ARTINFO NEWS The Rise and Fall of the Art World

By Lisa Monique

Published: October 12, 2009

image 2MELBOURNE – Art World Magazine caused a sensation when it arrived in Australia in September 2007 and quickly rose to the top, as one of the key publications for contemporary art trends, information and news. Just as quickly, it has disappeared from magazine shelves, to many a gallery and artist’s dismay.

Art World Magazine is a unique bi-monthly publication covering a splendorous array of new art from around the world. The magazine is run and written by passionate members of the art world community and is published by a UK company, B5 Media.

As announced on Art Market Blog, for some as yet to be confirmed reason, Art World Magazine has been placed on an ‘indefinite hold’, as stipulated in an email that circulated the office of the editorial team. While the magazine website is still up, looking fairly active, the ‘hold’ is confirmed by the subscription page, which reads:

PRODUCTION OF THIS MAGAZINE IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED. PLEASE CHECK BACK IN 4 WEEKS TIME FOR AN UPDATE.

The best explanation given was that of ‘personal family’ reasons  in reference to Steve Bush, publisher and owner of B5 Media. Born in the UK, Bush resides in Australia and is also responsible for other significant art publications, such as Australian Aboriginal Art [AAA]. This was the first publication solely dedicated to Indigenous art in Australia and according to Judith Ryan, senior curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, quenched a long standing thirst in the industry. AAA is not immune to the current unstable publication climate, also on ‘hold’ until further notice. It has been speculated however, that the GFC is also responsible for these sudden suspensions.

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Hanna Rose, manager of leading Melbourne commercial gallery, Arbitrary Gallery, speaks to ARTINFO on the impacts of the fall of Art World.

Hanna, thanks for speaking with us. What were your impressions of Art World while it was in operation over the past two years?

Art World was fabulous. It was our primary source of information and took almost 100% of our promotion and advertising budget.

How has its fall affected your advertising choices?

We have to start looking at the publications we used to advertise in, but so much has changed and we are not sure their readers are our market anymore.

What do you see for the future of Art World?

I hope they return. They had a unique edge. They spoke from and about the art world in a voice that was universally understood, even outside the art world, which is how it brought us a lot of new business.

If Art World does return to the magazine rack, do you see this current fall as having a long-term impact on its readership and advertisers, in terms of trust and reliability?

It might take a while for people to regain their trust, but as long as they continue to produce the same content and bring light to new art, their reputation will be restored. Although I’m not sure if that is possible without Steve Bush.

Related Links

Art World Magazine

Australian Art Collector

Art Almanac

The Photograph Collector

Art Market Blog

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