The team behind this issue is made up of founder Ami Evelyn Hughes, art director Sam Boxer and copy editor Gabriella Pounds. “I wanted to make the issue all about Germany, but then I started to feel stifled with such a niche theme and could come across as stuffy,” Ami tells It’s Nice That. The ongoing collaboration between Ami and Sam across three past issues means that the publication has come closer and closer to Ami’s style and aesthetic. “I think we’ve started to strip it back to the bones this time,” Sam says. “We’ve done three issues together and tried to evolve these graphics that are made in a naïve, playful, anti-slick, scrapbooking way. This time, these have moved almost completely off screen and into collages,” he adds. This means using sugar paper textures, found images, crude scans and simple typography that accompanies the art and photography of the contributors. “I love working with Sam. We bounce ideas off each other and get excited about the project every day and he is such a helpful and calming influence, I really couldn’t do it without him,” Ami says.
The multitude of content includes pictures from New Jersey’s bodybuilding scene, cosplay from Japan Expo 2019, a selection from Ron Athey’s personal archive as well as a costume portrait series by Ami and frequent collaborator Raphael Bliss featuring punk-style dirndls, bulletproof cupids and topless, bearded men painted as cows. Ami highlights one project that she considers her favourite, a troll love story made with Akinola Davies Jr.
“We have been friends for years and it was so fun to work on such a big project with him and Nasir Mazhar who made the costumes and the troll school badge. They are both so talented and I’m happy with the story, it’s a piece we want to continually add to over the years and I’m really excited about it,” says Ami. The loose narrative of the Troll Love Story involves two trolls, complete with prosthetic noses and teeth, who fall in love in a school amongst humans who eventually got married. The piece sums up the magazine quite well – funny, provocative, playful, and extremely well-executed.
Other notable stories include Mutter, by Claudia Holzinger about understanding her mother as she reached adulthood, as well as Wurm by Raphael Bliss Felix Choong where Raphael had “people make themselves a costume in 30 minutes from materials within his own studio” as a homage to an Erwin Wurms’ One Minute Sculpture. With recent release events at Spazio Maiocchi in Milan as well as LN-CC in London, Ami’s plans for Gut do not stop at the publication. “Our long term plan for Gut is to become a creative agency,” she says finally on this loud and proud publication..