Luis Venegas: My Magazines

The Prolific Publisher Shares His Favorite Spreads in a Graphic Short

Madrid-based magazine wunderkind Luis Venegas unveils his enviable collection of glossy back-issues and collectible periodicals as he launches the latest edition of his cult art title and labor of love, Fanzine137. The 33-year-old creative director, editor and independent publisher spent a year on the project, all the while working on the pioneering “transversal” Candy, as well as the colorful EY! Magateen, devoted to all things young, male and Spanish. Venegas has come a long way since the first issue of Fanzine137 in 2004, funded by a single Dior Homme ad courtesy of a sympathetic Hedi Slimane; fast-forward to 2012 and Venegas’s impressive client list includes collaborations with brands like Loewe, and publications such as GQ Style, Acne Paper and BUTT. Following his black-and-white-themed issue featuring contributions from Christian Lacroix, Bruce Weber, Ryan McGinley and Terry Richardson, the current Fanzine137 celebrates the treasured editions in Venegas' own collection. “I've always wanted to do a tribute to my favorite magazines and the many wonderful creative people who work in them,” he explains. “It took some weeks to photograph and retouch them to make them look as real and fabulous as they deserve.” Here Venegas opens up about his passion for print.

How difficult was it to select your favorite magazine pages?
My personal collection of magazines contains more than 10,000 issues, and selecting only 137 double-page spreads wasn’t easy. I wanted to show my favorites but also create an exciting narrative. Crediting everyone involved has also been an exhaustive process––that's my tribute to all of the publications included.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one magazine, what would it be?
It would be the April 1965 issue of American Harper's Bazaar, with the famous winking hologram cover of Jean Shrimpton. It's a very modern issue edited by Richard Avedon and art directed by the legendary Ruth Ansel, a dear friend of mine. It appeared more than 47 years ago but everything inside looks so contemporary, refined and exciting!

Are there any magazines you’re still searching for?
Right now I'm obsessed with acquiring as many 1970s issues of Warhol's Interview as possible. I have around 30, but the search never ends!

Your hands are tattooed with “HARD” and “WORK”––is this the personal philosophy that allows you to do so much?
Yes, it is! I read somewhere that the secret to success is the simple addition of hard work and good luck, so I tattooed one part on my hands, which I use constantly, and the other on my feet, so they can carry me to a lucky place. 

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