Another fantastic Publication busting out of Spain, Buffalo ZIne is the print baby of Adrián González and his tight-knit team. With their first issue so vibrant and exciting, I needed to know more about the project.
Gillian Tozer: Hola Adrián, congratulations on the first issue of Buffalo! You open the issue like many others do, with an Editors Letter. But rather than discussing the issue's contents, you speak of the beauty of printed matter and the comparisons of print versus online media. Growing up, what publications did you look to for inspiration?
Adrián González: Old Andy Warhol Interview magazines, Cosmopolitan magazines from the 70s, the first Purple issues, pre-teen books and some porn stuff from the 70s and 80s. I'd always experience anxiety waiting for an issue of, let’s say, The Face during the late 90s.
GT: What's it like producing a magazine in Spain at the moment?
AG: It’s like creating an island on your own: you invite people to come and spend some days, but you usually feel quite isolated. Fortunately, I get tons of bottles with extremely beautiful and motivating messages!
GT: Why the large newspaper print format?
AG: I wanted it to feel a lot like a newspaper: handmade and even anachronistic -- literally. But this is only the first issue: we want to treat each issue individually, and not to be constrained by form. We want it to be as free as the content. My friend David and I made the layout for the first issue together and I can say that that was the best part of the process. We woke up early in the morning and started working with his monster size computer, creating in a very childish way: making drawings, breaking stuff, scanning plants. Now he lives in London and we work via Skype, screen sharing during (or after) hours, but it’s not the same. I will travel to London to work on the second issue at the end of the summer and it’s gonna be like Christmas for me.
GT: The issue seems to circle around themes of transgender identity and sexuality, with articles by/about: Beatriz Preciado and Ninu, plus several cross-dressing editorial shoots. This is a theme that seems to be extra prevalent these days with models like Lea T and Andrej Pejic and Luis Venegas' Candy magazine. Why do you think "transgender" is such a buzzword at the moment?
AG: Maybe this sounds pretentious, but we knew this would happen, and we are happy! As Ninu's article says, we met her in Berlin during the summer of 2007. She was the real thing. I can say she was 10,000 times cooler than Andrej or Lea or whatever. She wasn’t even playing with gender, or trying to change it. She was OVER it. Now, Ninu looks like a boy again. He spent several years changing it as he felt, in the most liberating way you can imagine.
Around the time that we met him, we also met this other guy from Berlin, Stefan. I had a crush on him. He was like punk – Berlin punk – who was living in an unbelievably amazing squatter gay house called Tuntenhouse, and he only ate NicNacs. They have this party once a year, which is the most outrageous party you’ve ever seen, with an orchestra and fireworks. It was like being in the film Shortbus but without the orgy… lol! Stefan was, like, punk and cross-dresser, but at the same time really masculine. It was so hot during the summer so he would wear skirts or leopard leggings in a very manly and confident way. He could wear big earrings or make up, but he never looked “gay” or archetypal. My friend Vicente and I started wearing cool vintage dresses that we had bought in thrift stores with sneakers. That was probably the best summer I've ever had.
The one thing, however, that had the biggest impact on us was the Marc by Marc Jacobs ad campaign with Cole Mohr. We're still far from men finally being liberated with their fashion and being able to wear women’s clothes without feeling humiliated. All this is very well captured in the excerpt, "What It Feels Like for a Boy" from the film The Cement Garden, which we included in the issue.
GT: What is the concept behind the images of Spanish novels, Literatura Barata Cheap?
AG: These are two books from the 70s about rape, girls in reformatories and stuff. They became quite popular when I was at school. Some mothers had them since their teenage years and their daughters recovered them. They became quite popular in the late 90s in my hometown and later on. My literature teacher banned them at school since she thought they were pernicious, cheap literature. She was right, but it was too late. We were totally perverted already. The novels were actually American!
GT: Describe a little further the encounter you had with Patti Smith.
AG: She’s God. She is truly the most religious thing I’ve felt in ages. She comes a lot to Spain to play small concerts, to present a Rimbaud exhibition, or a photography exhibition. Her voice is so clear and young that it feels like you’re listening to old records. After one of those shows, my friend Iria from Buffalo and I ran into her dressing room to give her a present: a box with little stuff that we thought she could like – poems and chains, and I think there was even a tooth! It was all wrapped with a black bow tie that she took and used as a necklace. She kept it for a while.
GT: I'm guessing you're currently in the throes of issue two. How did you go about creating the new issue and choosing the contributors?
AG: It’s mostly about the stuff we love or idolize. This second issue is a bit anti-fashion and pro-personal style. Our contributors are mainly people we know. The staff are my best friends and my boyfriend. We also try to contact many people we like through their blogs or websites or whatever. There are a lot of people who get in touch via mail or Facebook, and they also participate.
GT: Re: the Morrissey article. We are big, big Morrisey fans over here at OCNY – in fact, Humberto is perhaps one of the BIGGEST! What's your favorite Morrissey song?
There's a place in the sun
For anyone who has the will to chase one.. and I
I think I've found mine
Yes, I do believe I have found mine
So, close your eyes and think of someone you physically admire
And let me kiss you, let me kiss you.
GT: What are Buffalo's plans for the summer? Any vacations or big parties planned?
AG: We just had a pool party with the guys from Salem
for our second issue, they’re really sweet! Now we would love to spend some time on the beach and save money to visit NY – we would love to go there to present the second issue!
it takes two