Who’s behind this?
I (Clare Kelly) am the CEO of Hesse Press. John Wiese is the art director.
Elevator pitch in one sentence.
Hesse Press publishes a series of limited-edition monographs by Los Angeles-based artists.
What mission or overarching vision defines Hesse Presse?
It’s philanthropic. I give small grants to the artists that work with Hesse. I also give them 100 copies of their own book for the artist to sell, keep, or distribute. I’m interested in supporting working artists and, in the process, documenting some slices of what’s going on in contemporary Los Angeles for the public to enjoy or own.
The desire to form the press comes from an appreciation of the artistic community that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of in Los Angeles.
What does collaboration bring to your project?
Collaborating with John is very easy. We both believe in and enjoy what we are doing. We can match each other’s energy, but are generous with helping each other. We work well together.
Highlights so far?
The launch party at Family in LA in October.
Selling out of our first monograph by Cali Thornhill-Dewitt.
Getting European distribution through Antenne Books.
Our first table, at the LA Art Book Fair.
Finding a distributor in the US to work with. Hopefully that will change this year.
Biggest lessons learned?
Don’t rest just because you can.
Be grateful for what you have and try to use it in the wisest way available to you, to benefit others.
If you truly believe in something, you will work harder for it to become a reality.
That quote from Philo is true — “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”
Most important, listen to the voice in your head that says “Yes, something more beautiful than what I have previously known is possible.”
If Hesse Press were a song (or album) what would it be?
I would invite all the artists we’ve worked with to record an album together.