In November of this year Frame Publishers will launch a new magazine on contemporary art and visual culture called Elephant. Marc Valli, owner of the Magma design book stores, is the editor in chief. With Elephant he is hoping to generate renewal and excitement in an oversaturated and often uncreative magazine market. More now than ever, he believes, a certain group of highly critical people, always in search of the moment, the trend, the age, the Zeitgeist, will look for a medium that reflects the reality of the visual art scene.
The current art world is divided into the proper art world and what has been known as applied arts, or commercial art. The most interesting work seems to be happening in the middle though: when photographers, architects and graphic and fashion and all kinds of designers manage to transcend their initial brief and start thinking like artists, when artists wander outside the confines of the museum and gallery environment and become aware of trends and start thinking like designers.
Direct, sincere and multi-disciplinary, Elephant looks for its ethos in the time before the ‘art world’ and the ‘creative industries’ took over, a time when artists didn’t value their work according to the auction prices, but by the reaction of their peers to their ideas.
With over 200 pages of visual content, Elephant aims to have more depth and breadth than any other visual art magazine. It digs deeper, ceaselessly asking and enquiring into creative trends and art movements and innovative techniques. In recent years, creative individuals have started to react against the corporate nature of things, taking initiative into their hands and starting new independent ventures.
Elephant looks at how people do that. How do they go about starting a new publishing venture? How do they then move from publishing their own comics to featuring them in national newspapers? How do they turn their personal interests and design skills into hugely popular websites? How do they turn their obsessions into global trends? These questions are particularly relevant as we wake up to this post credit-crunch period. Elephant visits art and design studios, sits by desks, steps on graffiti artists’ toes, disturbs rehearsals and interrupts takes, rides fixed-gear bikes and plays with the latest computer games.
The ELEPHANT is always in the room.