– What’s this all about then?
Well, La Más Bella is an art magazine, this is the starting point. Me (Diego Ortiz) and my colleague Pepe Murciego make La Mas Bella since 1993 in Madrid. La Mas Bella is an experimental magazine about contemporary art. The contents are provided by artists (all kind of artists, and writers, and poets, and musicians, and performers, and…), we work with monographic subjects and we change everything every new edition: we experiment with formats, contents and also the way to promote and distribute the magazine. Every edition of La Más Bella is different from the others.
– Do you consider LMB an artistic project or strictly a concept magazine? And how do you think of it in the future?
Actually we like to consider La Mas Bella as our personal and artistic project. But we don’t consider ourselves as the author of the project. We are just the publishers, so the author of every edition of La Mas Bella are all the contributors toghether. The author is the collective, we like this idea. And we like to subvert the whole idea of magazine, we don’t think in “cover”, “spreads”, “lay-out”…, we think the magazine as an object, an object containing printed material. That is why the concept is very important in every new edition of La Mas Bella, we start working with concepts and then we decide the format and what kind of works and authors could be interested in collaborate.
– Each issue is different to the previous one and just one each year. How do you hold all the contributors? But, above all, which is the way you choose their works?
Normally the contributors make their work specifically for La Más Bella. Sometimes we ask them a specific work but many other times we just talk about the monographic theme and formats we are thinking about and they decide. The process is very natural because we contact artists that we met before anywhere. So they know us personally, they know the project, they know they can make their work freely and they can discuss with us to change the idea and propose new ideas. We are totaly opened, and we accept absolutely everything they produce for La Más Bella.
– Is it true that for assemble each issue you call to help you friends and relatives? Do they ask you for money?
It is absolutely true that the final assembly of every edition is made by hand by us and by many friends. Normally our print run is 1000 units, and sometimes the assembly requires long hours of work. We started to do it with our hands because we couldn’t pay for that work, but we realized this is important for the project (every magazine of La Mas Bella has our fingerprints), many people and friends come as volunteers because they like the project and it is funny to work many friends together (well, we pay the beers). They don’t do it for money, I promise!
– Is there an object that you always wish to be in LMB, but you never be able to package? And which is your plan to win and pack it?
We have hundreds of ideas. The “format magazine” has lots of posibilities, you can explore hundreds of materials, formats, objects… The only problem is the money and the time, mainly the time because the expensive ideas take more time. So we have hundreds of plans, but we never know what idea will be first, it depends of how many time we have, and it changes depending our personal situation.
– Which is the smell of LMB’s paper (including other materials)?
It is true, La Más Bella has lots of smells. Mainly La Más Bella smells at paper and ink, but a edition of La Más Bella can also smell at plastic, denim fabric, glue, film, rubber, bullets, firecracker, stone, wood, dandruff, gas, vinyl, glass, chickpeas, beans…