To coincide with the New York Art Book Fair which runs from today until 7 November, we spoke to London based Jane Wilson and Jeremy Kunze of their eponymously named independent book publishing company Jane & Jeremy. A sideline project to their ‘day jobs’ – artist and photographer Jane is currently working with Marc Quinn, and Jeremy as a graphic designer at Pentagram – they set up Jane & Jeremy after meeting on a night out in Soho, in their own words: “a meeting of two similar creative minds on the dance floor.” Since then they have never looked back, and the English/Australian couple have gone on to produce numerous projects and books which are sold all over the world – Colette in Paris, Dashwood in New York and Teeluxe in Byron Bay, Australia to name a few. For the fifth annual art book fair in New York’s MoMA, Jane & Jeremy will be launching two new books – Europa Two and Sea Journeys – as well as releasing the second edition of their much celebrated book of Polaroid kisses, aptly entitled XXX. A continuation from their original handsewn book, XXX shows a series of climactic kisses from films. Uniting their creative skills everything Jane & Jeremy do is beautifully executed, down to the individual stitching of their handsewn coloured bookbindings. Just before their transatlantic flight we caught up with the delightful duo for a quick chat.
How and why did Jane & Jeremy start?
Generally we both found we liked the same things, we liked the work we saw in each other’s sketch books and thought a web shop/project space would be a good idea, an escape from our commercial day to day work.
What inspires you?
Many people: artists, designers and musicians who have an attitude we admire and affiliate with; people who make things because they are passionate not because they want to make money. Travel also interests the both of us greatly: we love Paris and going to small seaside towns. Jane also worked in a bookshop for a while (Zwemmer and then Claire de Rouen) and was definitely influenced by the amazing photography and art books she saw there: Ed Ruscha books, Stephen Gill, Tichy to name a few.
What makes you different from other independent art book publishers?
I guess what makes us different is that we do a lot of the stuff by hand. Lots of cutting, folding, glueing, sewing and binding. The books become very personal as we see them through the whole process from start to finish.....not many book publishers would have neighbours who wonder why they are often spraying glue onto paper out the window with a dust mask on!
This year you will be exhibiting at the New York Art Book Fair…
We are very excited! Its our first Jane & Jeremy event and when we started out we didn't really think things of this scale would happen. Our books have been sold in some wonderful shops but this will be the first time they'll all be laid out together and as our books are all designed to the same format, it's how we envisioned it.
Which books are you looking forward to seeing at the Fair?
Morel Books is releasing a new book by Tichy which we are hoping will be there, Mark Borthwick is doing a book signing, there's a talk by Dutch design studio Metahaven, a new book by Je Suis une Bande de Jeunes...so much to see and get our hands on. We have a big suitcase so we're prepared!
How did you come up with idea to create XXX ?
Jane took the Polaroids as material for a print making project, the kisses were distanced from the film and the story through various processes and it became more about the moment rather than the film, characters and actors. Jeremy found them tucked away in a sketch book and thought they would be a nice series for a book.
Which is your favourite movie kiss?
Well they are always good but La Notte has a good one towards the end of the film...dawn breaking, after a party in the grass, very passionate!
How important is the production and finish of your books?
Very important, the book as an object is just as important to us as the content to us – the design, type, paper, print and packaging are all very much considered.
In addition to designing and publishing books you also carry out a variety of side projects can you tell us a little about these?
These are vents for our various hoarding habits: old shoes, bakery bags, text messages – we like to cherish everything.
What does the future hold for Jane & Jeremy?
Hopefully lots of good things – book fairs in Paris and maybe a shop of our own one day…
Text by Lucia Davies
Jane & Jeremy will be exhibiting all of their books for the first time at The New York Art Book Fair runs 5–7 November at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens.