. Contributors included Peter Eisenman, Ant Farm, Archigram, Archizoom, and Superstudio, but the issue is most notable for Ed Ruscha’s contribution: a series of pages, in much the same style as his celebrated books, entitled Five 1965 Girlfriends. Ruscha’s inclusion in the journal reflects his renown in the architecture and design community, where he was then just as well known as in the art world, due to the popularity of his artists’ books with those who studied city planning and the design of urban spaces. This reached an apex in 1972 when Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown reproduced several images and made extensive reference to Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip when they published their own classic work treatise, Learning from Las Vegas. Despite these bona fides, Ruscha’s plays against expectation here—rather than a study of vernacular urban Americana, he submitted photos of five girls he had dated in 1965 along with an artist photo in which he plays a Lothario type in embroidered Western shirt, full moustache, bedroom eyes, and a lock of hair carelessly fallen across his forehead.