It seems a constant struggle for artists to break into the bureaucratic world of exhibitions and shows. In a world where even public art (of the legal variety) is commissioned and juried, artists aren't the only ones losing out when their work is kept under wraps -- so is the art-starved public, which now accepts advertising as a fix for art cravings. Enter online art magazines. While they do have submission processes, the publications' quickly changing cycles and digital format give them an edge on galleries by offering more people access to more art.
Free to the viewers and opportune dissemination for emerging artists, the innovative online magazines come from around the world and take many forms. They tend to display a variety of two-dimensional media, from illustration and painting to photography and design. Rojo, with offices in Spain and Brazil, is one of the originals, spearheading the drive with its strong presence both in print and online. The international image magazine's website has become a hybrid blog/magazine informing artists about events and projects as well as other artists and designers.
Rojo is also a boon for the non-artist on the prowl for creativity, with its bevy of links to other online art magazines. Here are a few examples gleaned from its dispatches:
The Buenos Aires monthly ruby mag features imaginative selections that likely will have you looking twice and pondering the way you've been trained to read pictures. Many of the illustrations and photos play with perception, confronting viewers from the gray area of the page with images halfway between thought and realization, or the second and third dimensions.
2die4 creates the sensation of turning pages for a print-like effect, but by incorporating sound and using keyframing (a technique that makes images move and change), this 'screen magazine' from S?o Paulo, Brazil, distinguishes itself from any book you've read before.
The first issue of Honey Eat Your Salad draws viewers into the depths of its 84 pages with glam-pop appeal. The next issue of the Canada-based nonprofit online magazine is underway.
A site for sore ears, Famous for 15mb takes the form of a more traditional website, but updates monthly with profiles of musical and video artists that have been 'overlooked.' Visitors can discover beautiful sounds while browsing the site, or just leave the page open and listen as they surf in a new window.
Brand new, The International Illustrated asks artists to portray a theme, the first of which is war. As the Brazilian creators say, 'it's interesting to see how [war] can be shown so differently although it's surrounded by clich?.' The site stretches the limits of the term 'magazine,' but as an image-based periodical, it is beautifully designed and well-executed.
Go There>> Rojo
Related Links from the Utne Archive:
Comments? Story tips? Write a letter to the editor
Like this? Want more?Subscribe to Utne magazine