Brian Paul Lamotte and Andreas Laszlo Konrath are the duo behind Pau Wau Publications, a Brooklyn-based publishing house. They started with xerox zines and now have become inherent to the culture of New York zine-making, via their participation to The Newstand or the 8-Ball Zine Fairs. As the NYABF 2014 approaches, we step into their world and we are glad to have them as our publishers of the week.
When was Pau Wau founded, how did it start?
Pau Wau was founded in 2008 and is based in Brooklyn. It was formed out of the desire to collaborate and produce printed material that was primarily handmade and limited. What started modestly using xerox machines and staples has evolved into publishing more developed books while continuing to stay true to our original ideals.
What brought about the idea of creating this publishing house?
Initially Pau Wau was a group of friends who just wanted to produce their work in a printed form. After the first few attempts at making zines and actually gaining a receptive audience it was a natural progression to formalize it. By working in this way Pau Wau was able to have creative control and bypass traditional publishing models.
Pau Wau designs and publishes many different zines with the likes of Tyrone Lebon, Niall O'Brien and Richard Kern, among others. What's the process of making a zine like this?
The process always stems from an organic place - Pau Wau tries to not force any preconceived ideas until an initial conversation with the artist takes place. It's all about communication. Sometimes artists approach Pau Wau and sometimes Pau Wau approaches them - it varies from project to project. Overall the goal is to make something unique with pure intention.
The books themselves are these beautiful objects - how much of the artist's input is considered when designing the physical book and in the layout design? They're also always different format...
The artists involvement with the production and design of the publications is always very important. The purpose of Pau Wau is collaboration and the process always starts with the artist and their goal for the project. After that it's a game of ping pong with ideas until everyone feels it's the right direction for the piece. Pau Wau approaches each project as a unique endeavor which deserves it's own appropriate format.
You have worked with a diverse range of artists, some very well known and some younger names. Do you think that there is a thread that connects the artists Pau Wau works with, aesthetically or otherwise?
Initially the common thread was friendship and trust, working with a group of friends whose work resonated both conceptually & aesthetically. As it's continued to grow interest in different work and ideas have changed but a cohesion between various artists & projects has been achieved by closely overseeing every step of the process and being resourceful along the way.
What's written in the stars for Pau Wau next? Any new projects?
Next up it's the NYABF at PS1 at the end of the month - there will also be a few other fairs happening in the winter. The next major volume to be published will be "Infinite Power" by David Brandon Geeting which should be out in late fall. There's always smaller projects popping up in between and more zines to make! Right now there is such a positive self publishing community that Pau Wau is proud to be part of.