Influences for the new magazine Dizzy—created by New Yorkers Arvid Logan, 22, and Milah Libin, 24—run the gamut from ’90s graffiti ‘zines and art and children’s journals to forgotten publications sourced from junk shops. “We have one that’s on the cover, it’s Eve the rapper, the Pitbull Princess,” Libin told me at the magazine’s launch in Chinatown Sunday night. “It’s her with a bunch of pitbulls, which is pretty cool.”
No doubt, the magazine covers a lot of ground. In just the first issue alone there is a cover story on the painter Ellen Berkenblit next to interviews with artists Rirkrit Tiravanija and Raque Ford. There is a short story by Diamond Stingily and an essay by the rapper Wiki titled “The Importance of Lil Wayne.” There is also a feature on art made by children, a street style page with iPhone photos by Haley Wollen, and an advice column by the rapper Princess Nokia. If that’s not enough, the magazine also includes a horror film column by Jessica Butler and a two-page spread spotlighting an artist’s cat.
“We definitely want it to be a way to bring people together in the sense that, you know, we show established artists and people that are more maybe successful, and then we have a seven-year old’s work,” Libin said. “I hope in that way it will make the people that are coming to the magazine to look at this more-established person’s work see artists that maybe haven’t got as much exposure.” (In addition to working on the magazine, Logan and Libin keep busy with a variety of creative projects, too many to mention in full. Logan is a painter who also makes airbrushed shirts and runs a gabber-focused radio show on art world mainstay Know Wave. Libin is the founder of the Smart Girl Club collective and recently directed a great video for the Princess Nokia single “Tomboy.”)
Logan and Libin conceptualized Dizzy last August, started work on it about a month later. “The hardest part was figuring out printing, and figuring out a cheap way to do it, because we wanted it to be affordable and accessible,” Libin said. In a publishing world crowded with overreaching art journals, the magazine strikes a refreshingly unpretentious tone that aims to forge connections between communities. Flipping through the pages, I was reminded of everything from BOMB magazine—which Libin cited as an inspiration—to the legendary Midwestern graffiti magazine Life Sucks Die. It is nice to read something that makes you remember what you loved about magazines in the first place.
“I feel like there is this whole idea that people don’t like having objects anymore, don’t like having tactile things, but I don’t think that’s true. I think that people do like having a magazine,” Libin said. “It’s easy to just put shit online, but we just want it to be purely in print and something that people can hold onto for a while and collect over time.” At $15, it comes in at a price point more accessible than a lot of contemporary culture magazines. (The print run is 500.) “It should be a magazine,” Libin said. “It’s not an art book, it’s not something too precious. It’s nice, the production is nice, but it should definitely be something that you wear. You read it a lot and doggie ear the pages.”