August 1, 2021

The magazine “Acne Paper” is exhibited before being reborn

Fifteen numbers only, but a hybrid object that has become cult. From 2005 to 2014, the Swedish creative collective Acne published a beautiful magazine called Acne Paper. If we especially know Acne Studios, the fashion division of this company founded in Stockhlom in 1996, Acne is above all the story of a team multidisciplinary. Graphic design, advertising agency, film production, art book editions, men’s and women’s fashion collections… Acne – acronym for Ambition to create novel expressions – resonates with its time. And no area is forbidden.

The magazine is these days the subject of an exhibition in Paris, in the premises of the next store of the brand still under construction, rue Saint-Honoré in the 1is arrondissement, and a publication of more than 500 pages, including, among other things, articles and photos published throughout the issues. « Acne Paper was born from a conversation I had one evening at a party with Jonny Johansson, one of the co-founders, explains Thomas Persson, editor-in-chief of the magazine. He had the idea of ​​launching a magazine in which we would not forbid any subject, it is a real freedom to have such a carte blanche. “

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This biannual publication, each time devoted to a unique theme, brought together fashion, art, philosophy, but also popular culture or history around themes as varied as the city, education, tradition, youth or even eroticism or the body. “Exploring one theme at a time allows for a deep and timeless reading”, details Thomas Persson.

David Lynch and Isabelle Huppert

Big names have made their contribution, such as the photographers Lord Snowdon, Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi or even Brigitte Lacombe. The artists Marina Abramovic, Jeff Koons or David Lynch also. Long-term portraits and interviews also punctuated the pages ofAcne Paper, like that of Isabelle Huppert, who offered the cover of the last number, devoted to actresses.

Sold in newsstands and bookstores for around € 10, Acne Paper In this way, magazines affiliated with brands, often distributed only to customers, stood out. « We published 20,000 copies per issue and had worldwide distribution. We decided early on that the magazine wouldn’t be about the brand. Prada has its art foundation, in Milan, which is not related to the brand itself. The idea was the same. “ If the magazine stopped in 2014, its popularity and its recognition by the world of art and fashion has continued to grow, with back issues selling for up to € 100 on the Internet. « The story lasted ten years, a lot has happened in ten years! Stopping the magazine was a natural development, we wanted, Jonny and I, to try our hand at different things ”, confides Thomas Persson.

Old “Acne Paper” covers from the “Acne Paper Book”.

The exhibition devoted to him today features self-portraits by the South African photographer Christopher Smith, reinterpreting in his own way the fifteen themes of the magazine. With its never denied aura, Acne Paper prepares its return, served by a new formula, still piloted by Thomas Persson. A rebirth that comes at the right time, according to Jonny Johansson: « The planets are aligned to revive it! I do this because I love this magazine and really enjoy working with Thomas. There is no business strategy behind it. The number 16, whose theme is still kept secret, will be released in October.

Photo exhibition by Christopher Smith, 219, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1is, free entrance. Until July 10.

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