MAGAZINE MAVEN: Tatijana Shoan has photographed and written most of the articles in the first two issues of her fledgling magazine, As If, which begs the question, Is she a glutton for punishment, a control freak, artist with a huge ego or the mistress of multitasking? None of the above, said Shoan.
“My first passion is photography and my second passion is meeting and learning about creative people who inspire me and discovering creative talent,” she explained. “Photographing and writing most of the magazine myself happens to be cost effective, but it’s not the reason I do it. The magazine enables me to live out my passions. As we gain more recognition and start to grow — which will include a Web site — we will look towards building our ‘family’ and include work from other photographers and writers.”
Her wish list is not too shabby: fashion editorials with Sølve Sundsbø, Paolo Roversi, Inez & Vinoodh, Steven Klein, Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. “I would do somersaults to work with Nan Goldin, and Daido Moriyama,” she said.
Shoan’s photography spans a range of styles, from hip fashion shoots at New York’s Chelsea Hotel, to images of film producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson that have the voyeuristic quality of Helmut Newton’s work, to Deborah Turbeville-style shots for a story “Girl With Scarves and Jewelry,” where a naked model is enveloped by a dark and grainy atmosphere created to show off gold and silver jewelry by House of Waris.
Shoan, a former model and actress — whose likeness was featured on the covers of Harlequin Romances — worked onstage in London and New York. But opportunities dried up after 9/11. She started producing shoots for other photographers and writing for magazines. “When magazines started calling me [to interview different subjects], I said, ‘Only if you let me shoot the story.’ Getting published happened quickly, because I was behind the scenes,” she said.
As If’s first issue, with 180 pages, carried no advertising. The second, with 174 pages, was sponsored by Audemars Piguet, which has committed to future issues.
Shoan’s interest in fashion runs deep. Issue number two had an interview with Roxanne Lowit and a portfolio of Lowit’s photographs. There was a story about Miguel Adrover with an introduction by Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As If’s third issue — bowing in March, along with the Web site — will feature Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee, who designs a handbag collection for HSN. Other subjects in that issue: Marco Brambilla, a Milan-born, New York-based video-collage and installation artist, who did a video for Kanye West’s song, “Power”; Anne Pasternack, president and artistic director of Creative Time; actor Goran Visnjic, and legendary movie producer Robert Evans.
Scott Fishkind, president and publisher of As If, knows the odds for survival aren’t good for new magazines. “[As If] is not mainstream,” he said. “It’s extremely targeted. In today’s climate, for us to break out, we have to do something extraordinary.”