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Self-publishing has been the voice of counter culture movements and social uprising since the arrival of the printing press. Easy to print and reproduce letters, pamphlets and newspapers have helped spread messages, both good and bad, to the masses (see airborne leaflet propaganda to understand how printing has been used during war time).

In today’s digital age, self-publishing, specifically zines, have lead to a new movement in art, literature and culture. Anyone with access to a printer or photocopier can easily kick out a small run of their work to share with the world, and there are plenty of fairs and book meets to help sell and trade zine works.

One of our favorite zine publishers is Paperwork NYC. It’s a small publishing house with an incredible collection of works that is highly raw and sexualized in nature. The publishing house takes a no-hold-bar approach when dealing with today’s world, collecting photography and books from some well known and not so well known that look into sexuality and street photography in a manner all their own. Erotic photographer, Jonathan Leder (“A Study in Fetishism Vol. 1” and “Vol. 2,” and “Bang“) is well known for his Paperwork NYC titles, as is Louisa Behnke (“Yardi“) and  Kilroy Savage (“Bitch Magnets“).

At the heart of Paperwork NYC is publisher Mike Krim, himself a photographer whose work has been collected in titles like “Red Champagne” and “Dog Food.”

We caught up with Mr. Krim to get some thoughts on today’s zine culture, social media and what’s next for Paperwork NYC.

Why Paperwork NYC?
Well, the most obvious is we make books out of paper and are based in New York City (haha). It’s also a term that is used on the streets to check ones credentials and past, and we curate that into our artist view though quality work .

What is appealing about self-publishing zines?
Having the freedom to create what we feel like and not being told what to censor is the most appealing. From a financial standpoint you get back what you put in, and if done right you can really cash in by creating a affordable creative outlet that any one can access or be a part of.

How do you describe the vibe of your releases?
Raw, highly sexual candid photos and mixed media with the reality of the street seen through the eyes of a select few.

There is a fresh slew of women and sex online and in zine form. What is driving this demand and how does Paperwork rise above the fold?

I think it’s a mix of social media and the current social injustice trends. You have lots of female artist creating fun art and getting naked and discussing their ups and downs online, so its building giant fanbases that anyone can access and appreciate. So on one end you got girls vibing on the uplifting side and dudes falling head over heals on girls they will never meet but feel connected to them in some way. It’s easy marketing.

I think what separates us is being selective and not just using “trendy” girls from Instagram for projects and playing pretend, this is the reality. I’m not trying to get some “model” to go up in some seedy sex motel and pretend to play hooker – thats weird. I’d rather just have the real thing and turn up the spice levels.

Sex and violence is a term mixed often and used often, but how do you use the terms to describe your work?
That hot girls like bad boys and vice versa. Its the driving force behind the entertainment industry and American culture in general, so I might as well play on it and showcase it in my own way.

What’s next from Paperwork and Mike Krim?
We have four new books dropping in February with a event to be announced which I am super excited about. One of the books in particular was all shot in the early 2000s by Yana Toyber giving you a inside look into American brothels and the stories behind the women that work there.

For me personally, I’m about to getting duel citizenship in some parts of South America and am trying to explore all of that. Getting inspired, doing some fishing, shooting some photos, and living.

Managing Director N.A.

Jeff Carvalho is Managing Director for Highsnobiety N.A. in New York City. He holds a journalism degree from Northeastern University.