Why did you accept the invitation to design the Winter 2022/2023 edition of All-Story?
I’ve been a super-fan of the magazine ever since I saw an issue years ago. It was the edition that Mike Mills designed [Spring 2008], and I still have it! I remember being so happy that a publication like it exists in the world. The very nature of it is subversive: art for the sake of art! Who would’ve figured? If only every publication showed the same dedication. I had actually wanted to reach out a few times over the years to ask if I could design one, but I always felt funny about it, like the magazine was too cool for me or something. Obviously, when the offer came in, I jumped at the chance!
Were there any surprises in the design process?
What a question—of course! First off, I really didn’t have any finished pieces that I could use for the publication. I had just completed a large body of work, and everything was photographed and published in a book. I didn’t feel like it was fair to repeat myself in that way. Just before Christmas 2022, I decided I would create all new work for the magazine and try to get it done over the holidays. Wishful thinking!! Two months and almost forty paintings later, we finally got it done.
The style of paintings I’m exploring in the issue is a departure for me, and something I wasn’t totally confident with yet. There was lots of trial and error, with an emphasis on error. I screwed up quite a few times before I finally landed on where I felt it needed to go. It was frustrating now and then, but the end result is really nice.
Might you offer any advice to future designers?
Don’t be intimidated by the All-Story legacy. If you start thinking about how many great artists have done the project, you’ll never get everything done. You have to close that spectacular history out of your mind and just trust the process.
What’s inspiring you of late?
Rita Ackermann’s glorious solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles (February 2–April 30, 2023)
For the Birds: The Birdsong Project, a beautiful and over-the-top twenty-piece box set of vinyl records featuring songs and poetry compiled by my friend and music supervisor Randall Poster. Masterpiece!
I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava