Interview with Michelle Maguire

One of our new exciting additions to our curated marketplace is Columbus Ohio-based creative Michelle Maguire. Our topic of interest is her (first) book that was born from a healthy collaboration with friends and other creatives alike that Maguire got know through the university library that she works part time at. We had the pleasure of having a quick chat with Maguire to get under the surface of this interesting piece of print. 

Hi Michelle, so tell us what is your book about!?
Salami Dreamin’ is a 50-edition artist’s book containing lithography- and silkscreen-printed images of my unintentionally funny, easily unimpressed Italian American Great-Aunt Doll, with colourful Aunt Doll letterpress-printed anecdotes by my husband Aaron Beck.

Aunt Doll, age 85, has lived in Canton, Ohio, her entire life. She cusses, loves cured meats, knows more about the NFL than you do, plays strip mall slot machines with her vegetarian hairdresser of 43 years, isn’t trying to be funny but is, worships the sun from her concrete-slab patio, and frets about nothing except her beloved Italian bread packing on the pounds. Aunt Doll makes the most if it. The gist of her story: enjoy every chicken wing while you holler at the Cleveland Browns on your gigantic analog TV, because we aren’t here forever.

What inspires/informs your work? 
Paying attention to details and finding beauty and humour and entertainment in even the most mundane goings-on. I spend a lot of time watching people, wherever I am – on a bus, in a waiting room, at the grocery store. I guess I see it as a means to entertain myself while performing routine, everyday tasks. I also love stories about ordinary people.

Every time I’m over at Aunt Doll’s place, I take pictures, much to her annoyance. She’s not shy expressing her feelings about having a camera on her – she threatens to physically insert the recording device into my body, and then immediately forgets it was ever there in the first place. But that’s her attitude about most everything: she’s perpetually put out, and always mildly disgusted. She’ll cuss you out in one breath and in the very next, offer you a salami sandwich.

Does your work have a purpose? 
The purpose is to share another story, which I’m all for, especially if the story stars a woman with an undying love of coney dogs. If something makes you laugh, it probably makes someone else laugh, too, and that’s good for the world.

What are your plans for the future? 
I just worked with a factory in North Carolina to create a batch of machine-woven Salami Dreamin’ beach towels! So, I’m going to push the towels around this summer.Also in the works is a trade edition of the book – a commercially printed, larger edition, with tweaked content and format, at a way more affordable retail price. Thus making this first hand-bound deluxe batch of 50 all the more special. I'm excited about creating another version of this book, one that is wider-reaching and much more accessible, and am now in the beginning stages of researching printers and exploring my options. It’s going to be a risograph-printed book this time around. I love thinking about all parts of the book being printed colour-by-colour/layer-by-layer all over again, this time much more loosely, and I'm totally excited.

 Check out the full works here!

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