Henry Magazine – The first edition now published.
I am pleased to announce the first edition of Henry Magazine, the magazine devoted to the exploration of art by artists, is now published. Henry is the brainchild of writers Seb Doubinsky and my good self, both proud writers, philosophers and reviewers and in Seb’s case poet and teacher. We wanted a magazine that explored what it is to create. What it is to bring the language of art into the everyday and thrill to its presence in our lives.
Henry, named after Henry Miller a writer Seb and I both greatly admire, is a bilingual magazine, forging a connective relationship between French and English. It is free and as long as Seb and I can maintain that, it will remain so. Currently we achieve this by keeping the publication to E copy. Our intention here is to have these great writers be read and it is the driving force behind the magazine. Henry will be brought to publication twice a year.
This edition includes a brief introduction from me and then a collected series of works, including some art, by Laure Limongi, Djelloul Marbrook, André Rougier, Peter Bakowski, Stéphane Prat, Summer Lee, Claude Rouyer, Marlène Tissot, Celina Osuna, Yannis Livadas, Nathan Filbert and Patrick Farmer.
Any feedback can be sent to sendlisamessage(at)gmail(dot)com.
I am very proud of the work in this magazine, the standard is very high. I genuinely hope you enjoy it.
Here is an excerpt from my introduction:
(from the introduction to the first issue of Henry Magazine)
The answers to these questions are not simple, nor are they immediately available. They are part of the process of creativity itself. Just as we need to learn how to be better artists, we also need to learn how to be discerning; we to find where the sap is rising in the global activity stage that we have before us. The world has become open to a kind of challenge. What can you produce given the removal of limits on your creativity? What can you give us with all that we have given you? The person at the cafe table next to you is your competitor. And you have to move a lot faster than you ever did before, because the playing field has expanded dramatically.
These are gifts from the internet age.
I used to lament the demise of the benefactor in art. I work part time in a mechanics garage as an accountant, and I would see people spend thirty thousand dollars on one service on their Porsche or their Bentley and think to myself, but that should go to an artist, so they can produce a great work. Once upon a time it did. The obvious example is the Medici’s and what their money was able to create through their talent for collecting talent. Their money is long gone, but what they bought for that money has left us with one of the greatest most artistic phases in the history of the human creature. They left us with the renaissance.
And yet, perhaps we are in a new renaissance age? Our response to technology seems to teeter on the precipice of stasis and ennui on one side and enormous creative bursts on the other. No one is locked into traditional jobs or family structures any longer, and at the same time we seem to have less time and money than ever before. As I write this, I sit in a funky Surry Hills cafe, lodged in a garage in Sydney Australia that could have fallen out of the streets of New York. Before the reality of the e-global village, I used to loathe Sydney’s provincial ways. Sydney has grown just as I have. Any mood the world over can be recreated in any garage in any city.
“Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.” Heny Miller
This is the challenge of today’s artist. Not to get exhausted by life’s busyness, not to be discouraged by the volume of creative work around them, not to lament talents being recruited by advertising agencies. The opportunity is to find a creative way to voice the concerns and to challenge ourselves in the process of raising those concerns. The challenge is to gather as much quality as we can, to engage – but not to the level of obfuscation. The challenge is to find our power and our voice and not be crushed by the weight of the creative surge around us. The challenge is to work for nothing as well as profit and deduce when each is appropriate.
All of the creative individuals in this magazine, the first Henry published, have chosen to contribute to this debate. All have asked themselves the question: “Who am I in the contemporary creative process?” Of course none of them, us or anyone has that answer, nor should we. The trick is to engage with the question, not answer it, for that what art must always be first and foremost.
Seb and I have a partnership that is forged from a passion for writing. Both of us are writers, both of us are readers, and both of us are energetic, vibrant receptacles for art, always passionate, always exploring our relationship with the world around us. Henry was born of this passion – we gravitated toward each other despite being on opposite ends of the earth. We’ve never met, and yet I count him as among my dear friends, the distance being of little matter to either of us. Seb is more congenial than I am, and he’s multilingual. We embrace writing from every language we can read -for me that means a great restriction – for Seb, not so.
What we wanted to do was open the dialogue up for a magazine that examined the relationship with art and the on going process of engagement. This is a collection of different voices. Some are musicians, some are writers, some are painters, and some are photographers. All of them are artists and all of them have thought about the artistic process and what it means for the human individual today. This is a complex and loaded question that is an ongoing one.
Seb and I called this magazine Henry, after the great Henry Miller, a writer we both love so much, who transformed literature in response to the world he saw around him. He pre-empted the beats and 1960’s and he wrote from a place no writer before him had dared to reveal. He wrote from lofty heights and he wrote from the gutter. He wrote from his belly and he wrote from his brain. He wrote from his poverty and he wrote from his wealth. He wrote passionately about reading, and he wrote from all that he read. Anais Nin described him as a “force” that she couldn’t resist.
It is this force that Seb and I want to claim for Henry the magazine. We intend to energetically embrace the complexities of the age we live in and continually embrace the heaving thrust of art that is expelling itself into the world at the moment. Could this be another renaissance? Perhaps. That is up to the artist themselves and whether they choose to take up the challenge of this lush verdant age fecund with promise and possibility.
But one thing is for sure. Whether the artist takes up the mantle or not, Henry Magazine will be there, to watch, and wonder and welcome.