By Toby Millman
Morgan Conservatory, Cleveland, Ohio : Toby Millman, 2019. Edition of 15.
4.25 x 5.5”; 72 pages. Letterpress and inkjet printing. Mounted and hinged print ephemera. Printed in two versions, on Mohawk Superfine Cover and Neenah Howard Linen, each with 13 ephemeral objects. Hard cover, drum-leaf bound. Bound in red book cloth with title stamped on front cover. Produced at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio in July and August of 2019. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Toby Millman: "’Family Business’ … began from my father’s accumulated stash of business cards related to the now defunct import/export electronics company started by my grandfather, Irving Kryss, and his brother, Josef, in the early 1970s. The business once had offices in Miami, Chicago, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Colón and Caracas and the photographs and ephemera accumulated over the years tells a story of family, immigration and capitalism and the struggle to earn a living on one’s own terms.
“The production of 'Family Business' employed a range of tools and equipment spanning more than a century, and the included objects demonstrate various high- and low-end commercial printing techniques. As the 'family business' changed form, so did the methods of print production. The book tells a parallel story about the ubiquity of printed matter and how it reflects various points in time through the lens of this one company.”
Toby Millman: “The book is basically a family tree as represented through business cards. Immigration - as represented through all the different addresses on the cards - as well as some of the photos - is a theme that runs throughout and locations represented (through the business cards as some of the photos) include Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas (there are photos of their annual electronics show) as well as cities in South/Central America, Asia, Israel and Egypt. Other comments I’ve received relate to book of cards as a catalog of commercial printing technologies.”
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