cover illustration copyright 2009, Derek Erdman
In the tradition of the great outlaw literary magazine the Evergreen Review, which was published by Grove Press provocateur Barney Rosset from 1957-1973, Brooklyn's own powerHouse magazine is that rare modern day periodical that still believes in celebrating what is left of the counter-culture. With the latest issue (#5) hitting newsstands next week, publisher Daniel Power and editor-in-chief Sara Rosen assembled a motley crew of photographers, writers, illustrators and graff artists to contribute their personal dangerous visions around the theme of "Busted."
Though I am quite proud of my own short story "Boom for Real," a New York-centric tale about the notorious blackout in 1977 and the death of fictional turntablist DJ Dynamite thirty years later (painter One9 illustrated the piece with a gorgeous two-page spread called "77"), I wanted to also give props to some of the other "Busted" contributors.
Indeed, with a set-list that begins with an arresting cover illustration of mugshot superstars Jane Fonda, OJ, Elvis, Kimora Simmons, among others (stylishly drawn by Derek Erdman), "Busted" features daring art and essays by Ron English, Hank Willis Thomas (whose photographs are simply electrifying), Ivan Rodriguez, Patti Astor, Larry Fink, Ivan Sanchez, Nora Bibel, John Lurie and countless other arty bohos.
Basketball and Chain, copyright 2009, Hank Willis Thomas
Not known for playing it safe, Miss Rosen has also included fiction pieces by Brantly Martin, Loucious Broadway and myself. Since most American publications, with the exception of the New Yorker and the Oxford American, seems to have given up on the short story as a genuine art form, powerHouse magazine deserves props for attempting to revitalize the genre in its own gritty way.
As most magazine junkies already know, it's cool to find a periodical that is the perfect fix. With powerHouse's "Busted," one is attracted to its clean design, beautiful paper stock, exciting graphics and cutting edge subject matter. Indeed, I haven't been this excited about a new publication since the early days of The Face, Vibe, Ego Trip and Wax Poetics.
Coming at a time when many less daring magazines are closing up shop or moving to the web, powerHouse's Busted issue is just the beginning of a beautiful movement to keep urban bohemianism alive. For more information about powerHouse magazine #5 (Busted), go to:
interview with Hank Willis Thomas: http://www.photoeye.com/magazine/features/2008/12_03_Hank_Willis_Thomas.cfm
painter One9: http://www.one9.com
cover illustrator Derek Erdman: http://www.derekerdman.com
Labels: Derek Erdman, Hank Willis Thomas, One9, powerHouse magazine