We'd like to think Jay-Z would be pleased with the name of Phoenix's newest local press. Art Problems, the brainchild of photographer Mo Neuharth, "aims to provide the creative platform for visual artists to transform their art into printed material," according to the press' lovely website.
Neuharth says she fell love with the combination of handmade books and photography while studying at ASU. After graduating from the photography program last year, she wanted to maintain some sense of the community that existed in art school. Thus, Art Problems was born.
"It's a way to bring artists together on projects. It's a way for an audience to come and be introduced to art they may not have seen otherwise. It's a way to get art of off walls and get it into peoples' hands," says Neuharth.
For anyone who loves art but can't always afford work, the art book is a dream come true. But it's not just about the price, as Neuharth can attest. "I love books because you have a personal experience with them as opposed to a room filled with people who are all looking at the same, one image," she says. "A book is yours."
For its first book, Art Problems is releasing 20,000 Hours, a selection of 28 photographs from six local photographers: Abigail Lynch, Kaleb Marshall, Meredith Minne, Mo Neuharth, Ashley Reynolds, and Patrick Driscoll.
Neuharth selected the photos for 20,000 Hours from photographers with whom she had an existing close artistic relationship, but she stresses that Art Problems is about providing a platform for all kinds of art forms -- not just photography.
Neuharth says 20,000 Hours almost feels like it came together on its own. "This group of pictures is a critique of the world from a 20-something's perspective. A lot of them are very disturbing and confusing and have little reference to the real world, but at the same time are playful and sarcastic and filled with color," Neuharth says. "All of the pictures create this weird realm where things are familiar but not."
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20,000 Hours will be released in an edition of 30. The first 10 will be $30, and then the price will go up to $40. You can purchase the book at Palabra this Saturday during the release party, which will feature music by JaguarSun and treats from Lux Coffee. The book will also be available on the Art Problems web store around March 4.
Neuharth says Art Problems is already getting stacked up with projects, and she plans on releasing new material regularly. We're exited to see where it goes.
Art Problems will celebrate the release of its first publication, 20,000 Hours, at Palabra at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1. For more information, visit www.artproblems.com or check out the Facebook event page.