Cover art

by Steve Watson in May 2023
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Art & design Photography

An exhibition dedicated to the role of art on magazine covers opens in Amsterdam this weekend (Saturday 13th May), a collaboration between Gallery Madé van Krimpen and Jaap Biemans, the art director and magazine lover better known as Coverjunkie. Six magazine covers will be displayed in the show, alongside the original artworks that were used to make them, offering a glimpse of the way the two can work together. Jaap has also selected around 75 of his favourite covers to show in the gallery, chosen from his own personal archive.

“This was a different way for me to work,” he says. “Normally I focus on covers as a reflection of the times we’re living in, and I want to appreciate their creativity. This time it’s a different perspective; it’s all about art, and it proves my point that magazine covers are indeed works of art.”

That’s not to say everything was a total departure from his usual style: Swiss artist Beni Bischof is included in the selection, the brains behind the ‘finger’ photo that Jaap names as his favourite Volkskrant Magazine cover of all time. But alongside that there’s also photographer Jack Davison, whose portrait of Kazuo Ishiguro was used on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, and Gary Baseman, with an artwork that appeared on a vintage copy of Beach Culture. “For me it was great to get connected with those fine art guys. It’s a whole different field, and it gave me the opportunity to meet them, to see how they work, and have fun.”

But this being Jaap, there are still lots more covers and artworks he’d like to shine a light on. “We have to wait and see the response from the opening on Saturday, but I’d love to do more exhibitions. Art on magazine covers is a big thing and I think it’s very interesting. Sometimes the amounts of money involved in shipping an artwork and insuring it are totally crazy, so there are some we had to leave out, but who knows… maybe next time?”

The Originals
13 May – 17 June
Gallery Madé van Krimpen

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