Considering how time-consuming it is to make art, and how many distractions exist to keep artists from making it, the choice to make art can be considered a generous one. So hats off to Northern California artists Attaboy and Annie Owens, the founders, editors, and publishers of Hi-Fructose—an art magazine created not by executives or marketers but by artists themselves.
You'll have a sense of this when you page through it. It's substantial, beautifully designed, a perfect venue for the work inside. Hi-Fructose is Radio K broadcasting on KQ's signal: It's fresh, original, young, and exciting—but produced meticulously, able to reach everyone. The work featured might be underground, undiscovered, outside, alternative...or it may be something already known, maybe something you'd forgotten about or want to see again. As the so-called "Low-Brow" art movement ekes into mainstream legitimacy, and as the bedrock of Low-Brow, Juxtapoz magazine, becomes to visual art what Rolling Stone is to music, Hi-Fructose offers a big, quiet room where one can look at the artwork without thinking about anything else. It's not a culture magazine. It's not about a lifestyle. It's about art, and sometimes a little about artists, too. It's about the vision of Attaboy and Owens, working artists who still find time to make this.
Me, outside of painting I can hardly find time for anything, so maybe I'm especially in awe. But I am in awe, because in each issue I find something new, something that stimulates me, and something I can learn from. I find inspiration in the very fact that this magazine exists, survives, thrives, and grows. I save my copies like some people save National Geographic. I know I'm archiving something eloquent and important, a history and a premonition, a work of art and a documentation of it, all in one.
Chris Mars is a Minneapolis-based artist whose work is included in several public collections, including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Minnesota History Center. His debut monograph, Tolerance, was released in September by Billy Shire Fine Arts Press/Last Gasp Publishing.