One of the things that we look out for when selecting our Magazine of the Week is publications that take a surprising approach to topics that more often than not get interpreted quite conventionally. I’ve seen a couple highly-stylized and unimaginative jewellery magazines recently for example, and I’ve often wondered why no one is exploring the theme in a more intriguing way.
Turns out there is a magazine about jewellery doing just that. Current Obsession is onto its fourth issue and feels more mystic-meets-space-age than anything I’ve seen before in the jewellery realm. Instead of looking deluxe, glitzy and with glossy pages that sparkle frostily like the storefront of a Tiffany’s, Current Obsession presents itself as the kind of magazine for people who get their gems from car-boot fairs and makeshift craft stalls.
The title is from Antwerp but it seems to have a global editorial network that spreads to Florence, Honolulu and Tokyo too. It’s layout reminds me a bit of delightful Conveyor magazine and its new-wave, hip/spiritual hybrid content conjures up memories of new witch publication Sabat. It’s filled with colour and playful type that draws from the organic shape of uncut gems (above).
The above powder-pink spread is for an article on the ‘gem warriors’ of a series of manga novels – this article is just one example of the lengths to which Current Obsession pushes its theme. The topic of jewellery also becomes the crux of a travel diary where the author visits different jewellery makers and gem enthusiasts across Los Angeles (also above).
There’s also an interview with Icelandic designer Brynjar Singoarson, who creates his art using techniques acquired while spending time in a fisherman village (above). There are abstract still lifes that feel only loosely connected to the idea of wearable jewellery (also above), and an interview with jewellery maker Warwick Freeman, who is inspired by Maori legend and the volatile New Zealand landscape when crafting and designing.
Current Obsession suggests that every topic, no matter how loaded with connotation, can be seen from a different light and perspective. It reminds me of Puss Puss because of the purposeful way that it celebrates personal style through the lens of a theme that, when you first think about it, you probably associate with something entirely different.