Happy birthday, Daily Serving! This month marks our tenth year of bringing you some of the smartest art writing, and since this is such a momentous anniversary, we’re going to be celebrating for the next few months. Today we bring you an excerpt from our interview with Daily Serving’s first Managing Editor, Julie Henson, who has been involved with the site since its inception.
Julie Henson in her studio in Los Angeles.
The importance of having an artist-run publication:
I guess I never really saw it as an artist-run publication, even though it surely has been since the very beginning. Honestly, I think both Seth and I wanted to push ourselves outside of our studio practices, and this was one of the ways we did it. I do however think that when artists take on challenges outside of producing artwork, it leads to exciting and unexpected results. I also think that artists are often good at allowing themselves to do things that other people say don’t make sense. I can’t tell you how many times people said, “Oh, the content is too long, no one is going to read it, maybe only write a sentence and let the rest be photos,” or, “You aren’t going to get advertisers unless you invest in one specific local market or focus on the bigger institutions.” But Seth and I both relied on our community to push Daily Serving into the world and make it sustain itself with a unique vision. And I think more realistic, less stubbornly ideological people wouldn’t have stuck it out for so many years. These are traits that aren’t solely found in artists, but definitely run deep in many of the artists I know. Stubbornness, conviction, and creativity to make things work despite the odds are only a few of the reasons why I think it’s important for artists to run publications, nonprofits, and otherwise.
In 2017, online arts publications should be focusing on:
Representing those who are underrepresented. Maybe it’s just because I’m answering this question after watching the U.S. follow in the footsteps of so many other countries pulling back their progressive policies to be more nationalistic, more xenophobic, and overall less compassionate. But I do think that diversity of content in an online arts publication is still one of the major issues in the contemporary art world. Like many other markets, the art world provides its affection to those at the top and occasionally an up-and-comer with “momentum.” In my mind, this is an incredibly limited view of art and its possibilities. Leveling the playing field by covering the New York blockbusters alongside the tiny little art space in a place where the art world doesn’t often turn its attention is a perfect way to show the range of truly significant artists and artwork in the world. So I think arts publications in 2017 should give thoughtful consideration to those people, places, and things that are expanding the ways in which art and culture are defined, everywhere.
Read the full interview here.