The art mag creating a world ‘by artists for artists'

Marfa Journal founder Alexandra Gordienko on how a small Texas town has inspired a creative whirlwind

Marfa Journal
Self-portrait with Celine in London (while Sandra Leko was smoking)

Marfa Journal is not just another art magazine; it's pure burning creative energy packed in paper and a screaming manifesto of creative insanity. Set up by 22-year old Alexandra Gordienko, who's now producing the second issue with her team in Cuba, the project was inspired by Marfa in Texas, a small town located in the desert not far from the Mexican border. The town, which was also the backdrop for Larry Clark's recent film Marfa Girl, has been attracting the art world's attention since the 60s. According to Gordienko, it's a capital of cultural disorder and therefore a perfect playground for artists and photographers.

Dazed Digital: How did Marfa Journal start? 

Alexandra Gordienko: Marfa Journal was initially my Central Saint Martins graduation project. I've been working on issue #2 in LA. After all the Fashion Week chaos, I plan on going to Paris to start working on #3.

DD: Tell us about your first trip to Marfa? What exactly inspired the project? 

Alexandra Gordienko: I guess it's all about the moment and who you're with. I was with my girl Jen, she is the best road-trip companion. Driving from LA to Nashville with the pit stop at Marfa, Texas, became the adventure to remember. I ran around Prada Marfa's installation butt-naked and Jen washed her hair in a sink of El Paisano hotel's lobby toilet. Of course, we also saw tons of art pieces and met loads of crazy arty people.

DD: Do you come back to Marfa a lot or is it more like a metaphoric space? 

Alexandra Gordienko: I've only been to Marfa once and I guess it's a good thing. I want to keep it that way. Marfa, Texas, is a total hot spot – the energy of the art world encapsulated in a tiny city in the middle of the desert. Marfa Journal feeds off this energy.

“Marfa Journal became a platform for me and my friends to meet and befriend people we've been stalking for years. Slightly pervy but we like it”

DD: How did you come up with a concept ‘by artists for artists'?

Alexandra Gordienko: I just wanted to document the current state of mind of my friends and my own too. Studying at CSM and working in Paris and LA, I was overwhelmed by the amount of ridiculously talented people I happen to be around. All my friends are geniuses in their own way, so the idea came to me easily. I just really wanted to share this with the world. See, now I sound like a self-centred dweeb.

DD: But what does ‘world by artists for artists' mean exactly? 

Alexandra Gordienko: Feel more, think less. I believe that realising what things actually mean can often be upsetting and totally unnecessary. We all live in our own worlds – mine is a world by artists for artists.

DD: How do you pick artists? Is there a particular factor you're looking for in their work? 

Alexandra Gordienko: It's very much personal picks. Marfa Journal became a platform for me and my friends to get in touch, meet and befriend people, who we've been stalking for years. Slightly pervy but we like it.

DD: Your favourite female artists of the moment?

Alexandra Gordienko: My friend Linda Engelhardt. She is a joke. Totally ridiculous. I love her. And Lizzie Fitch, of course – she is so funny. I also like Amanda Ross-Ho. I once went to the MOCA show, I believe it was 2012 – genius. So complex, yet in every way possible to understand. Oh yes, and also Agathe Snow. Jade Berreau's stuff is amaze too. I guess to be completely honest my love for them has something to do with the fact that both of them were Dash's women – I used to be obsessed with Dash Snow

DD: Tell us about the upcoming issue and your plans? 

Alexandra Gordienko: Marfa #2 is so very ready and OMG, it is an informational overload with a bunch of provocative ladies. The cultural disorder took over at the 300 pages of MARFART and MARFASHION. I am just sorting out all the finance, which is clearly not my cup of tea. After all the fashion-week chaos, the Marfa Journal team is gonna go to Paris to produce issue #3. It's a very exciting concept to produce each issue in a different city. London - LA - Paris. We want to keep it this way.

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