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Friday, October 22, 2004

Artforum vs. Vogue

Assignment: Compare and contrast recent issues of Artforum and Vogue.

For this essay, I was asked to compare and contrast two magazines called Artforum and Vogue. I found that these magazines are similar in some ways and different in others.

One magazine is about what’s in fashion with clothes. The other is about what’s in fashion with art. The Vogue magazine runs a lot of articles about Botox, which I think is something that freezes your forehead. Artforum publishes lots of articles that talk about Baudrillard which is also something that I think can freeze your head.

One of these two magazines runs a lot of photographs that have been digitally manipulated, but it tries to hide that fact. The other runs a lot of manipulated photos too, but the articles tell you why it’s important that the photographers changed their work. Lastly, in Artforum you can find pictures that John Currin has painted of his wife. In Vogue you can also find pictures of Mrs. Currin, but these ones have been made by someone named Marc Jacobs, not by Mr. Currin.

Those are the big differences. Now I’ll write about the similarities.

Both magazines have more ads than writing. In both cases that is probably a good thing because people buy the magazines mostly for the ads anyway. Both magazines run some articles between their ads, but in both magazines you probably won’t actually want to read the articles. In one magazine they are too dumb. In the other they are too smart. (That’s a difference, I guess, but I put it in the wrong part of this essay.)

Both these magazines have people they call “contributors” write their articles for them. They both run pictures and bios of the contributors at the front of the magazine, but if you want to find out who wrote an article that you actually read, chances are that the person won’t be listed in the contributors section. I don’t know why this is, but it’s true most of the time.

I have two more important similarities to write about now.

After reading both magazines you become unhappy with the things that you currently have. Both magazines make you want to buy more stuff, and the stuff they want you to buy is always really expensive, so you can’t really buy too much of it, and that makes you depressed. Sometimes you know you’re depressed about not being able to buy the stuff, but sometimes you don’t know it and you’re just kind of sad for what you think is no reason.

And, lastly, in both magazines the ads show you what is going to happen in the next month or so while the articles tell you what happened a while ago. If you wait for the magazines’ articles to tell you about what’s happening now you will miss it because it will already be over by then.

So, as I have demonstrated in this essay, Artforum and Vogue are pretty similar. But they are sometimes different too. But even when they’re different, they’re still mostly the same.

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