Monday morning free bytes: Art Review Digital

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art review digital cover
The cover of the new Art Review Digital magazine.

So here’s something new. The international glossy art magazine Art Review has gone digital and is offering a free 6-month digital subscription. Sign up here.

You’ll need to input name and a few bits of demographic information to sign up, and for that you will get a link sent to you by email that will take you to the magazine’s digial site. [Disclaimer: I wrote an article about Philadelphia for the magazine’s September issue and so they asked me to check out the digital presence and give them feedback….and here it is.]

Bottom line, nothing beats morning coffee with a real paper or magazine. But Art Review Digital — 212 pages!! — is pretty much fun on your computer. (NOTE: On my Mac G-3 with broadband cable it loads fast and the page-turning-interface — complete with a nice schloop sound when you turn the page — is good.) There’s a search function so you can skip to page 56 or go to the story about the Butt Book if you put those terms in the search box. And because this is a glossy mag, there’s lots of juicy eye candy by advertisers who want you to go see their shows, come to the art fairs, buy their books, shop in their stores, bank in their banks, etc.

art review 51-100
The Art Review Power 100 in the art world. Here’s the bottom of the list, #51-#100. They put Google dead last as #100. Click to see the list bigger. Then click all sizes to read it.

This month is Art Review‘s Power 100 issue, in which the magazine rounds up the universe’s art power players and ranks them (and tells you how they’ve risen or fallen since last time. Art Review is a 5-year old magazine and they’ve been providing this gossipy, star-studded listing service since 2002. It seems like a fun thing to do but one that plays to the insiders and the insider-aspirees. So while I found it tres interessant to see that Robert Storr‘s number rose to #13 from last year’s #73 and that Roberta Smith (#55, a new listing) and Jerry Saltz (#57, a new listing)are now included, nothing struck me as shocking or even unexpected. Storr by the way, the PMA’s consulting curator of contemporary art, is the only Philadelphia connection on the list.

Actually, this one thing shocked me a little. Number 100 on the Power 100 list is Google. I have to say that Google =#1 for me. So I want to second-guess that one. Other than that, the breakout of who’s who falls into normal categories:

Artists–24%
Curators-21%
Critics-2%
Collectors-20%
Gallerists-22%
Misc (restauranteurs, banks, fashion houses)-11%

As someone who dropped my one art magazine subscription (Art in America) in 2003 and who rarely looks at magazines anymore since who has time and since I mostly read things online, I am happy to know that there’s a publication out there that understands about my needs to read digitally and move quickly. I will cherry pick my way through any online magazine and I think they should all follow Art Review’s lead and make the entire book available — free — online. I’m worried about what happens after my 6-month online subscription is over. I don’t know how much I’d pay for this.

art review top 50
Top 50 on the list. click it and then click the all sizes button to read the list.

Apart from the Power 100 list the magazine has some funny book review pairings on the book review page. Namely, a short review of Come Alive! the Spirited Art of Sister Corita which was placed next to a longer review of The Butt Book, a compendium of 5 years of the porn mag, Butt Magazine. You may remember the poster art by the Catholic nun, Sister Corita. It was at Arcadia University several years back. The magazine also has an art pilgrimage story about Berlin. And there are various short reviews of shows in spots like New York and London (the magazine is based in London).

art review power 71-74
Sample page with glam shots of the Power 100 stars. I love how Richard Serra and Paul McCarthy are right next to each other.

So, take a look. My advice, use the magazine’s navigation tools and keep your finger off your browser’s back button. I accidently hit the back button several times and wound up back at square one loading the whole magazine again. The interface lets you look at one page or two (I suggest two). And you can click the page to make it larger so you can read it. As these things go, the digital interface is quite nice. Happy clicking, all!

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