Consistently setting a new creative standard and doing it all the way from Madrid, the publishing extraordinaire Luis Venegas has just unleashed his latest issues of Fanzine137 and Electric YouTH! MAGATEEN! The last time he fed us his work, he kick-started James Franco's trans-persona (even before the Oscars) with Candy Magazine. This time around, he reels us in with an elegantly curated portfolio of the industry's major creatives in Fanzine137, and the best teen boys Brazil has to offer in the latest Electric Youth! Magateen.
Jacky Tang: Hola Señor, kudos on the simultaneous release of Fanzine137 and Electric Youth! What an amazing place you're in right now. Your publications are so young, fresh, and definitely at the top of their game. If each of your magazines were living, breathing and breathtaking women, who would they be?
Luis Venegas: Well, Fanzine137 would be Barbra Streisand, EY! Magateen would be Katy Perry and Candy would be Carmen Carrera!
JT: We've seen plenty of your work via Candy, EY! and all the other projects of yours, but it's been two years since the last Fanzine. Was it a conscientious decision to finish the issue, or did you get to the point when you said "OK we've got enough amazing content now, let's print!"
LV: I've needed time to focus on Candy. A magazine like Candy had never existed before, so I needed time to take care of it and make people understand that a magazine about all transversal manifestations would be fabulous. It sounds like this wouldn't take much convincing, but even some of my friends thought I was crazy when I told them that my new magazine would be something like a “tranny Vogue”. I needed time to take care of my new baby, to make it grow healthy. Now that it's growing the right way, I am able to focus my attention back to its older brother, Fanzine137 – my first son.
JT: Part of what makes your publications so exciting is your interesting curation of contributors. How do you decide on them?
LV: It's very easy. I'm very enthusiastic about many things, especially about many people. So if I like somebody, I love them. It's never so-so, it's always 10 000%. So I make a list of dream contributors in my head and my heart, and I work to make it happen. It's that simple.
JT: I love reviewing your list of dream contributors on the 'Wanted' page in Fanzine137. What people who are no longer living would you add to this list?
LV: Sooo many people...but Irving Penn would be at the top of that list.
JT: In ode to your Greg Gorman story, which celebrities would you like to photograph and in what kind of scenario? Jungle theme? Farm theme? In the sun, in the snow?!?
LV: I'd love to take pics of Patrick Schwarzenegger – the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, what DNA! The shoot would be inspired by Christopher Atkins' role in The Blue Lagoon!
JT: What's your secret in making the scantily clad boys of EY! so comfortable in front of the camera?
LV: There's no secret: they're hot and they know it. They probably have taken sexier pics of themselves to send to their lovers or done naughty things in front of Skype before, so why worry about doing sexy pics for a magazine?
JT: As a teenager, which poster pin-ups were up on your walls?
LV: Oh, I'll sound like a fashion geek, but I used to pin up pictures of Hollywood movie stars taken by Annie Leibovitz in the late 80s and early 90s for Vanity Fair, during the Tina Brown period.
JT: You and your friends definitely know how to throw a party! What's in your recipe for an all-night rager?
LV: Usually people say “good friends”, and I agree that's good, but I prefer a party full of unknowns, so you can become a different character as nobody knows you! You can be silly or decide to play the shy guy... I love that. Rum and cola or gin and tonics are also very helpful for fun.
JT: So where's the party these days?
LV: I run a monthly party in Barcelona and Madrid, and each month it has a different theme. A good friend of mine and I DJ and people love it! But if you're asking in a more general-conceptual way, I always carry the party inside of me. I'm always ready for fun, for a good laugh – I was born to laugh. Maybe this fiesta spirit is due to my Spanish
Shop all of Luis' mags: FANZINE137, ELECTRIC YOUTH! MAGATEEN and CANDY MAGAZINE.