Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Reading Part II: Magazines

Magazines to covet and store away for early morning lounging with a big cup of coffee and the records playing that you never get to listen to.

Now that I have told you about all the ridiculous behemoth books I am trudging through in the post below, I want to tell you what I'm actually excited to read on my bookshelf.

I live in a part of Oakland with at least four good used book stores and one amazing magazine store all on the same street.  Print is not dead here, and the paper love is certainly not lost at Issues Magazine Shop, where I got all of these magazines.  A place stacked with used books and hoards of magazines, no one inside is using a Kindle, I'm pretty sure.  Personally, I need the heavy paper thing, in my hand, and ready to go anywhere with me.  I want to get sand in it at the beach and stain it with coffee rings and rip out the pages I like.  How are you going to keep up with that, Kindle?  Oh, I digress, as usual.

I found a big row of old Parketts at Issues one day, with a pretty great sale sign on them- I think it was $30 for 3 or $12 each.  Whatever it is (there are still some left), Joe, the owner, was smart enough to bring them in from some garage sale and sell them for a fraction of their original $45 price tag.  Who buys $45 art magazines?  Fancy art people who appreciate the bi-lingual German and English text and the readable interviews, (so much more so than Artforum), and good color images, that's who.  And me, when they are old and smell like yard sales.  So I paid my $30 and picked out these 3:  One with the fashion-obsessed Sylvie Fleury, the belated, porn and neon sign rat's nest-maker Jason Rhoades, and the Pop icon James Rosenquist, one with the supremely slick and superficial Richard Phillips and some other people, and one with neo-Mannerist/contortionist John Currin and the strangely undefinable Laura Owens.  Good, now I can read about art that is not a performance freakshow or a site-specific minimalist yawn-fest.  

Issues 58, 71, and 65
I did look it up, and while it seems that Parkett is out of print, it's not- it's just that they only publish two magazines a year ("books", they call them) and a subscription is $90.  Also, the entire back stock is available as set, but they don't even publish the price, so whatever.

Oh, hurray for the Spring fashion back-breaking fetish objects like Pop, AnOther Magazine, Love, Purple, and The Hunger.  Around July or August, I get soooo restless, knowing the Fall one is just around the corner, ripe with all the imagery I NEED.  How do I explain the obsession with the September Issues?  It goes so far beyond the infamous Vogue issue that lists its page numbers like a trophy on the cover.  They are ripe with promise, full of newness and coziness and culture just when summer feels like it's getting too fucking hot and dry and the whole world is just waiting to burst into flames.  The Fall fashion spectaculars promise that right around the corner is a return to art, beauty, literacy, and decency when all you've been able to do for the past couple months is suck back light-colored beer and waste away in crappy jean cut-offs.

So, with that meandering introduction to these magazines, these are the sisters of the Fall issues, the Spring editions.  Available only twice a year as well, the Spring issues come at a time where you might be saying, "It's about goddamn time!"  However, spring is busy in my world of art school freak-outs, and I never get a chance to actually read the magazines I buy until the doldrums of summer.   This way, I have a win-win, with the time to peruse the fat, bible-sized Spring compilations right before I get the Fall issues and all the world is well.

Fatties!: Purple Issue 17, Love Issue 7, and a new one, The Hunger Issue 2

These are not big idiot books, either, I must tell you in case you aren't a fashion freak like me.  I mean, there is a lot of writing about fashion and designers, and that's for the industry people.  Reading about clothes when you aren't a designer, a stylist, or a woman who lunches is boring.  However, there is always a ton of contemporary art and music, sometimes literature, and lots of dark and weird images for my work.

Here we have a super awesome interview with painter, Lisa Yuskavage in Purple, and man on fire (rad) in Love, and a super dead goth dude in The Hunger for the art archive, as well.

Now a weird find, 'A' Magazine was edited and curated by my two fashion heroes, the Rodarte sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy.  I really don't know whether to believe the romantic story circulated in every interview of their lucky break as two wanna-be designers from Pasadena who studied art history and literature at UC Berkeley and broke the wall down into the New York fashion industry with a portfolio of paper dolls during fashion week.  Whether that part is correct or fairy tale, I am totally in awe of their approach to their fashion collections, which have the weirdest, most unique influences and inspirations each season.  They cite horror movies, the light at dawn and dusk, the California wilderness, and other totally obscure and wonderful visions in creating their almost unwearable designs.  If ever there were fashion designers who were more artists than designers, it would be these two.  I found this magazine which is made by them, cover to cover, and features their clothing but also their favorite things and references.
The like Grizzly Bears

And films by Terence Malick like "Days of Heaven"

And they interview the artist, John Baldessari

And horror movies, of course
Also in the Rodarte curation is Lake Tahoe, Garbage Pail Kids, The Wizard of Oz, etc, etc.
Looking up 'A' Magazine, I just learned they have other issues curated by other fashion people like my very favorite, Ricardo Tisci of Givency, with every page to scroll through.  Check out the link above!

Finally, this last small book, Draw it with your eyes closed: the art of the art assignment, I didn't get at Issues but found at my friend's house while I was housesitting.  Made by a small publisher, Paper Monument, it covers the subject of the art assignment, something I've never seen in a good-read book before.  It was filled with assignment ideas, rantings of instructors who don't believe in such a thing, anecdotes of what not to do as a teacher... it was totally engrossing as someone who is learning how to teach art.  I highly recommend it if you are into that sort of thing.  You can order it online here for $15.

Draw it with your eyes closed image from their website.