Text by Mila Zuo
The zine is perhaps the last breath of non-commercial DIY sincerity in the world of oversaturated pop literature. Anyone can make one, and attributes that lofty publishers would consider flaws (asymmetry, misspelling, general misuse of grammar and all things linguistic) are revered and treasured in the lo-fi publishing world. And to facilitate the making of zines, independent publishing house Nieves was “conceived out of an inspiration by the love of magazines and then by the love of books,” says Marco Velardi, public relations coordinator for Nieves.
Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Nieves gives musicians, filmmakers, photographers and artists like Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Mike Mills, Ari Marcopoulos and Devendra Banhart free rein over content with only three technical specifications: page count, dimensions and print run. Predominantly visual, the zines and books provide a more intimate window into the visions of artists, a kaleidoscope of striking photographs, illustrations and personal musings. The focus of the Nieves book series has been “to produce, together with the artists, collections of previously unreleased images and works,” Velardi says. For Nieves’ February 2006 zine series, a glorious ménage of strapping young bodies from Larry Clark’s Tulsa and Teenage Lust appear in the limited 150-copy run of Larry Clark 1 and 2.
Nieves founder, publisher and editor-in-chief Benjamin Sommerhalder, an illustrator and graphic designer in his own right, initially began working with artists he met during his career but after five years of running Nieves, the extensive network of artists associated with Nieves counts up-and-comers in the art and music world as well as established notables like Ed Templeton and Rita Ackermann. Recently, the Nog Gallery in London exhibited every single Nieves book and zine ever published. For 2006, Nieves will release two books by Stefan Marx and Japanese new-guard photographer Takashi Homma, while continuing to release limited edition zines and supporting the artists they have worked with.
For more information visit nieves.ch