Warhol Would Approve: Ingrid Sischy Brings Her Own Visual Style to Interview

Article excerpt

NEW YORK CITY-You can call Interview daring. You can call it different. But please don't call it downtown.

"I've only been here a while, but not once has it entered my head that we're downtown," says editor Ingrid Sischy, who joined the title in late 1989. "I think when people see artists or when they see that the magazine is sensitive to a younger culture and clubs and rap and those kinds of things, they tend to think, Downtown.' But I think the culture's much more complicated."

Sischy, 37, brings to Interview a dynamic visual style reminiscent of the early Andy Warhol days of the tabloid. "I think the thing that can't be forgotten is that this magazine was invented by an artist," she says. It was always a very visual magazine. It was very much about the way it looked, right down to the size he chose, the kind of paper he chose, the real serious use of an image on the cover as opposed to type."

Interview's previous editor Shelley Wanger published interviews with Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasir Arafat, but Sischy puts actor Rob Lowe in false eyelashes on the cover.

Communicating with images

"The reaction's been very good, Sischy says of the Lowe cover, on her second issue as editor. "We're showing the question of beauty, the question of the mask. Acting is such a mask. It really is putting this stuff on and becoming someone else. With the cover, with images, you have to find the simplest way to communicate all the different subjects."

Communicating with images is Interview's strong point. Sischy believes in running lots of full-page photos, something true to the magazine's history. "It's both different and the same," she says of Interview now. "That's part of what the evolution of the magazine is. What we have done is kept that tradition but done it in our own way. Each editorship, each era, shares their ideas."

A tangible result of Sischy's ideas appeared in the February 1990 issue, her first as editor. "I've always really believed in trying to give the readers something special that's for them," she says. …