The Carpe Diem Press is located in Oaxaca, Mexico. After moving to Mexico in 1995, the artist James Brown and his wife Alexandra began to work with local printers and artisans to produce limited edition books and prints, subsequently founding Carpe Diem Press in 2000. In addition to publishing James Brown’s own works, other artists and writers have been invited to work at the press in Mexico, including Joan Jonas, Kiki Smith, Jack Pierson and Dan McCleary.
Printed in limited editions of around 20-25 copies, the artist’s books and prints produced at Carpe Diem reflect the traditional typography techniques of the printing studios of Oaxaca in their use of old metal and wood typefaces. The printing studio is Linotípográfica Quintas. All the books are assembled and bound by the Quintas family. In contrast, however, the content and form of the books is non-traditional, as seen in the folding book, The Blue Feet, made by Kiki Smith and the books by Rob Wynne and Judith Hudson, in which all the covers in the edition are unique. The texts of the books are also highly varied and span centuries, ranging from the writings of the 16th Century mystic poet, Sor Juana de La Cruz, to brand new works such as an excerpt from a novel by Francisco Goldman and Haiku poems by Susanna Moore. Each book and print published by the Press is a work of art in itself and more than fulfills James Brown’s definition of an artist’s book as “a work by an artist that is as significant as any other artwork made by that artist”.
Included in the website will be all of the artists’ books produced by the press as well as the self-published prints and multiples made by Mr. Brown. The Carpe Diem Press website will also include special projects with artists and a photographic survey of the Press since its inception in 2000.