Editorial Magazine has achieved a rare feat. It is a magazine about contemporary art, culture, fashion and whatnot, which still manages to be substantial, cutting edge and never pretentious. Too often publications that deal with more esoteric topics like contemporary art and internet culture are impenetrable or overly self-important. Not this one.
Editorial Magazine was created by Canadian artist Claire Milbrath and has grown into a quarterly publication run from Montreal, internationally recognised for giving a platform to up and coming artists and designers, with a focus on work made by women, people of colour and those from across the LGBTQ spectrum.
The saddle stitch bound, glossy covered magazine is an explosion of colour, so-bad-it’s-good taste and Windows ‘95 WordArt. Issue 16 has two covers, the first a front on portrait of Amalia Ulman that looks like the results of a stock photo search for ‘business woman’. The second, limited edition cover, is a dreamy homage to Mizz, Sugar and Girl Talk circa 2001 complete with mermaid tails and shooting stars.
This aesthetic continues throughout the inside of Issue 16, with cute and slightly saucy drawings and illustrations dotted around the pages, clip art fonts and a design reminiscent of the glitch-art and internet explorations of Jon Rafman, Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin.
Editorial Magazine also looks a lot like London-based magazine Mushpit - they obviously draw on a lot of the same references - but with longer, arguably more substantial articles covering a breadth of topics.
These topics include an article by Brad Philips on Philip Seymour Hoffman and drug addiction, ‘And God Created Transwoman’ a photostory by J Ellise Barbara, an interview with musician Weyes Blood, a Cicciolina inspired photoshoot, a super fun review of Slumpies - comfortable furniture for the iPhone age created by artist Jillian Mayer - and Rebecca Storm's satirical look (or is it art?!) at YouTube channel Betty’s Kitchen. Each issue also includes a risograph print by Clay Hickson.
It is primarily focused around young and contemporary artists, featuring the work of Aleia Murawski, Florencia Escudero and Justine Rivas in this issue. I loved reading the guest editorial from BUFU, a collective and documentary project deconstructing the black-asian relationship, and learning about the work of Nydia Blas who photographed black women she met through a Girls Empowerment Group she founded in Ithaca, New York.
That is what is so special about this magazine. It lightly holds funny, satirical, cute and academic content together. It makes you want to learn more about what you’re reading but never makes you feel uncool for not knowing about it in the first place.
It is almost like a readers digest of the internet in physical form. It constantly references YouTube, Instagram and the ways we connect online, but is more powerful and effective in communicating information by being in print. The magazine acts as a guide to new artists creating interesting work, and then you can get lost down the rabbit hole of the internet, after you’ve finished reading.
The delicate relationship between print and the internet is something all magazines are trying to negotiate. The way Editorial Magazine deftly acknowledges and uses the internet to find and create content, as well as connect readers afterwards, is something other magazines should take note of.
Editorial Magazine, Issue 16, published in Montreal Canada, 2016 in English. 2 covers, full colour. Includes original risograph poster by Clay Hickson. 92 pages.