“I always like it when things fall into place,” says Christoph Ruckhäberle, the founder, editor and curator of Lubok, a publication that doesn’t stick to the same rules as its contemporaries. Based in Leipzig and sporadically released, the highlight of each issue is the element of surprise. Lubok covers are always vividly patterned, giving no indication to the often monochrome content that resides within it. Issues also differ entirely in terms of contributors, theme, design and weight. Issue nine for instance is as thick as a dictionary, ten is as thin as a standard magazine. However, what you are guaranteed is a publication of mass illustrational delight imbedded with hope, chance and historical context.
The hope featured in each issue is a product of Christoph’s approach to collating the publication. Each double page spread of Lubok is a submission by a different creative given the same tool: a linoleum plate to cut into. His process is to send a plate to the creative, cross his fingers and wait for it to arrive back before going to print. The creatives Christoph commissions differ in numerous ways in order to “gather people from a large range of backgrounds,” he explains. “Each issue contains well-known creatives to the unknown, both the young and old, illustrators, painters, designers or even conceptual artists.” The consequent outcome is a narrative that writes itself. “It develops on its own. You never know what each person will cut into the lino in the end, it is always different to the one before. This is what makes it so interesting.”