A good, stupid, great debate modern people love having is whether or not magazines are doing well. “But the Internet!” people cry. “Magazines are a niche product!” Who knows if this is true (or if anyone cares) but magazines still exist and are wonderful windows into a tactile printed present and past.
I often wonder what can be done to better this industry. This isn’t because of a “WE NEED TO SAVE THEM!!” want but instead musing over what creative something is missing from mags. Italian artist Giuditta Aresi clued me in on something: why not make magazines straightforward art pieces, collectors items that are paintings rather than prints? She makes mixed media magazine covers out of markers and paints, fluid and sometimes comical recreations of popular alternative media items.
The idea here wouldn’t be to replace magazines completely but to give them new painted faces. What if every release had a Aresi alternative or an enlisted other artist or illustrator who could recreate the magazine for you? That would be kind of cool. People love talking about making magazines “art” and the only way I can think of doing that is to literally turn the mini-book into art. Aresi is more than capable of doing this (and has illustrated for magazines before) which is why it could be a fun idea. She can’t be the only person doing this, either.
What I love about them is how wacky she makes these otherwise overly prim glossies. They are both childish and refined, a different sort of high fashion emerging out of creative scribbles. Her goal is to recreate and observe but it doesn’t intend to be perfect: it’s how she sees the magazines. For another, fun example of works like this, I highly suggest you check out her Instagram portraits, where she creates paintings of Instagram photos. It’s the same idea but applied to digital photography. Maybe Aresi is just the key to adding the human hand into the populist and inhuman? That could be it.