This is the most unlikely book Pressed Wafer has published to date. Jo Ann Rothschild introduced herself as a friend of the curator Harry Cooper and invited me to her Boston studio to look at her recent paintings. I went, looked and had a few things to say. I was about to leave when she asked me if I wanted to look at something else. Sure, I said. And this something else turned out to be a small, black sketchbook that held fifty drawings of penises. I started to laugh at the second one and halfway through the book I said Pressed Wafer would publish it.
I had no idea of the hoops this book would go through nor did PW designer Cris Mattison. On seeing the book he had the idea that we should publish a facsimile with a statement by Jo Ann and an Afterword by Harry coming after the drawings. Cris did a great design and then the adventure began. Two printers we’d done business with turned the book down flat. A penis or fuck, cunt or shit or asshole they had no problem with but images? Verboten. We tried the Mennonites of Western Canada who had done good work for us. NO! They had high school students as interns and all hell would surely break loose when they told their parents what they were working on at the print shop. We were stymied.
Cris had the idea of going to a comic book publisher but we tried one more printer and they agreed so long as we left their name off the book. They were expensive—it remains the most expensive book PW has published—but we were grateful.
The book has had no reviews but Jo Ann and I did appear in a Brandeis College classroom.
Twenty copies remain of a limited edition of JoAnn Rothschild’s Book of Penis. For $73 (the story behind the price is that JoAnn drew 73 new penis drawings for the edition) you will receive a copy of the book signed by JoAnn and Harry Cooper, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery, who introduced the book to Pressed Wafer and an original numbered and signed penis drawing.