We have lost a fine magazine, American Artist. It has been sold to Artist magazine. American Artist has been around my home and studio for the 55 years of my career as a professional artist.
To most of us, this is much more of a loss than the disappearance of magazines like LIFE or Newsweek. American Artist maintained its position as an advocate for representative art through times when realism was not that popular. In many ways it helped keep realistic painting alive, during the 50s and 60s in particular. The magazine always addressed its readers on a professional level. The artists featured were always among the best. And most of us found inspiration and direction within its pages.
Yet I have not heard much from fellow artists about this loss. Artist magazine has improved through the years but it is far from the stature of American Artist. One of Artist magazine's biggest drawbacks is that it has tried to appeal to artists of every caliber. It has tried to be the art magazine offering something to everyone. When you do that you water down the whiskey. However, let us wish Artist magazine well. Let us hope that it can rise above its semi-pro status and assume a role of inspiration and learership such as that which distinguished American Artist.
I am only a novice but I have subscribed to American Artist Mag for almost 5 years when I got notification that my subscription was being transfered to the artiists [note the lack of the capital A ] magazine I thought who the hell are these arogant assholes I subscribed to the artists mag for a couple of years but it did not come anywhere near the quality of the American Artist mag so I did not renew my Sub. [ I p
robobly spelled arogant wrong but the other part was correct ] if they want me me to leave their website just say the word . James Vernon Schaffer
I cannot believe they are discontinuing this great Magazine to the victor go the spoils what a bunch of vindictive assholes
Jim C&C welcomed
Until I read Mr Sullivans post I was not aware they were deleting the magazine .I had foolishly beleived it was only to get me to resubcribe to The American Artist that they transfered my sub. I am not as upset this AM and I realize it was only a cold business decision on their part so I should remove the words arrogant and vindictive from my previous post . But I still feel they are lacking in social graces.
Paul, I've been aware that AA magazine was facing its demise for several months, I guess it is now official. I recall when LIFE, and domino magazine (one of my favorites) ended; it's sad. One-by-one magazines are losing out - mostly to the internet. As you say, "an advocate for representative art." There are not many. I wish that there were more. I find myself hunting through the internet to find good realism (Let's face it there is plenty of bad realism in the world.) I love it when I stumble onto a lesser known artists who has a certain something. I will need to do this even more now. The light at the end of the tunnel is that IMO realism/representational art is coming back "in style." Abstraction, post Modernism, and conceptual art has taught us much about design, color, etc. and has freed up people to find more expressive ways to create art but it now seems "tapped out" and stale except for a few artists. These lessons can now be applied to realism and eventually create a whole new generation of artists free to take representational art in new directions. I've seen representational art slowly build up steam over the past say 15 years, give it time and it will hopefully dominate the art scene. Until then, we have yet to break away from realist art that is anachronistic and move toward fresh looks indicative of today. When realism starts to say something, people and other artists will take notice.
Unfortunately magazines are about money brought in by advertising dollars. Yes, I agree it's a big loss for the art world. Many times publications get into financial trouble because of bad upper level decisions not from the content or writers. I was really turned off when they killed "Workshop" magazine and now American Artist. I think it was one of the only all figurative artist magazines around. Now there's "Plein Air" which is the former editor from American Artist - excellent publication.
Maybe someone will re-start up an all figurative art magazine with the playing field open. The toughest part is never content but advertising, printing and mailing / distribution. Unfortunately, the web has become an enormous resource for videos and web sites of artists which has taken an enormous chunk of money out of art advertising.
I read Artists magazine at the library and usually glance over the pages mostly because I'm just not that focused into non-representational art (with all due respect to the artists). I do notice a lot of full page ads by galleries representing some of this work. And some full page ads by artists too. So that's what counts at the end of the month. I'll miss American Artists magazine too.
This site has " e-magazines" and quite frankly, I find them always a con job leading you into something they are trying to sell.
You are right on all points. Not only magazines but all of print communications are having a difficult time. Newspapers have been facing a bleak horizon for many years. We are all well aware of this as we witness the disappearance of publications that have been established icons of our culture.
My purpose here was simply to offer a eulogy for a magazine—to make a statement regarding the loss of a publication which has been a standard bearer for representative art in America for over 75 years. All of us who have received information and inspiration from American Artist know just how much we have lost.
The only magazine that can come close to the caliber of American Artist is International Artist. And Jay, as you implied, I will be surprised if Artist magazine doesn't turn their entire opperation into an e-magazine—one big huckster-site trying to sell you everything from old canvas to used brushes.