Mitsu Okubo may create subversive commentary, but he also calls humor “the most sincere form of communication.”
“When I'm making something,” says the San Francisco-based illustrator and printmaker, “the first thing I think of is if someone will find it humorous. Making something funny brings someone's defenses down. You can convince yourself to like something, you can convince yourself to hate something, but it's really hard to convince yourself that something is funny."
Okubo, who combines collage, grotesque imagery, monsters and tongue-in-cheek sexualization in his work, exhibits his books of drawings and collages, as well as his box sets of prints and books, at the inaugural San Francisco Art Book Fair this weekend -- joining over 75 artists, galleries and zinemakers in the Dogpatch.
Presented by Colpa Press, Park Life, and the Minnesota Street Project, the Art Book Fair includes artists from NOLA, New York, and the Bay Area, and runs Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, at 1275 Minnesota Street, a sweeping venue that houses eleven galleries and temporary exhibition spaces.
Okubo's dark humor is just one among the Art Book Fair's wide swath of styles and mediums, from installation artists and printmakers to punk rock curators.
Juan Capistrán and Hazel Mandujano of the gallery Mandujano_Cell in Inglewood, Los Angeles, are appearing at the fair to display the work of some of their favorite artists and collaborators. The pair of artists and curators went to Otis College of Art and Design and grew up with punk rock and DIY culture, and have taken that sensibility and applied it to their work and gallery.