Scenic Views #1
Scenic Views is a magazine that does what it says on the tin – depending on your definition of scenic, of course. Here, we offer a guide to the new magazine in five pictures.
ONE Scenic Views is an ambiguous-looking magazine. It does little to explain itself on the cover, though you might assume from the offbeat black and white photo of a retro kitchen that it is an art, or indie interiors mag. And you’d be correct – Scenic Views falls somewhere between the two. The magazine focuses on everyday interiors that have been ‘overlooked or forgotten’, and the quirky vernacular of its logo emphasises this.
TWO We open with the story of the late Arnold Kramer, ‘the great American photographer you’ve never heard of’. His 1977 series ‘Interior Views’ is reprinted, 14 black and white photographs of suburban rooms in and around Baltimore. In an interview with co-editor Louise Benson, Kramer tells her that ‘photography has been central to my life’ – yet the photographer never received the recognition he deserved.
THREE A series of images of cafes, shot on 35mm film by the second co-editor Lorena Lohr, dominates the middle section of the mag. These photographs aren’t just captionless, they’re introduction-less. But maybe they need no introduction – I am reminded of contemporary Instagram trends that lean towards realism. These photos may not be glamorous, but their minimalistic, dirty-but-candy-coloured, off-centre composition is all a part of a wider celebration of imperfection, exactly what Scenic Views stands for.
FOUR Beryl Cook is an artist who at best is celebrated for her honest depictions of women enjoying life, and at worst is derided for being too lowbrow. Whichever camp you find yourself in, Cook’s work is undeniably full of warmth and humour, her subjects so sharply observed that though their comically inflated bodies and shabby homes are stylised, the paintings radiate truthfulness.
FIVE The back section moves online for another source of the everyday. 75 images taken from hotel booking sites tell ‘a story of cultural preferences and touristic clichés’. I love the simplicity of these pages, the downright low-quality of the photographs. It’s a fascinating documentation of online behaviour – even more so because these images reveal an aesthetic that already feels so dated, and because the layout of these pages is about the interiority of webpages as much as it is physical spaces.
Design: Michael Nash Associates