“We’re committed to discussing contemporary art at a global scale,” explain Jason Farago and Rebecca Ann Siegel, founders of triannual magazine, Even. A jam-packed publication, “a single issue can feature an interview in Beirut, a review from New Delhi, and a portfolio by an artist in Cape Town,” describes the editor and publisher duo.
The pair met in an art history class at college and have since both ended up in the world of art: Jason as a critic and Rebecca in sales. Although both based in New York, Rebecca is originally from Los Angeles and Jason spends a lot of time in Paris. They began working on Even in January 2015 and released its first issue in May of that year. “We saw a need for serious and readable content about art,” Jason and Rebecca explain. Now in its ninth issue, Even has expanded to include critical discourse on the topics of architecture, dance, film and literature.
With a focus on providing an alternative to the “elitist, opaque and unapproachable” way art is usually discussed, Jason and Rebecca also made it their mission to stick up for print. “Digital media is fantastic for certain tasks in contemporary art: it’s easier than ever to pull up installation shots from a young gallery in Warsaw or a biennial in Jakarta,” they explain. However they believe that “thinking takes time; serious writers need serious editors; and images need words,” a luxury that print has afforded them.
Each issue of Even provides multiple reviews of exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world and interviews with leading artists, providing context through its breadth of sources and viewpoints. Over the past nine issues, Even has covered everyone from “Chinese activist Ai Weiwei to British filmmaker Terence Davies, rap artists in Angola to urban planners in Syria, and the ramifications of political manoeuvring in museums from Rio to Abu Dhabi.” It’s an interview with Elizabeth Diller and Ian Cheng that top Rebecca’s list, however, with Jason naming Lucy McKenzie and Jenny Holzer as personal highlights.
Alongside this, each issue highlights the work of two young artistic talents through an in-depth interview and a specifically conceived portfolio. “One of the most beautiful features we’ve published was by a really thoughtful Brazilian artist called Ana Vaz," the duo recall. Through “an exquisite style of images”, Ana’s films and performances thematically tackle exploration, colonialism and the environment. “We’re really proud of that one,” Jason and Rebecca tell It’s Nice That.
Even’s design features a distinctive cover and a pragmatic, yet aesthetically pleasing system throughout designed by New York-based studio Common Name. With a different colour panel for each issue, the cover always showcases two images. The frame a historic image that is explained on the final page, whereas the inset image is from inside the publication and reflects something more contemporary. “This juxtaposition reflects the ethos of the magazine,” Jason and Rebecca offer.
Issue nine of this globetrotting and content-rich publication backs up its well-earned reputation. Focussed on Europe, it highlights work by artists, curators and writers who are adamant about a future without borders. In one feature, the pair present the work of Egon Schiele and link him to David Bowie, Iggy Pop and more recent fashion photography. And one of the “smartest critics in Glasgow” writes a very engaging first-person piece on art in Scotland in the wake of the independence and Brexit votes.
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