Varoom 19 – the illustration report

Illustration, Culture, Society Autumn 2012

Cover illustration created for Varoom by Radio.

Varoom 19 stretches the idea of Taste as visual sensation like a ball of strudel dough. The menu includes New Wave Food Mags, Literary and Aesthetic Taste, John Pasche’s Lips for The Rolling Stones, and the question that erupts, like raw chilli on the tongue – who are the new tastemakers for Commissioners? And how do illustrators respond. In his feature ‘Art Directing Taste’, Michael Salu, Artistic Director of Granta is brutally honest – illustration, “might need to do more than vocationalise aesthetics and cultivate a broader palate of profundity for its own survival.



Illustration is reshaping our relationship to food. Nicholas Blincoe explores the hot new FoodCult Magazines – Lucky Peach/ Fool/ Fire and Knives/ The Gourmand, speaking to the Art Directors of food’s New Wave.


Spending more time online grazing images is changing how we interpret them argues Bryony Quinn, a change reflected in experimental image-makers such as David O’Reilly and Kolchoz. Working with a stripped-down crunchy aesthetic, they’re challenging visual conventions


The design of every magazine blends the taste of the Art director with values of the publication. Michael Salu, Artistic director of Granta magazine, reflects on creating a taste for a magazine that combines the literary and the Aesthetic. For reasons that become clear, Salu asks whether the discipline of Illustration should be rethought?


Working with artists and brands from Balenciaga to Bjork, the image-making of M/M Paris has consistently rethought the relationship between image and world. On the eve of launching a monograph, Mathias Augstyniak and Michaël Amzalag talk to John O’Reilly about the legacy of the French drawing tradition, dada, and the scent of an image.


With the introduction of the iPad came a new format for illustrative practice, that of the ‘book app’. Yet with this emerging form, image quality has become of secondary concern to the development of interactivity. James Brocklehurst examines why this might be and what solutions are to hand in this issues peer-reviewed paper.


Varoom’s contributing editors uncover great new work in various fields: Tristian Manco discovers Street Art by Seth and Pangukrejo villagers in the volcanic region of Merapi, Indonesia; Jarno Kettunen and Tara Dougans are selected by Ligaya Salazar for their Backstage Action Drawing at AF Vandevorst’s Spring-Summer presentation and animated gifs for Men’s Fashion Week; Martin Colyer is impressed by Political Cartoon of the Year winner, Ben Jenning’s cartoon of the Olympic Mascots ‘defending’ the Olympics at gun point, and Rosie Blake paints to playlists in Personal work selected by Liz Farrelly.

Brian Grimnwood selects the image that makes him think ‘I Wish I’d Done That’

Marian Bantjes’ lip smacking (and very amusing) centre spread, Le Menu. Plat Digital: Sterilized and buffed 500MB hard drive from Apple Macintosh computer, accompanied by an assortment of Numeric Keys and anodized Transistors, served on a vintage, Motherboard, anyone?

Paul Davis asks what does illustration taste of these days? Is it the main course… or another part of the creative meal?

All this and John Pasche’s Rolling Stones’ luscious lips. With Radio’s stylish cover as a starter, it’s a banquet that can’t be missed.

Varoom 19 is sold out.

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