Interview Magazine

Yes, another magazine post. I’ve re-discovered my love for the tabloid these days, and I can’t stop myself from writing about it. Interview Magazine is a publication with a long and revered history. Started in 1969 by Andy Warhol, its influenced is far and wide. It “celebrated the cult of celebrity” that Warhol was fascinated by. It was also started around the same time the tape recorder was introduced and therefore the interviews had a raw, unedited, and revealing nature to them. That “real” sense is what defined Interview for years both editorially and in terms of design.

Interview was bought by Peter Brant in February earlier this year. Since then, infamous art director, Fabien Baron, and acclaimed journalist Glenn O’Brien have taken the helms of the magazine. They set out to reclaim the magazine and return a work that is “made with real craftsmanship, with a very high level of work.” The first newly redesigned issue came out last month sporting a beautiful foil-and-ink cover, (supposedly Interview is the first magazine in N. America do so.)

It’s a pretty behemoth publication, (it measures 13″x10″) and despite the cheap semi-gloss paper, it is well crafted. It definitely doesn’t feel like a $3.99 magazine. The design is equally rewarding. Huge broad strokes of Bodoni and finely tuned rules that tell the text blocks what the fuck to do. The use of photography is some big-dick stuff, even bigger than the big black dildo typography. Fabien Baron has been compared to the demi-god, Alexey Brodovitch, and the work done in the September issue warrants such a comparison.

Editorially, the new Interview tries to keep in with its famous interview repetoire. In the new October issue there are interviews of Raf Simons by Kanye West, James Franco by Gus Van Sant and other celeb-on-celeb action thus reinforcing that ‘cult of celebrity’ and Warhol strived to capture. The biggest criticism of Baron’s work has been the monotony of his design. He has redesigned magazines before and with great success. But even from the September issue to the October issue there is a consistent, look that leaves little room for imagination or change. All-in-all such classicism is refreshing in such a busy media climate. None of that hypercolor bullshit here ladies, and gentlemen. It’s all bowties, tuxedos, and big fucking black stallions. I’ll drink a glass of Johnny on the rocks to that!

1 Comment

  1. Chris Ro says:

    James, you are achingly reminding me that it has been quite some time since I had a quiet stool sit down in front of a nice magazine rack and did some oohing, ahhing, and grunting. I need to check this out. I walked by and saw this beckoning me to come closer and had I not been late for an appointment, probably would have followed the scent all the way in. Regardless, this is some beautiful stuff. It never ceases to amaze me that one can get lost in the 13″ by 20″ spread and never come back. Well, atleast until you get to the next one. I need to see some closer pics of these, but yes, that Bodoni, or Pistilli Roman is kicking, and I’m thinking about sticking. Okay, I’ll stop. Nice post and thanks for the update.

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