Monday, 29 December 2008


He’s our idol, and the icon that has inspired all of Artificial’s second issue. The characters he creates, as well as his music, are rough, masculine, typically American but not lacking in weirdness. His voice seems to have been soaked in whisky and cigarettes, and been run over several times by a truck. His references are many, from Mae West to Bertolt Brecht, from John Steinbeck to Jack Kerouac, from Edward Hopper to hip hop. A true punk, Tom Waits has been developing his own style since the early 70s, exploring all sorts of music styles (American folk, jazz, surf, rock & roll, cabaret, experimental music…) and adapting them to his very peculiar alter ego.

Artificial Magazine’s second issue will be out on 16 January, and it will be a complete celebration of Tom Waits’s universe. Don’t miss it!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


In the fascinating subject of pin-ups, there is one artist that outstands them all : Gil Elvgren, “the pin-up Norman Rockwell”, is as much part of American history of the 40s as Pearl Harbour or Betty Grable. His girls are pretty and colourful and suffer from never-ending sexy accidents. They suggest more than they show, in a peek-a-boo naïve/conscious way. From the working girl to the pouting wife, all these characters, although too beautiful to be true, are in fact not so different from real girls…

Monday, 8 December 2008


There was a time when America starved. The first half of the 30s were marked in th USA by rags, nomadism, wind and dryness; and, paradoxically, by amazing creativeness: Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, Truman Capote, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee...As Hollywood was creating and perfecting the utmost icons of glamour, they captured the despair and resignation in the southerner’s peasant’s vacant looks. As did the photographers of the NRA. The most striking of all these images is no doubt Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, but they all witnessed this terrible and odd yet fascinating part of american history.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


David Carson’s Ray Gun magazine has been a major influence not only in our work, but also in the way all magazines have evolved in the last fifteen years. His do-it-yourself, colourful retro and collage inspired covers were a shock to everyone in the 90’ and Carson himself found them surprising. Ray Gun was an anti-glossy, anti-establishment manifesto that became a synonym of rock & roll, rebellion and alternative spirit: technical knowledge is often creatively restrictive and a way of just becoming part of the mass. David Carson opened the door to a new way of working in the editorial world. Since the end of Ray Gun, Carson’s style has often been imitated, but never improved.