the Magazines that transformed the world

Beginning in the early 1970s—as underrepresented groups were demanding new forms of visibility following the emergence of political movements such as Black Power and the Stonewall Rebellion—a handful of British and American photo-driven alternative magazines came on the scene.


Art Institute of Chicago

Artists and Alternative Magazines, 1970-1995 (2021) - Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
Artists and Alternative Magazines, 1970-1995 (2021) - Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Face, i-D, Rags,Out/Look, and other new publications amplified marginalized voices, especially those of queer makers and makers of color, and made room for those makers to question who and what was accepted as mainstream. These publications introduced a hybrid model within the magazine industry: combining the high production standards and engagement with fashion of “powerhouse” publications such as Vogue and Life with the use of collage in zines and the text/image provocations of underground newspapers. In the end, these alternative magazines transformed their industry.

Artists and Alternative Magazines, 1970-1995 (2021) - Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
Artists and Alternative Magazines, 1970-1995 (2021) - Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
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