4 picture books, designed, printed and published by Otto with poems by Benjamin Heathcote.
- Musical Chairs
- The Stranger
An edition of one hundred, A6 multicolour screen-prints with a wrap-around super sleeve and a fold-out double page spread.
Each booklet features a different 'style' of imagemaking: Musical Chairs is flat and pattern-based, The Stranger features grids and networks, Races relies on lines, and Work is reminiscent of early Soviet block printing. Equally, the typeface for the poetry differs in each booklet corresponding to the subject matter. The fonts for Work and Musical Chairs are designed by Otto. The fold-outs and wrap-arounds can be taken apart and assembled to form larger visual units, and to reveal further surprising imagery.
For Otto, self-publishing has been the only way to meet his high demands of the production process. The creation from concept to the printed page is one continuous process. Printing is simply the final phase of imagemaking. Otto's designs reject the traditional form of accompanying narrative with illustrations. He treats text as part of the image to form an integrated unit both conceptually and physically to avoid conventional software associated with design and text-layout.
Otto has been self-publishing artists' books since 1995. He also illustrates for international newspapers and magazines specialising in political and economic subjects. His books are visual narratives and in the tradition of Constructivist designers from the early 20th century, deal with social and political issues.
He regularly exhibits at book fairs and his books are sold in artists' book shops; BookArtBookShop, KALEID editions, V&A, Whitechapel Gallery Shop, Ebert&Weber (Berlin), Edinburgh Printmakers, Spike Print Studios (Bristol).
Benjamin Heathcote is a poet based in Hackney, London. He describes his writing as "The lyrical antidote to all modern nonsense."