Over the past year or more I have heard and read so much about Paradis, the brainchild of French art director Thomas Lenthal, but for some reason or another I never got about to ordering a copy – it remained in the back of my mind until I stumbled across this copy a few weeks ago and could no longer resist. For whatever reason – maybe the amount of references I had read, I had a relatively defined image in my mind of what the volume would contain, but the contents were actually quite different than I initially anticipated.
Launched in 2006, the latest issue of Paradis is 400-pages thick and has been nearly two years in the making. This issue includes lengthy features from cultural heavy-weights such as Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, Massimo Vignelli, Juergen Teller and Alain de Botton.
A shining gem in the issue is a piece on the furniture collection of Dennis Freedman, sprawling over 20 spreads and packed with a dense landscape of one-off furniture pieces and artwork. The photographs relate well to the contents of the whole Paradis issue — an assortment of mysteries and beauties, from famous to unknown.
The two features on Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman border on dry, but a lengthy interview with a personal hero of mine, Massimo Vignelli, (interviewed by my amazing wife here) is a goldmine.
Paradis is worth a read – and I will definitely revisit it in the future (hopefully it doesn’t take 2 years for the next issue!). The features are the real drivers of the magazine, and there is lots to be said for curating such a high caliber team for a single issue. In a market awash with magazines overflowing with content, Paradis is a breath of fresh air due to its relative “slowness”. Spending time with Paradis is more akin to meandering through a quiet museum than flicking through a periodical.