Story by Alexandra Oliver
To most of us, magazines seem like a thing of the past, or, occasionally a nostalgic distraction in your social feed. (Oh, Sassy magazine. Still takes me back!) But for artist Gavin Benjamin, the magazine format still has potential - online.
Recently Benjamin launched an online magazine featuring new work, which he shared via email to his fans and friends. It's a departure from the familiar artist's eblast, which is typically an eclectic mix of news, announcements, pictures and links. By contrast, Benjamin's email is refreshingly minimal, with only one link and a few images. In the email announcing the first edition, he wrote, "I have finally found a way to tell the stories the way I envision them to be. Every month there will be a different story."
Each month a new edition goes out to his mailing list (art directors, gallerists, past clients, interior designers, curators, and the like). Benjamin freely mixes recent images with older, never-before-seen material from his archive, which he has been accumulating for the past five years. For Benajmin, a photographer, the archive tends to recede and return, much like memories. In his own words: "You shoot something, you get the film back, scan it and toss it in a folder for about six months. Then, looking at it later gives you a whole new perspective..."
Benjamin assembles the magazines intuitively, based on his feelings in the moment, or in response to environmental influences, such as the seasons. He told me, "What I really enjoy is curating. Having a online magazine help me to stay focused on a topic, to group certain works together, giving me better creative control on the final product."
He continued, "I like the magazine format. I love print. The idea of being held captive, not knowing what's on the next page, and being able to tell a story from start to end."
Check out the first two editions of Gavin Benjamin's new work magazines:
To learn more about the Gavin Benjamin and his art, visit gavinbenjamin.com
All images courtesy the artist.