Magazine of the Week

Welcome to this week’s Mag of the Week!

June 19 will be the Mag of the Week for a while. I will be writing occasionally to say goodbye to some classic titles that have stopped publishing recently, but MoWs are taking a summer hiatus. The feature will return after Labor Day, when school is back in session. This will give me time to write some in-depth content and get some summer projects done. Plus take some time off!

Cover of Andy Warhol's Interview magazine showing black and white photo of young woman

 

Interview Magazine was begun in 1969 as a monthly newspaper with a focus on film and film stars. Created by artist, writer, and provocateur Andy Warhol and British underground journalist John Wilcock, it reflected a fascination with celebrity, allowing them to augment their own by showcasing that of others.

Page from Interview magazine showing article on musician Alice Glass

 

Hyper-aware of media’s involvement in the idea of celebrity, Warhol began experimenting in publishing in the late 1960s. In 1969, he co-launched InterView, A Monthly Film Journal. The first issue was consciously commoditized, proclaiming “First Issue Collector’s Edition” on the cover. The artist used the magazine as a vehicle for his media persona by distributing it among friends and promising covers to people he met while out partying. It was part of his art-business sales strategy, as well. He instructed editors to use the wives and girlfriends of prominent New Yorkers as cover models, arguing that these patrons would certainly then buy the original screenprint work.

 

Cover of Interview magazine showing artistic image of Diana Vreeland

 

 

 

He continued to publish the title from his studio on Union Square until his death in 1987, although he withdrew from the day-to-day running of the title earlier. Hired by Warhol in 1972, artist Richard Bernstein created the signature cover look of hyper-realized oversized celebrity portraiture until 1989.

 

 

 

 

Fashion photo from Interview magazine showing blond woman in red shirt

 

 

Since Warhol’s death, several publishing teams have kept Interview Magazine in the same style, with about 40% glossy advertising and 60% features, including free-form, chatty interviews of celebrities, often by other celebrities. As media has broadened in scope, Interview’s coverage has as well. The title now juxtaposes fashion coverage with social media and television celebrity reporting, alongside its initial club, music, and film involvement. Former editor Ingrid Sischy described the magazine as “dishy but serious.”

 

Article from Interview magazine about 4 new designers who worked for Balenciaga

 

 

 

On May 21, 2018, the editors announced a filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, shortly after a recent revamping attempt. Rumors have flown (and Tweeted) around for months that editors and artists have not been paid for their work, and a creative director stands accused of sexual harassment by several former employees. Nonetheless, news surfaced this week that family members of the recent editorial team may have found a way to refinance the magazine and keep it afloat. It seems fitting that a magazine founded upon an artist’s love of celebrity should have such a public and treacherous path.

 

Biography of Andy Warhol by Warhol Museum

Reprint of Interview magazine interview with Warhol in 1977

Chandelier blog interview with Marc Balet on working at Interview

Heller books interview with Steven Heller about working at Interview

Guardian May 21 2018 article on Interview magazine closure

Observer May 21 2018 article on Interview closure

WWD June 1 2018 article on financial reorganization of Interview magazine

Observer June 4 2018 article on financial reorganization of Interview magazine

 

 

 

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