An (im)perfect world



Elephant Art has launched its 32nd issue with a complete redesign by Kellenberger-White and a brand new website. Issue 32, titled Perfect Me, Perfect You, explores the subject of perfection in modern society and its effect on the art world and beyond.

What better way to launch the redesign of Elephant, an action to push the magazine to be even better than before, than having the subject matter of the issue be perfection? In what one could call a fortunate happenstance, Issue 32 presents a new, cutting-edge look created by London-based studio Kellenberger-White and a multifaceted examination of perfection. To read more about the story behind the redesign, click here [link to press release].

In the issue, the Elephant team has interviewed artists like Kandis Williams, Bill Viola, Nicola Hicks, Tal R, Eva O’Leary and more, all with a different idea of and view on perfection. There is of course a symbiotic relationship, but also a distinction between what one defines as perfection and subsequently how one perceives it.

Some featured artists are not even convinced that perfection exists. Jo Longhurt, for example, tells David Evans, “I’m not much interested in perfection itself – I’m not even sure it exists. I’m more interested in the many cultural notions of perfection – and the often fluid and fluctuating propositions these entail – as well as the human obsession and drive than underpin attempts to achieve them.”

Perfection is also deeply analysed in what context it relates to in this issue. In terms of perfection in relation to gender, for instance, Andy Kassier’s work is studied by asking “”What is the “perfect man” in 2017?” in the article Alpha Males & Selfie Culture. Genevieve Gaignard, conversely, tackles traditionally female standards of perfection in her work examined in the article Cheese Puffs & Class. A way that the theme is investigated beyond works of art is in the article Isn’t It Perfect!. It outlines major technical advancements like robotics, artificial intelligence, and even cryogenic preservation, as well as how science is developing everything from the perfect body to the perfect vegetable.

The cover features Eva O’Leary’s Redhead (Amie), a striking portrait of a young girl, which relates to her new portrait Spitting Image featured in the magazine. A recurring segment of Elephant is its carefully curated paper gallery. This issue’s paper gallery, Bodies in Revolt, presents artworks by artists Gideon Rubin, Charlie Billingham, Ebecho Muslimova and Lisa Yuskavage. All artworks somehow challenge what classical art, or even society at large, deems the ideal – or perfect – beauty.

Along with its redesign and new issue, Elephant has also launched its new website, Click here [link to] to check out the website and learn more about Issue 32.

Pick up the latest issue of Elephant in newsagents across the UK, or buy online here.

Join the herd by subscribing to Elephant here.

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