Salami Dreamin’, a limited-edition artist’s book by Michelle Maguire, features eye-popping, hand-printed images of her blunt, funny, completely unimpressed Italian American Great-Aunt Doll, with colorful Aunt Doll anecdotes by Maguire's husband Aaron Beck.
11.75 x 14.25” / 68 pages / 14 prints / edition of 50
Litho-, silkscreen-, and letterpress-printed
Book and prints available here.
Aunt Doll, age 85, has lived in Canton, Ohio, her entire life. She curses, loves cured meats, knows more about the NFL than you do, plays strip mall slot machines with her vegetarian hairdresser of 43 years, is never trying to be funny but always is, worships the sun from her concrete-slab patio, and frets about nothing except her beloved Italian bread packing on the pounds. Aunt Doll makes the most if it. The gist of her story: enjoy every chicken wing while you holler at the Cleveland Browns on your gigantic analog TV, because we aren’t here forever.
Just before the printing of this book was about to begin, I sat with Aunt Doll in her kitchen. I got through three images before she lost complete interest, so I changed the subject to wedding soup.
Each copy of the book includes a one-of-a-kind bonus pamphlet made from test prints.
Typically discarded after a silkscreen test-pull, these printed-all-over sheets of newsprint were too beautiful to toss, so I'd stack them in a pile to re-visit later. After half a year spent making tightly registered, finicky, unforgiving portraits of Aunt Doll, it was liberating to turn these loose, spontaneous process materials into little bonus pamphlets, slipped into the back of every copy of Salami Dreamin'. Each one totally unique and a remnant of a day's work in the print studio.
Foil pieces left over from stamping the spine and cover titles.
Salami Dreamin' is now a part of permanent collections at these academic libraries, making the book accessible to new batches of students for the next thousand years. When we were making the edition, I wasn't exactly sure where it would end up, and I'm thankful and excited to have this book be seen by so many. It's cool to know people will still be looking at pictures of Aunt Doll in 3017.
The mock-ups and process pieces are my favorites, like this one I made to see how the color rhythm would feel throughout the book. It's a nice object to sit and stare at.