The role of big names in the art world has been a point of contention for some time; in particular how the process of engaging with art is affected by us knowing who is behind it. Explorations into this thorny issue have been particularly prevalent at London’s Royal College of Art through both the Secret Postcard show and now, the welcome return of Monika magazine.
Initially launched as an experiment at the RCA graduate show in 2009, Monika describes itself as “the anonymous journal of art and culture” and turned quite a few heads with both its first and second issue (released the following year). Then it disappeared but now Monika is back with a new issue themed around wildlife, examined through essays, interviews, artworks and illustrations.
It retains its original mission; to be “a challenge inspired by a contemporary art scene that tends to put too much weight on a name” and those behind it are well aware that their approach may split opinion, admitting that: “Some might say Monika’s premise is annoying, some find it refreshing.”
Wherever you stand on the starting point it’s undoubtedly a fine-looking object, designed with a clarity and skill that anchors it well away from self indulgent pretentiousness. Welcome back Monika.
- Lili des Bellons illustrates a fluoro world of monsters and robots
- Type tells Tales: Steven Heller and Gail Anderson explore the performative traits of type
- Things: The post full of positivity we received this April
- Photographer Louis De Belle’s unconventional portraits of New York commuters
- M35 creates a topographical identity for a project about Australia's rural landscape
- We speak to the three creatives behind a Nigerian-focused editorial and film for Kenzo
- Animator and director James Curran’s amusing 30-day Gifathon project in Tokyo
- Photographer Sophie Mayanne’s new personal project celebrates imperfection (NSFW)
- Animator Saiman Chow’s trippy idents for Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty
- The daily grind: Louis Quail’s photographs of fascinatingly mundane offices
- "Before I was a graphic designer I had nearly no idea what one was": meet Austin Redman
- Matthew Raw: the east London artist making clay great again