Interview Magazine, Founded by Andy Warhol, Shutters After Nearly 50 Years
The magazine has been on the cutting edge of pop culture since 1969.
The venerable Interview magazine, founded by Andy Warhol in 1969 and known for its freewheeling conversations with artists and pop culture titans, has shuttered. The closure comes after years of alleged financial difficulties and a recent string of lawsuits against the company.
It’s been a tumultuous year for Interview, which was temporarily locked out of its Soho offices in February for not paying rent, according to Page Six. That same month, former COO Deborah Blasucci, who worked for the company for 30 years, filed a multimillion-dollar suit against Interview owner Peter Brant, claiming wrongful termination.
Longtime editorial director Fabien Baron resigned in April and then sued his former company earlier this month, claiming that he and his wife, stylist Ludivine Poiblanc, are owed over $600,000 in unpaid invoices. Creative director Karl Templer, who was accused of sexual misconduct in an exposé on the fashion industry in the Boston Globe, also left the magazine in April. (He has denied the allegations against him.)
Today, Interview, Inc. (the “Company”), which owns and publishes Interview Magazine, and its two holding companies, sought protection under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Company has been operating at a financial loss, and had been funding its losses and costs of its operation through loans obtained from its secured lender. The losses, however, continued to mount, and the Company did not believe its financial condition would improve in the foreseeable future.
The Company will be liquidating under the provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code. All of the assets of the Company will be liquidated and distributed to its creditors in accordance with the law.”
Interview is known for offering intimate conversations with famous actors, artists, musicians, fashion models, and other stars, as well as stylish photography. During Warhol’s day, the magazine had a distinct visual identity, featuring illustrated covers of celebrities by artist Richard Bernstein. It was sometimes described as “The Crystal Ball of Pop.” Warhol, who conducted Q&As for the magazine, once said that when he was drunk, “I tell everyone they can be on the cover of interview.”
Two years after Warhol’s death in 1987, Interview was acquired by Brant, a real estate and newsprint magnate also known for his extensive Warhol collection. (Brant decorated the publication’s office with four Mao silkscreens by the artist.)
Brant’s publishing empire also includes Art in America, which he purchased in 1984 with his first wife, Sandra Brant, and the Magazine Antiques. (Full disclosure: this reporter worked for Brant Publications, primarily as the editorial assistant for Art in America, from 2010 to 2014, and wrote two online articles for Interview, for which she was never paid.)
The magazine has ping-ponged between management several times over the past two decades. When Brant divorced Sandra in 1995, she took over running all three magazines with her girlfriend, longtime Interview editor-in-chief Ingrid Sischy. In 2008, Brant bought out Sandra’s 50 percent share in the company and relaunched Interview with founding editor-in-chief Glenn O’Brien returning to the helm. Baron took over the following year.
In 2015, Brant sold his non-Interview publications—a fourth, MODERN, was founded in 2009—to Artnews S.A., publisher of ARTnews, for a majority stake in that company. The following year, Brant’s BMP Media Holdings bought out Artnews S.A., which had filed for bankruptcy. All four art publications resumed sharing an office with Interview staff, but became part of an independent publishing group, Art Media Holdings LLC.
As of press time, Peter Brant had not responded to artnet News’s request for comment. The lease on on the publications’ office is up for renewal in November, and the art magazines are expected to continue operating on the premises until then.
The magazine’s offices are reportedly closed as of today, and it is unclear if any additional issues will be published. Phone calls placed to a number listed on Interview’s website went unanswered; the line appears to have been disconnected.
This story has been updated with a comment from Interview Inc.
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