The Modern Magazine 2014 – part 4
Report by Sarah Snaith
The final session of the day included a presentation by Riposte founder Danielle Pender, an independent magazine panel chaired by Steve Watson, a talk by Pekka Toivonen from FAT magazine and a presentation by Adam Moss, editor-in-chief of New York magazine.
Riposte founder Danielle Pender had the audience in fits of laughter with her analysis of the women’s magazine market: “You’ve got your classic fatty vs skinny … Closer has a three-pronged pity approach to covers and Heat casts women as real victims – failed relationships, failed diets – the good, the bad and the wobbly. Women get a rough enough time in the mainstream media.” Riposte features fascinating women for who they are rather than what they are – “No stylists, no elaborate lighting and no Photoshop”. The late Deborah Sussman is on the cover of issue two (above).
As for the panel discussion … you had to be there. Steven Watson spoke to Danny Miller, Simon Lyle, Kai Brach, Rob Orchard and Danielle Pender about the challenges of indie publishing.
Pekka Toivonen the ‘art dictator’ of FAT magazine, Finnish Art Today “is a trailblazing magazine about Art & Life”. “We think artists are rock stars”. Toivonen had some rock star appeal and entered the stage to The Final Countdown wearing a FAT sweatshirt and sporting long curly blonde hair. A notorious rule-breaker, Pekka veered off the magazine conference brief and showed his studio Casino’s identity for a Finnish Biennale before talking about Wolf magazine and FAT. “If its not fun, don’t do it” he said. For the magazine for Flow called Wolf – “some people didn’t get it” – designed in tabloid format, Pekka “had the idea that the design should have tracks, like tracks in music”.
FAT is supported by the Finnish arts council who feel that making a magazine is making art. The next issue is launching at Frankfurt book fair in early October but the #modmag2014 audience got a sneak peek.
Adam Moss, editor-in-chief of New York magazine, was the final speaker of the day and started by doing a “speedo” of covers and spreads from the magazine’s rich history. Adam sat down with Jeremy Leslie to praise the enthusiasm for magazine publishing in London and to talk at length about the incredible changes and evolutions that have taken place at New York.