Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Front Forty in URB Magazine

URB's January/February issue contains a lovely little article by Dani Deahl about Front Forty Press...

"Chicago's Front Forty Press is undoubtedly the dark horse of the art book world. Started just a few years ago as a virtual publishing house, Front Forty has gained steam in the past two years, jumpstarted by a feature at P.S.1 MoMA, and now boasts six acclaimed titles in circulation with several more planned for 2008.

Doug Fogelson, the man behind Front Forty, is just as much of a curiosity as the press itself. The straight-laced man in a pinstripe suit hardly seems like the person who would publish the racially charged graphic novel The Hole. Other books range from the ponderings over built environments in Sonneteer to Matt Volla's Unruly Drawings, a sketchbook chronicling the misadventures of tiny drawn creatures. However, the biggest success for Front Forty thus far has been Graffitecture, a visual thesis where Fogelson provided photographs of high end spaces to well known graffiti artists to do with as they pleased. Accompanied by four essays on graffiti, the book is as much about musing as it is markers and wound up winning best design 2007 at the Hollywood Book Festival.

A recent distribution deal with the University of Chicago Press mans that big box retailers will soon carry Front Forty releases, as well as the small independent shops and museum stores that Fogelson contacts directly. Despite the hard work, he admits the sudden success is a bit puzzling. "People have really responded to the books, which is suprising," he says. "Everyone's been trying to figure our who we are and what we're about. Our philosophy is [that] if we think something is interesting enough, we make a book out of it."

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