This is Not a Fashion Magazine
Artist Paul Elliman creates his own September Issue.
At nearly 600 glossy pages, it has the size and heft of a fashion magazine’s big fall issue. But it has no logo, no cover lines, no text at all—just brutally cropped, appropriated photographs of clothed and naked male and female bodies, mostly headless, always faceless, and printed full-page. The only tip-off to its authorship is a line of tiny type printed inside the back cover: Untitled (September Magazine), Paul Elliman, 2013. A London-based artist and designer with a professional interest in found materials, Elliman conceived the publication as a way to explore the connection between language and gesture. Elliman’s sources are rigorously generic and anonymous, and they include fashion magazines as well as porn, which means that language can get raunchy—and intriguingly allusive. The artist repurposes images that suggest the work of great photographers: “a mesh of arms and legs becomes a found Edward Weston, or a Man Ray in the detail of a pornographic image,” Elliman says. There is also a more personal and engaging impulse at work. “I was looking to salvage something human from the autonomous realm of media images,” he says, “establishing moments of intimacy in the detail of a knee or a back or a shoulder, finding something sensual in otherwise cold or preposterous depictions of sex.”