Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Swindle Magazine

The blanket belongs to my pampered cats who got mardy with me for moving them, so I could take the picture. Normally they'd open a can of whipass on me as they take very little shit especially not from a dog-lover who has had to settle for cats but maybe they realized it was for the blog or they'd just eaten.

I had a bit of a moan about the demise of Tokion a couple of days ago and over the weekend down in Palm Desert I stumbled upon a new magazine that has a heap of promise, Swindle.

According to the website, 'Swindle is the definitive pop culture and lifestyle publication. We put out a timeless product in both soft cover and hard cover versions—the book is a beautifully designed coffee table piece that will stay relevant in years to come. More than just reporting on culture, SWINDLE influences it. We believe in the humanization and personalization of design, and present all our stories—luscious fashion spreads, artist profiles or social & political issues around the globe—with a cutting-edge aesthetic. SWINDLE was founded in 2004 by Shepard Fairey and Roger Gastman, who bring to the magazine their combined experiences as leaders in the fields of art, design, publishing and marketing.'

I don't really know why I've never seen it before but the issue that I picked up was issue no. 14 with the work of the ridiculously talented Barry McGee on the cover who recently had an exhibition at Red Cat in Los Angeles and you can see it in all its glory here.

The first article that caught my eye was on John Sinclair who co-founded The Black Panthers and was considered to be a radical revolutionary by the US government and today he calls Amsterdam his home just like all 60 year-old Thelonius Monk listening, pot-dealing political arnarchists would love to do, I suppose. He was so revered by celebrities and activists alike that in January 1971 no less than John Lennon, Allen Ginsberg, Stevie Wonder and a cast of 20000 called for his release from prison in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With it being Black History Month, it is quite ironic that one of the leading figures in the eradication of segregation and inequality in US society was a white guy from Detroit. Proof if ever, that it has nothing to do with the colour of your skin but the content of your character to paraphrase Dr. King.

This article is on Julien Nitzberg, I'd have to re-write the entire article just for you to get the essence of his importance but lets just say that he aims to bridge the gap between punk rock and operattas. Set the bar quite high there has our Julien.

Two years after the peace government, South Sudan is a place of dueling beauty and apocalyptic mythology. Shootings amongst disenfranchised soldiers constantly threaten to re-start all-out war. The article is about a woman from Los Angeles who went to the Sudan to investigate the plight of women in what is a truly a misogynistic culture, they are merely seen as having no uses beyond making food and bearing children. The eye-opening article is incredibly well-written and I can't recommend it highly enough.

This article is on Italian-based street artist Blu who is a newish artist for me but definitely someone who I am interested in mainly due to magnitude and placement of his work.

...and this is on the one and only Dalek who has quite possibly the dopest tattoo on his left arm.

I am pleased as punch to find a replacement for my Tokion fix and at $50 for six issues including shipping it's not breaking the bank. It also seems to be fiercely independent, which bodes well for its future. Check the website for more information here.

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