Zoetrope: All-Story

Five Questions with Jeffrey Gibson

Why did you accept the invitation to design the Spring 2021 edition of All-Story?
It was an opportunity that I’ve not had previously, and I’m working on a book project for which I’ll be the editor. So I’ve been paying a lot of attention to print material lately, and I thought this would be a perfect chance to have some fun with the format of a publication. 

Were there any surprises in the design process?
Initially I wanted to design something extremely focused, streamlined, and maybe even minimal. Yet I soon realized that it made sense to extend my studio practice to this issue, which meant simply opening up to everything that is physically in my space, my collections, and the archive of my work over the past decade. 

Any challenges?
Once I opened up to sharing everything, then it all flowed pretty easily. 

Might you offer any advice to future designers?
Just be yourself and enjoy the process. It’s such a fun collaboration, and I tried not to get in my own way or overthink things. 

What’s inspiring you of late? 

Visual:
Beetlejuice and Frankenweenie, because I have kids, and I’ve been introducing my daughter to Tim Burton’s films.
Julie Mehretu at the Whitney
Niki de Saint Phalle at MoMA PS1
The work of Huguette Caland

Musical:
Roberta Flack’s Quiet Fire. Mahalia Jackson, lots of Chicago house music, DJ Honey Dijon, some nineties UK jungle and drum and bass mixes, the list goes on. 

Textual:
Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Zoonomia by Erasmus Darwin

Photo: Brian Barlow