AO Interview with Michael Nevin on the ten-year anniversary and redesign of the journal

September 17th, 2009

the journal entry 27, all images courtesy the journal

Last night the journal released its ten-year anniversary issue at the Rodarte show at Gagosian Gallery. Started by Michael Nevin with some friends at art school in California as a xeroxed zine that focused on skateboarding and snowboarding, the journal has evolved into a glossy affair, counting William Eggleston and Richard Prince among its contributors. The journal is like a personal journal, with each issue carefully curated, including drawings and photographs, interviews, ramblings, and now for the first time, fashion spreads. Five years ago the journal moved with Nevin to New York, and through luck and happenstance, expanded to include a gallery, then in a building in the East Village. That space saw a number of exhibitions as well as parties to pay the rent. The Journal Gallery continues in Williamsburg, with its current exhibition featuring sculptural work by Norwegian artist Ida Ekblad.

Cover of William Eggleston’s supplement to the journal entry 27

The new issue, entry 27, is the premier of the journal‘s new design by Peter Miles. ArtObserved talked with Nevin about the evolution of the magazine and gallery, and has a preview of the issue, featuring Jonathan Meese, Walter Pfeiffer, Ida Ekblad, and a supplement by William Eggleston

the journal

Interview and images after the jump

Portrait of William Eggleston by Michael Nevin

How and when did the magazine start?
In the fall of 2009 I met two friends at Montserrat College of Art. We shared a lot of the same interests and all wanted to make a zine. There was no big plan, we just did it and it grew over time.

Could you describe its evolution?
Our friends identified with the journal and people began to talk about it. There were a lot of submissions and letters and that kept us motivated. We ran the magazine out of student housing for four years.

Given that it’s gone through a number of different manifestations, do you see it as something that will continue to evolve and grow? If the idea is that it’s like your personal journal, will it continue to change as your interests change, or do you see it becoming more institutionalized as it gets more support and infrastructure?
I changed a lot over the past 10 years, but I think that the content in the journal has gotten to a place where it will remain consistent but surprising. I want the content to always be a bit off, a little strange.

How did the gallery come about?
We came across a space in the East Village, an entire building, that the landlord let us rent for almost nothing. I didn’t have the money but rented the space for parties to make rent. Eventually we had made enough money from the parties to run the space as a project room / gallery. It all evolved over time, without a real plan.

The magazine itself has a heavy curatorial aspect to it, and so the gallery seems like a logical extension. How does the gallery operate in comparison with a typical gallery in say, Chelsea?
We do not represent artists. Some people will say, ‘well that’s not a real gallery.’  Art is supposed to exist without boundaries and I want the gallery to operate in the same way. Anything goes.

From William Eggleston’s supplement to the journal entry 27

Jamie Bochert questionnaire and fashion spread in the journal entry 27

Ida Ekblad in the journal entry 27

Glen Luchford’s ‘Damaged Negatives (early Kate Moss pictures)’ in the journal entry 27

Travel Journal by Kathy Lo in the journal entry 27

Walter Pfeiffer in the journal entry 27