Just Lookin': Aysen Gerlach's publication explores queer aesthetics in mainstream media

Date
19 March 2019
Reading Time
2 minute read

Aysen Gerlach is a Brooklyn-based illustrator originally from New Jersey. She’s a libra, is currently working as a cheesemonger, is a bit of an aspiring baker and her favourite hobby is doing karaoke. Aysen is also the creator of Just Lookin’ a self-described “visual journal” she started to “explore queer aesthetics in mainstream media,” she tells us. It’s also our new favourite publication.

Originally starting as part of Aysen’s senior thesis at university, each issue of Just Lookin’ is a case study into “gay, lesbian, and queer subtexts found in a piece or centre of media that otherwise presents as heteronormative”. For instance, of the six issues which she’s made so far, Aysen has investigated questions such as “Where did glam rock go?” through to the formative gay icons in cartoons, each providing a new perspective on a recognisable and established area of culture.

In terms of its aesthetic look and feel, the series of publications relates to its early 2000s subject matter through its printing choice but also, “the main reason it looks the way it does is because I’m a huge fan of Risograph printing,” Aysen explains. However in initial tests, the pictures weren’t quite legible enough and so she opted for a more basic method of printing, but retained a duo chrome to encourage a “faux-Risograph look”, also ensuring the separate issues to appear as a cohesive set.

With six issues out in the world, initially selling copies at the art book fair at MoMA PS1 and Printed Matter, Aysen “realised I actually had an audience that was really responding to them, so I decided to keep going!” Issue seven is now well on its way, scheduled for an April release at the LA Art Book Fair where it will make its debut under her small press, Pop3. Make sure you get us a copy!

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Just Lookin’: Issue one

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Just Lookin’: Issue Two

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Just Lookin’: Issue two

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Just Lookin’: Issue four

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Just Lookin’: Issue five

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Just Lookin’: Issue five

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Just Lookin’: Issue six

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.

lb@itsnicethat.com

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