“Harry the hare is waiting,” proclaims the last issue of Garage magazine, under a cartoon image of, yes, a heavily pregnant hare carrying Jil Sander and her partner, Frederick the Fox, decked out in Prada.
It’s not easy for a publication to follow a first issue that featured a Damien Hirst tattooed vagina on the cover just a few months ago. (Don’t worry: there was a butterfly sticker covering the private parts on the booth numbers so as not to offend curious eyes.)
Corn Garage, a brilliant favorite of artists and designers, is again squarely inserted into the national conversation. Amid the overturning of Proposition 8 and the passing of a same-sex marriage bill in Maryland, the entire second issue is devoted to the changing nature of love and relationships. The idea lends itself to countless cover stories, but it’s very interesting that the magazine turned something as harmless as nursery rhyme characters into a commentary on where the country is heading.
As Garage Founder and editor Dasha Zhukova explains that the inspiration for the cover came from the event called Same-sex marriage hosted by artist Yayoi Kusama in a loft in downtown New York in 1968. “Kusuma named herself High Priestess of the Peas while officiating the marriage of two gay men, and she designed a large wedding dress that both men were wearing, “Zhukova told The Beast of the Day. “I think Kusama’s consolidation of politics and art, fashion, pageantry, makes a political statement that has really been the inspiration for the animated coverage we did.” (The issue is now in select international newsstands.)
At the time, the Kusama protests were aimed at provoking and protesting the Vietnam War. Today, at 82, Kusama is the subject of a extensive exhibition at Tate Modern. His work seems more relevant than ever, and the outfitting of “Frederick the Fox” and “Harry the Hare” in haute couture gives a contemporary twist to the whole tribute.
The rest of the magazine ranges from a thought-provoking interview with education star Michelle Rhee, who says it’s important for kids to regain a competitive spirit instead of constantly praising them, to meeting the sex therapist. always entertaining, Dr Ruth Westheimer. , who talks about her job in a New York City Planned Parenthood office in the 60s, where her first thought was, “All they do is talk about sex!” The theme continues with artist Julian Schnabel having a very candid conversation with his daughter Stella about love and sex. “We wanted to approach the topics of sex and relationships today in a fun way, but in a broad and investigative way,” Zhukova said. “More culture than excitement.”
There are plenty of both. The features are interspersed with dozens of great photo ops, and there’s a lot of clever art direction involved. Snippets from writer Derek Blasberg’s inbox are printed in a wickedly funny column titled “Emails from the Edge.” , with only the names of the senders redacted. (Woe is the friend described in a missive as a “speedballing crackhead, nosebleed.”)
This illusory hold of the Internet on the world is also explored. As our browser windows go, so does the nation. David Brendel examines the effect of the digital world on the bedroom. “The repressed global libido has emerged through new digital avenues,” he writes, as he questions if this is also the beginning of the end. “We dictate what the Internet brings to us,” Zhukova said. “If the Internet reflects our demands, it’s a fight between our need for love and our need for sex. I think the internet is kind of on the sex side … and it’s funny when you say ‘internet’ because that’s really us the users.
But what about those well dressed animal blanket stars? It is all well and good for adults (indisputably Garagetarget audience of) to see these reimagined fairy tales as a progressive take on society, but how long will it take parents to open “Harry the Hare Awaits” at bedtime for their children? “I think the struggle to come to an agreement and decide what the next generation will be taught always leaves something like nursery rhymes somewhere behind time,” Zhukova said. “But I would like to think that each specific generation grows up leaving behind the mistakes or prejudices of a previous generation.”
Hare-uh, here is Hoping.