Aesthetica Magazine is an international art and culture magazine, founded in 2002. Published bi-monthly, it covers contemporary art from around the world across visual arts, photography, architecture, fashion and design. It has a readership of over 500,000 and national and international distribution.
Across the brand, Aesthetica also produces a number of awards, exhibitions and events in art, photography, literature and film. They consist of the BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival, the Future Now Symposium, Art Prize and Creative Writing Award.
Cherie Federico, Managing Director and Editor of Aesthetica, was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate from London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, in June 2019.
Aesthetica was founded by Cherie Federico and Dale Donley, when they were students at York St John University, in 2002.
In 2003, the magazine received distribution at Borders. In 2007, the magazine began to be stocked in WHSmith high-street stores and in major galleries including the ICA, Tate and National Portrait Gallery in London, Arnolfini in Bristol and the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. In 2009, Aesthetica significantly increased its distribution network and is now stocked at major airports and train stations nationwide, department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods and is exported to over 20 countries worldwide.
Aesthetica includes features on art, design, architecture, fashion, film, and music, highlighting notable new exhibitions around the world and showcasing contemporary photography, from emerging to established practitioners. The publication covers work by leading artists such as Steve McQueen, Martin Creed, Ai Weiwei, Jenny Holzer, Alex Prager, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, Cindy Sherman, Vivianne Sassen, amongst others.
Articles have explored subjects such as the intersection between art and politics, the marriage of fashion and technology, contemporary minimalist design and architectural innovation.
A large section of the magazine is dedicated to photography and has featured photo essays from artists such as Richard Tuschman and Stephen Shore. It has also published photography by the likes of Julia Fullerton-Batten, Maia Flore, Carolina Mizrahi, Formento & Formento, Ryan Schude, Natalia Evelyn Bencicova, Maria Svarbova, Brad Walls, Kevin Cooley, Emily Shur, Miles Aldridge and Michael Wolf. Recent cover photographers include creative duos Sally Ann & Emily May, JUCO, Yossi Michaeli, Eugenio Recuenco, Daniel Korzewa, Jacques Olivar and Jimmy Marble.
Aesthetica covers the latest exhibitions opening around the world at major art institutions. Previous editorial features have covered Hello, my name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum, London; What is Luxury? at the V&A, London; the Future of Fashion is Now at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Frank Gehry’s retrospective at Centre Pompidou; Mona Hatoum’s retrospective at Tate Modern; a collection of Pierre Paulin’s designs at Centre Pompidou; Jenny Holzer’s site-specific commission at MASS MoCA; Anthony McCall at The Hepworth, Ai Weiwei at Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Gregory Crewdson at The Photographers’ Gallery; The Future Starts Here at the V&A, and Björk Digital at Somerset House.
With urban development, sustainability, geopolitics and adaptability as core interests for the architecture features, previous articles have included coverage on Frank Gehry, Venice Biennale, Bernard Tschumi, the Chicago Architecture Biennale, the Serpentine Pavilions and the RIBA Stirling Prize.
Aesthetica often publishes features on design, considering social spaces, domestic solutions[clarification needed] and 21st century practices. Previous features have provided coverage on the London Design Biennale, the Shanghai Expo, the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair and Surface Design Show, as well as articles based on new releases from Prestel Publishing and Thames and Hudson.
Names and institutions to have been featured include designers from London Fashion Week, Iris van Herpen, Viktor & Rolf, Pauline van Dongen, Crafting Plastics! and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The film section in Aesthetica reviews and explores new films, with a focus on works of artistic merit. Films covered include works by Alice Lowe, Ben Wheatley, Richard Ayoade, Atiq Rahimi and Michel Gondry. Films reviewed by Aesthetica include BAFTA winning Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski, BAFTA-nominated ‘71 by Yann Demange and Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth following the life of Nick Cave, which won the Editing Award and the Directing Award at Sundance in the World Cinema Documentary category. The film section also often explores film festivals and interviews festival programmers, cinematographers, directors, writers and more.
Topics covered include manipulating found sounds, creating music from video games, the rise of YouTube and the evolution of the music video. Other subjects include opera, dance music, instrument design, musical comedy, production and packaging as well as interviews with award-winning musicians such as Alt-J, CHVRCHES, Chelsea Wolfe and Anna of the North.
At the end of each magazine is the section Last Words, which features work and a statement by a prominent artist. Previous artists include Cornelia Parker, Julio Le Parc, Marie Hald, Chiharu Shiota and Do Ho Suh.
Aesthetica also offers the Artists’ Directory network for both emerging and established practitioners. This provides an opportunity for artists to connect with art collectors and gallerists.
Awards – Aesthetica Short Film Festival
The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is an international film festival which takes place annually in York, England, at the beginning of November. Founded in 2011, it is a celebration of independent film from around the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing filmmaking. The programme includes over 400 films screenings and 100 events, such as masterclasses, networking sessions, panel discussions and the UK’s first Industry Marketplace, making ASFF is one of the UK’s key film festivals.
ASFF is also a BAFTA-Qualifying festival, meaning short films that are screened may be eligible for a BAFTA award.
The festival opens for entries each on 1 December and closes on 31 May. ASFF welcomes submissions from emerging and established practitioners, accepting Short films across a range of genres including; Advertising, Animation, Artists’ Film, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Fashion, Music Video and Thriller. Since 2018, ASFF has also accepted Feature Film entries over 60 minutes, as well as Virtual Reality & Immersive projects.