Baron Magazine occupies an unclaimed space between pornography and art, with a focus on taking the offensive out of sex by attributing a light-heartedness to the less glamourised aspects of the erotic. Dazed Digital speaks to Jonathan Baron, co-founder of Studio Baron and editor-in-chief of Baron Magazine, 'The Erotic Paperback Magazine', about the relevance and importance of sexual imagery and the boundaries of art and pornography in a modern society...
This issue is about the future, edited as though the publication is some sort of time line, from a society concerned with being emotional to a society unconcerned
Dazed Digital: Why the focus on sexual imagery/nudity?
Jonathan Baron: We are visually saying that emotions are not progressive, that instead of being emotional with others, let's do it through entertainment. So for the debut issue - Baron has commissioned artists and photographers known for creating staged situations, who have reinstructed sex and the female nude for a viewer seeking emotions through entertainment not others.
DD: Is there, and if so what, is the difference between Baron Magazine and pornography?
Jonathan Baron: I think Baron and pornography hold the same ethos, we are both replacements, supplements, but pornography is for those who are less imaginative….
DD: Is there a particular point or meaning that you are trying to convey with such a collection of images?
Jonathan Baron: We just came from a rather sexually repressed decade, where we seemed to travel back to the late fifties and early sixties when sex was presented as a big embarrassment or joke, we saw photographers such as Terry Richardson practically reproducing the Carry On films and Barbara Windsor being replaced by Jordan.
This decade has so far been a crescendo of emotions, from riots to Lady GAGA hanging herself on stage, I think at the moment art and photography is almost slightly YBA in immediacy, we are seeing a real explosion of provocative work that isn’t confessional but staged, for a society concerned with being emotionless. This issue is about the future, edited as though the publication is some sort of time line - from a society concerned with being emotional to a society unconcerned.
DD: The magazine features a variation of photographs, would you say that there’s an aspect of pornography to any portrayal of nudity?
Jonathan Baron: Good question, I think it is important to remember that everybody has an opinion…
DD: Would you say that there is, if at all, a prudishness surrounding sex and nudity in the modern environment or is it something we are becoming immune to?
Jonathan Baron: I think this depends on certain generations and communities, but Baron is suggesting that we will eventually be immune to prudishness.
DD: What do you think it says (about society) that fruit, bottles, kitchen objects and other suggestive imagery can carry connotations of sex/evoke thoughts of sex despite having no physical connection?
Jonathan Baron: No physical connection is the future.