FAT is a trailblazing magazine about Art & Life from the crew of Helsinki’s Kasino Creative Studio. Crafted in Helsinki (Finland), FAT operates in the context of Finnish Art Today, curating art with universal appeal and artists with, or deserving, international careers. Claiming to set a new standard for Art magazines, FAT comes very close to being art in itself. It is an annual publication, which is about to change how you perceive Art. Crack the spine and you will see what we are talking about!
The welcome note ‘More oxygen, please’ sets the tone for the magazine. The magazine curates its content under the sections of Opening Titles, Topics, Characters, Tools, Gallery and Ending Titles.
Topics try and make sense of subjects such as wood, gloom, nudity, parties, and parents amongst others that seem to be inspiring the Art scene today. Amongst the characters introduced, are painters Heikki Marila (also on the cover), Kaj Stenvall and Elina Merenmies and their works. In between pages, you find interesting bits about the tools, artists use. And in an attempt to quench the insatiable appetite of the gallery walkers – FAT features three galleries exhibiting the works of the artists in the magazine.
A quirky and unique way to introduce art, this magazine talks to its readers with every turn of the page. Right at the beginning the magazine with ‘show yourself in, turn the page!’ the magazine addresses its audience in first person. At the beginning of the gallery pages you see tiny notes urging the reader to ‘enjoy their stay’, and with ‘snacks are allowed’ and 'you may touch the art’ the magazine takes a rather ingenious jab at traditional gallery etiquette. It walks you through its pages and stays with you till the end – FAT is not just a different magazine, it’s a unique experience.
FAT, Finnish Art Today, made us wonder if FAT was published elsewhere in the world, where would its team wish it was from, so we asked the team “If FAT was not Finnish, which other passport, in your opinion, would it hold, and why?” The team’s responses made it abundantly clear that the only thing FAT is biased to is good art, irrespective where it comes from. Toast to that!
Art Dictator: Pekka Toivonen “Who cares? The main thing is to only feature artists who give us kicks so that we can make our own piece of art.”
Text Designer: Jonathan Mander “Every country deserves a magazine like FAT as long as there are artists who make art full of life. Passports are no restriction – I have a UK passport, and our first edition's cover star Adel Abidin started out in Iraq. FAT is all about universal themes – namely, life.”
Moderator: Tero Kartastenpää “FAT does not have any passport. We and the art in our pages could be from anywhere. This is just a place where a lot of insanely brilliant artists – and us – do their art and live their life.”
Curator: Laura Köönikkä “We could have a Nordic passport. Or a European one. Or one for the whole Earth? Nationality is not important in art as such, but to be honest, we Finns may be great at being ourselves, but not so great at talking about ourselves. We'll give artists that extra fat push.”
For those of us who have often found Art, a topic shrouded in mystery and perhaps unwarranted melancholy, this magazine is a pleasant surprise and an opportunity to renew one’s interest in Art. The feature on Heikki Marila’s work gives you a glimpse of the artists’ thoughts behind his paintings and shares with you his journey towards becoming an acclaimed artist by running an expert eye over some of the reviews of his work by critics over the years. Elina Merenmies’ masterclass implores the inert painter in you to take up the brush. The write up, musing the survival of fine-art photography in this age of Instagram that has given rise to never-ending and ever streaming flood of imagery – offers interesting insights. An introduction to art for novice and art connoisseur alike – this issue will convince you that Art is a way of life indeed!