We really like the first publication by Independent publishing house Zioxla named ‘Strange Plants’. The book is a celebration of plants in contemporary art featuring the work of 25 artists: from oozing paintings of rotting cacti to eerie, mesmeric photos of the leafy kudzu vine, and discusses the role plants play in the artists’ personal lives. For the book, editor Zio Baritaux brought together eight artists whose work focuses on the natural world: Erik Parker, Helene Schmitz, Paul Wackers, Lee Kwang-Ho, Taylor McKimens, David Axelbank, Stephen Eichhorn and Aiyana Udesen. In-depth interviews and articles are presented alongside images that showcase the instinctive and unique ways plants are represented in the artists’ works.
The artists in this book were challenged to think about their work in new ways and ruminate on their unique experiences with plants. I hope this book will inspire others, and challenge the way people look at both plants and art.
For the book artist Lee Kwang-Ho transmuted his inner desires into sensational portraits of enlarged cacti; Stephen Eichhorn constructed elaborate collages out of foliage; and David Axelbank, who was drawn to the unpredictable nature of flowers and film, photographed plants at night. In addition to assembling artists whose work centers around plants, a group of artists who do not typically focus on that subject matter were asked to develop new work. The “Strange Plants” feature, for which artists created an unusual plant in their own aesthetic. Furthermore several tattoo artists, particularly those with distinct or surreal styles, were also asked to create works with plants in mind among which are FUZI UVTPK, Isaiah Toothtaker and Slawomir Nitschke.
Strange Plants was designed by Folch Studio, the award-winning design house in Barcelona, which also developed Apartamento magazine. Folch was engaged in all aspects of the design and production of Strange Plants, and created a delicate and tactile cover inspired by the interactive nature of pressing flowers inside a book. Therefore each book comes with a blank stamped surface with three adhesives inside, so that readers can make their own covers.
Zioxla is an independent publishing house founded by Zio Baritaux, a creative professional who lives and works between Los Angeles and Barcelona. Zio was the managing editor of Shepard Fairey and Roger Gastman’s Swindle magazine, and has since written and/or edited more than a dozen books on art and culture. HarperCollins published ‘The History of American Graffiti,’ a 400-page textbook she edited, and she contributed to Art in the Streets, Jeffrey Deitch’s graffiti and street art exhibition at MOCA, and the accompanying book. She has also curated art exhibitions in both Los Angeles and Miami and has worked with select brands, developing editorial and marketing materials and managing art-related events and sponsorships. In her free time, she freelances for magazines such as Desillusion, Bullett and the always inspirational Sang Bleu.
For more information and to order Strange Plants online see here.