Like you probably were, I was bummed when I heard Cream magazine was no more, but curious what “Art” magazine would do differently than what Cream already did to survive.
The first issue has just reached the news-stands, and by now you will have seen the red cover of Mat Hoffman, my first though when I picked up the magazine, was “wow!”, the magazine is bright red, it captures the eye, the glue binding gives the feel of a collectors item, the paper quality is really good, this in my mind is not a magazine, it feels like a book. It is an object of beauty that will rightly sit on my bookshelf at home. What’s different than Cream? The format is slightly different, it’s smaller than A4, has more pages than the last Cream magazine had (over 144!), and the cover has a waxed paper feel, like I said, doesn’t feel like a magazine. What I noticed immediately, was that “Art” covered all types of bmx, even racing, thus the circulation I would presume is much bigger, lot more advertising too, this can only be a good thing to keeping the magazine afloat!
What’s inside flatland wise?
The main big flat article for the first issue discusses is “Flat is dead?”, editor Alain Massabova asked a wide spectrum of pros/industry types in the scene there thoughts on the topic, Alain’s intro discusses the hot topic of the flat/street crossover “Today’s shame on flatland riders is pushing us toward street/flat in order to get closer to the public. But is this a solution? Scarifying flatland to make it a ‘sport’ just like Skate did? Rails became park, funbox tricks are considered as dirt, aren’t we turning back to what it was before? Does flatland must go through all those sacrifices?”… The article is six pages, with translations in French and English (this runs through whole magazine)-interviews with myself, Martti Kuoppa, Jesse Puente, Trevlon Hall, Chad Johnston, Hiroya Morisaki, and Thomas Goring gives an industry perspective, a really interesting read, and differing perspectives on what we all love, the flatland! I was particularly interested in what Hiroya had to say, “each individual should pay attention to the rest of the world besides riding. Although our community is still small against society, each of us has so much potential. Organizing riding lessons or performing shows are some examples of activities to expose ourselves to the public to improve our scene better. You can contribute to the scene somehow with your skills and with something that you are comfortable to do. The more riders notice their own potential, the more youth would get involved in BMX. Increasing population develops the BMX industry and eventually it brings more opportunity to riders to be able to make living off BMX. That’s what I’ve seen in the Japanese BMX scene.” So what else is in this issue flatland wise? -Ticos jam and War jam both get some love , hot chicks and flatland, nice mix! -Circle Cow 12- Really nice report by Emmanuel Massabova, focussing on the appreciation for what event organiser Pascal Mintovt has done for the flat scene in France, “I’m one of those who think that the Circle Cow is to the flat what Chabel is to the rugby, that is to say Circle Cow is a mainstay of the flatland scene. It’s always the first contest that kicks off (the year) with pros and amateurs”. Emmanuel’s writing style is brutally honest and very refreshing to read, he discusses the Adam Kun and Joris “So yeah sure on the paper the world champion (edit: Masters Champion) is probably better than our friend from Lyon but on this 2 minutes of the battle he was just better. Too bad Adam wouldn’t consider the fact that Joris is also good maybe he would have done something better than a spin to a spinning hitchhiker. That’s the way things are.” I conclude this was a breath of fresh air to read, brutally honest, maybe harsh even, but compelling reading. It is also great to see that Alain and Emmanuel have it appears squashed their personal beef, and this really shines through here, that these two brothers working together for Art magazine, can only be a good thing for BMX in France. St Martin also ran a full-page advert in the magazine, great to see! -Portfolio with Yuta Yoshida from Tokyo Japan, really nice zoom shot of Dominik Nekolny. So much stuff but what stood out to me was the really well written article/interview discussing with Mat Hoffman the birth of the big air, Mike Hucker Clark who has some the best nose dive 3’s in the business gets an interview. Simpel Session quite rightly gets a few pages. There’s so much stuff in this first issue, BMX is alive and well. And I really like how the first issue of Art has come out, is it better than Cream? That’s hard to say, I would say this magazine is more liable to survive, its depth of coverage is much greater, thus advertising appeal is bigger. I feel honoured to have been asked my opinion on “flat is dead?” article, “Art” I hope is here to stay. RIP Cream, Long live Art!