Claiming idle hands and boredom as his impetus, Aron Morel put that down time to good use when he created Morel Books, the thriving non-profit publisher of the art world. Aiming to even out the artist’s playground, Morel works closely with both prominent (Ryan McGinley’s Moonmilk) as well as lesser-known (Alex Binder, whose photographs are taken from a homemade pinhole camera) artists, and works to create limited-edition runs with agreeable prices for every issue. Brigitte got the chance to have a few words with the publisher. Check out what he had to say, and see some images from the artists whose books we're stoked to stock! - OC
Brigitte Nicole: How did Morel Books begin?
Aron Morel: Hours of ennui, idle hands plus a passion for photography, and a fascination for works in print, brought about our first books. The idea has always been to make limited-edition publications (from books to zines), mingling established artists with fresh face talents. In my mind, a book is the final step in an artist’s work. I think they out do exhibitions; they are intimate as they are looked at from arms reach in a convenient space. And design wise, books have so many variables including format, text, weight, and so on, allowing the artist to give unlimited ways to present their work. So, I suppose the philosophy to books inspired the will to publish.
BN: Describe your most vivid experience with books as a child?
AM: I suppose in my early teens I discovered William Blake's illuminated books, i.e. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Those were, and still are, one of my biggest inspirations, not only for their beauty and visionary poetics, but also for the fact that they were all hand-printed, hand-painted, and hand-bound by Blake himself! I still go back to my copies of them, and occasionally print and bind mini-versions of the series as gifts for friends, etc. And maybe one day I'll do an official version (of William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell) with a print run of 50 or so...
BN: Books are important because ____________ .
AM: Books are vessels of information that transcend time and space! Books are shared and passed on; books are eternal and holy! When an artist is involved in the design, amongst other variables of a book, the viewer experiences the work from the perspective that the artists intends, and to a certain degree, the viewer essentially owns a work of art. As a publisher, one of our grandest hopes is to allow people to experience the work of young talents, and what better way than through books? Our books are found in specialist shops from Japan to Argentina, Sweden to South Korea, so I guess we're really getting some of these unknown talents out and about. In the case of established artists, like Ryan McGinley and Stella Vine, it's a pleasure just getting their work into the hands of eager fans.
BN: Acting as a non-profit publisher, what are the underlying intentions Morel Books takes into account when selecting current and upcoming titles?
AM: As a non-profit publisher, we end up putting everything we've got back into books. When selecting titles, we mainly choose what we like and think that we can make a meaningful book from.
There is no criterion or system that we have, just the will to make good books.
BN: What's in store for the future of Morel Books?
AM: Upcoming titles include books by Boris Mikhailov, Jerry Hsu, Miroslav Tichy, Agnes Thor, Aurel Schmidt and a bundle more of magic!