Two years ago, we started ArtNow with the intention of creating a platform for new ways of writing about art in Pakistan. As an online magazine, ArtNow strives to introduce an innovative approach to art writing which evolve in parallel with the rapid changes undergoing art making. An online publication can reach a far wider, more diverse audience than traditional print media and with that in mind, we aim to promote fresh voices in art, identifying writers and artists who present original ideas and are passionate about what they do.
Art and writing cannot be easily separated. In its finest form, art criticism can approach an art form itself, and it is this potential that we seek to highlight and encourage. The best art writing finds a balance between a theoretical approach and a discussion of the art object itself by carefully situating the artwork within a critical framework without losing sight of the particularities of the work. Ultimately, what art writing seeks to do is not just translate the idea behind the art into a new medium but push it in a new direction, bringing out aspects of it that can only be explored in a verbal medium. Just as art today takes on many different guises, so does writing about art. Art writing can take on a variety of forms; it can be theoretical without being obscure, personal without being self-indulgent, philosophical, experimental, and underpinned by a robust critical analysis all at the same time. ArtNow tries to showcase this range of approaches every month.
The magazine strives to be a dynamic, flexible platform that keeps pace with the changing needs of our readers. In January of this year, we launched a fully redesigned and revamped look and a new thematic format, with each issue focusing on a key topic in contemporary art production and discourse. As the magazine continues to grow, we plan on introducing new features and expanding to embrace the latest technologies now making their way into Pakistan’s art world, such as video and blogs. We are working hard to make ArtNow into an interactive, inclusive resource, providing the highest calibre of writing and discussion.
ArtNow has been busy off the page too, starting the autumn season with a full roster of events, including a talk given by our editor, Quddus Mirza, who in addition to being a professor at National College of Arts, is a prolific artist and writer, and a presentation and panel discussion co-hosted with Vasl Artists’ Collective on the importance of creativity in education. We’re planning on having a number of events over the next few months, so do sign up for our newsletter for updates on our activities.
We couldn’t manage any of this without our talented contributors, the guidance of our representatives and advisors, the valuable input of our readers and of course our artists, who have been open and welcoming to us from the beginning. We hope you will continue supporting us in our shared endeavour of promoting Pakistani art and culture in the years to come.
Bye for NOW.