Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Fade To Grey

Grey is the colour of the sky before a heavy rain.
Grey is the industry, the asphalt, the city. Grey is the hair colour of someone who knows more than me.
Grey is a mentality - objective and balanced.
Grey contains both black and white, but is neither.

Grey is also the latest art and design magazine to come straight out of Roma.
The opening manifesto by Editor in Chief and Creative Director Valentina Ilardi Martin certainly sets a rather pretentious tone, as she melancholily writes about how 'nothing pure remains' with 'nothing new on the horizon..nothing innovative'. Already you're beginning to think, 'well, if the editor doesn't really care about what the magazine is about...why should i? If everything is so bleak and dull...?'

The editorial style throughout Grey isn't exactly accessible to the masses, with it's analytical, reflective and creative writing pieces - attempting to turn imagery into prose. An interview with Maria Luisa Frisa is presented as a double page spread of dense text, which appears pretty daunting, and although the typography and the layout is beautiful, is un-appealing, due to the general vastness of writing in the article.

In saying that, there are probably only a couple of hundred words in the entire issue, with a good 80% of the pages being purely imagery. The art direction of these images, however, is where the magazine redeems itself. Grey features some of the most romantic yet alien editorial photography I've seen,set against the morbid grey stock the hardback magazine is printed on, creating some intriguing, haunting imagery.

Johan Sandberg, Tanya Jones, Marco Pietracupa and Rossana Passalacqua are notable contributors, who's editorial spreads truly capture the imagination.

If Grey represents a contemporary Italy, then it certainly seems as if the country is sinking into a manic depression faster than Venice is sinking into the sea. However, the glib words of the editor in chief contradict the beautiful imagery and incredible fashion portrayed in the editorial spreads so maybe she was just having a bad day when she was putting the finishing touches to the first issue.

If she was feeling happier it would no doubt have been called Pink or something....

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