Interview With Rankin On His New Magazine, The Hunger
Do you find that your appetite for fashion, film, art and music is insatiable? You may have something in common with celebrity photographer John Rankin Waddell, who goes by the moniker Rankin, but that is probably where the similarities end. After co-founding the influentially unabashed Dazed & Confused magazine and shooting nearly every name that has entered the cultural lexicon in the last few decades, Rankin found himself still craving the next big project.
After sinking his teeth into numerous publications, campaigns and projects Rankin was still hungry for more. It was with this creative paradox that Rankin birthed Hunger magazine, a bi-annual fashion and lifestyle publication that can make an individual more relevant just by smelling the crisp pages.
Launched in November, the magazine also features an online counterpart in Hunger TV, while an accompanying exhibition is on display right now at Rankin's LA gallery, showcasing the striking imagery of Rankin's new beast. We caught up with Rankin to discuss his career, what keeps him grounded and what makes him ravenous.
HuffPost Arts: Explain the concept behind your new magazine. What is Hunger's audience?
Rankin: The new magazine is about me being hungry. It's for all the other hungry people out there - obviously I'm not talking about food (though I do like a nice fish and chips). It's about being hungry to keep on creating and collaborating with like-minded people. It's my take on fashion, art, music and everything that interests me. From intriguing, intellectual and crazy characters from the past, to up-and-coming artists with diverse skills and an exciting approach to the world. These people and their work is what really excites me. Also we hope it's beautiful to look at and sexy to hold and feel.
HuffPost Arts: How does The Hunger differ from other publications you have been involved with?
Rankin: It's a lot bigger! It's 512 pages so I suppose the main difference is that we can put everything we like into it!
The Hunger gives me the chance to run my own dictatorship! Dazed was new and different - it was where I learnt my craft - and with AnOther, I was more involved with the publishing. With The Hunger, I am in a position to feature whatever I find interesting without compromise, which of course has changed over 20 years. I suppose the ethos behind the magazines is the same - for me, it's never been about following trends or picking up on the latest thing. It's always been about what I love.
HuffPost Arts: What did you hope to achieve by launching Hunger TV simultaneously with the magazine?
Rankin: Hungertv.com compliments the magazine, but essentially, this is an entirely different beast. Nothing can take away from the luxury and sense of satisfaction that comes from making or owning printed matter, but an online presence is necessary these days, and also offers a whole world of new opportunities. For a start, there doesn't seem to be any good video-focused magazines online, so it's really exciting to be doing something multi-platform. I've got a committed and extremely talented film team who are taking the fashion shoots and interviews that we are doing for the mag, and transforming them into a completely different experience and making it fun and personal for the viewer to watch. We're in the process of redesigning the website. The current site is still fully operational, but we're working on making the experience even more exciting, so look out for the relaunch before we release Issue Two!
HuffPost Arts: What can we expect from the accompanying show at Rankin LA?
Rankin: The show in LA is like a live and bigger version of the magazine. It has at least one blown up image from each of the main stories in the magazine.
HuffPost Arts: With numerous publications, exhibitions, campaigns and other projects under your belt, what keeps you grounded? How do you stay connected with everyday people?
Rankin: I have a wife [and] a 15-year-old son who keep me very grounded. I always like doing talks and I also have a office full of young talented staff who are very opinionated.
HuffPost Arts: Given your reputation as a tastemaker, what new music, art, film and fashion is inspiring you at the moment?
Rankin: Ah - that would be telling but I would say look out for the young actor Freddie Fox -- he's a real talent.
The accompanying show at Rankin's LA gallery will run through mid-February. View a slideshow of some of the images and a teaser for Hunger below.