My last post discussed the everyday publications that feature the work of amazing artists and how they “fit” into the homes of everyday folk. I gushed about my top five publications that I read in my pursuit of the next bright young thing I could add to my collection. Unfortunately, I cannot exhibit the same level of gush toward the publications that are designed specifically for artists and about artists. I’m not quite sure why in this day the publishing world just can’t seem to get the artist magazine to be in the same showcase style that is afforded to home design and decoration magazines. I am pretty certain that if they were in the same realm, there would be a lot less empty walls and a lot more artists selling their work to the everyday folk. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy reading artists magazines, because I am an artist and I am always researching techniques and styles emerging in the art world and am interested in the beauty of creation. However, I do find that a lot of the time it is not the artist I am hearing when I read the words on the page, but a critic. While I love a good critique, I don’t enjoy a critic. As it is not in my style to talk about things I don’t like, I’m going to tell you about the art magazines that I love in the hope that these will vamp up the image of the artists magazine.
So here are my top five:
Holy moly!! I am so in love with this yearly magazine with its collection of artists and their work bound together and usually in a pink book!! While small in stature, this publication packs a serious punch to the coveting heart. The premise of the book, as I understand it, is to showcase artists from around the world, whose art represents the amazing feeling of being a female artist, a core shaker and a boundary smasher. Curvy has been in publication for eight years and with each and every edition I am floored by the beauty of the collection, the vulnerability of the artists and the exquisite talent the editors have found. There are a number of interviews with the artists featured for that year, which opens up the trials and tribulations a female artist manoeuvres through to get to this wonderful picnic spot. The cherry on the cupcake is a travelling exhibition of the printed works weaving its way around to capital cities and if you’re lucky and quick you might even snap up an original piece! If nothing else, every year I have left the exhibition clutching tightly the latest edition. Friends will attest to this behaviour – for the next few days, nothing other than “ooohh” and “aahhh” and “I want” and”oh my look at this” comes out of my mouth and my time is totally dedicated to exploring the pages of my very own kind of pornography.
Images borrowed from http://www.curvy-world.com
I must admit I am relatively late to the party held for this little gem, but I have made up the time and am in love with the surreal, deliciously wicked, suitably dark and sometimes a little obscene works of art that adorn the pages. I stumbled across Beautiful Bizarre on my Instagram feed when an artist I am following was featured in the magazine. As I weaved my way through the web links I was totally enthralled and my tired eyes just couldn’t drink in enough of the beautiful and bizarre imagery. I really did feel as though I was tumbling down the proverbial twisted rabbit hole – which incidentally is the tag line for this magazine’s marketing. The editors of this magazine have truly captured in their web the artists of the once niche market that is currently having a boom in popularity. As the name implies it is beautiful and bizarre works you will find amongst the pages of this magazine. Here you will find images of girls exposed in more ways that the physical, wearing elaborate gowns made from animal flesh or sticky spiders web, and appearing somewhat accepting of their inevitable fate from the lurking darkness behind or sometimes within them.
Images borrowed from www.beautifulbizarre.net
Now to a magazine with a little less chance of confrontation and cries of shock from the gallery. Anthology is a published magazine that showcases predominately American artists from a variety of disciplines. This publication does for artisans what the design magazines do for renovation enthusiasts. It features interviews that provide a snapshot into the lives of the artist, their homes and their little townships. I like this magazine because the articles are written so damn lovely, I want to pack up my velvet swag, hop the trans Atlantic and arrive in the U.S of A ready and willing to spend my days as an artists assistance for a penny a day and the sniff of their creative rag. The imagery is less specifically about the art, and more about how they live amongst their art and art community. So it technically isn’t a pure art magazine, but nonetheless I get to hear the words of the artists, smell the green woods behind their attic studio and listen to the vinyl playing in the background as they tell me about their creative process and sometimes about the antics of their cat.
Images borrowed from www.anthologymag.com
This magazine is the brain child of two artists Annie Owens and Attaboy. If you’re in search of a publication where contemporary artists converge amongst an intoxicating combination of visual delights and finely tuned critiques, then Hi Fructose will deliver exactly this to you. I love this digital magazine for the art pieces it curates, which I would ordinarily only ever find walking the halls of the contemporary art galleries in far-flung corners of the world. The art works featured are high-end spectacular pieces that cause me to sit for lengthy periods just staring at the screen and wishing with all my might that my computer would go all Xanadu on me and I could step into the digital world to get my eyes really really close to the piece. That never happens unfortunately, but I persist, because you never know where technology and the digital world can take you. The critiques are well written and seemingly from interviews with the artist, observations of people engaging with the art pieces and even at time the curators interpretation (which is so very exciting for a hopeful little curator like me!).
Images borrowed from www.hifructose.com
This magazine does exactly as it professes, filled with art from a variety of contemporary artists from all denominations with commentary written by the artist, without critical or curatorial analysis from third parties. I love to read about the artists creative process, read how the artists dreams and fears are hidden amongst the paint and pencil lines of the work. This is when you know you are dealing with pure artists, those who dig deep within the refuge of their mind catalogue to evoke an image that is steeped in their own pungent essence and is often rather bizarrely transferred onto canvas and paper. While I think many artists find it difficult to write in words how they build their images and when they can it is often only the tip of tulip bud, it is lovely to be able to read even just a snippet of the process an artist undertakes when creating. I guess this magazine gives me the depth I crave, that I have found very difficult to find amongst the pages of the many magazines featuring artists and art on the new stands here in Australia.
Images borrowed from www.slowart.com
While I hear some people casually throwing about statements that the art world is in trouble, I think they are more referring to the financial world of art production and selling, which may well be suffering like any other industry at the moment. However, I think if you take a moment to look amongst the pages of any of these magazines I have featured, you will see that the art world is alive and thriving and is as wonderfully wicked as it has always been. I’d love to hear about other publications that I can get my mits on so feel free to comment with any suggestions.