It’s perhaps little surprise that many potential interviewees weren’t exactly forthcoming in offering their opinions. After all, no one wants to be ‘Don’t’, do they?
Among those willing to offer up their views on Vice, which celebrated its tenth birthday last year, the illustrations that have graced the mag weren’t top of the list.
Perhaps this is a testament to how the clever art direction and canny imagery have become so seamlessly integrated into the cutting, smart fabric of what has made Vice what it is.
While a huge number of different illustrators and artists have been commissioned over the years to produce the magazine’s cover images, there’s certainly a distinctive, off-kilter Vice look.
It’s one that’s been shaped in no small part by colour-fanatic illustrator Sam Taylor, a long standing contributor who is now curating a show of Vice magazine’s illustrations in – you guessed it – east London.
Each of the ten artists featured will present a ‘raw’ drawing featured in Vice, shown before it was scanned in and digitised. These will be presented alongside a new work created for the show.
‘I have a lot of friends who are illustrators and I always find looking at their sketchbooks, roughs and scribbles on bits of paper in their studios really interesting’, says Taylor. ‘Vice has always worked with great artists who have their own idiosyncratic approach to image making and I want to provide a behind-the-scenes look at their practice.’
Taylor has kindly given us an insight into four of his highlights from the show.
Kyle Platts from the Vice Festival Guide 2011
This was Kyle’s first piece for Viceto accompany an article about bands getting piss thrown at them at festivals. Kyle included lots of his trademark characteristics, including the varying patterns on clothing that work really well in black and white. My favourite bit is the chicken-wing hitting the guitar. No, actually it’s the half eaten hotdog.
Nick Gazin’s contents page from The Hopelessness Issue
Gazin combined some of the stories in this issue into illustrations for the contents page. Here he’s moulded a story about people becoming immune to drugs and a man who’s been wrongfully imprisoned into one beautiful watercolour.
Krent Able from ‘Why Independence Will Be Hell For Scotland’ on VICE.com
This was from a set of articles discussing the pros and cons of Scottish independence. Able has managed to pack in loads of interesting bits and bobs. The crying Abderdeen Angus, the smoking child, the boot full of Irn Bru and my favourite bit, Mel Gibson with his pants down.
Johnny Ryan ‘Behind The Scenes at VICE Magazine’
Nobody is safe in Johnny Ryan’s world. Not Vice, not himself. This comic was for the 10 Year Anniversary Issue and lets the public see what happens behind the scenes when he’s creating his work. He doesn’t paint a very flattering picture of himself but hey, he gets the job done. Through the crack and shitty pants he gets the work done. A true professional.
The VICE Illustration Show runs from 17 May – 2 June at Pure Evil Gallery, 108 Leonard Street, EC2A