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Peeping Tom

Dazed shoot the breeze with Caroline Niemant, co-creator of the killer new French art publication, Peeping Tom

While working for various publications as an art director and photo editor respectively, Stéphane Blanc and Caroline Niémant grew pretty damn tired of the similarity and repetition of content in French art magazines. In protest, they joined forces to create Peeping Tom Magazine, their unique vision of how the print format can still be challenging, collectable and engaging. We shared a pack of Gauloises with Caroline Niemant to find out more...

Dazed Digital: Why did you want to start the magazine?
Caroline Niemant: We thought that a magazine clearly dedicated to artists without consideration of their background was something that was missing. We wanted to create something where the artist’s curriculum vitae, reputation, or previous recognition was not an issue. Looking at magazines left us a bit bored – always seeing the same names in print when there are so many interesting artists around.

DD: What are your creative backgrounds?
CN: Stéphane studied visual arts in Paris, he is now an art director and graphic designer, but he is also working more and more as a visual artist making videos and surreal sculptures. I attained a degree in film theory in Paris then moved to New York where I studied at the International Centre of Photography. In 2003, I moved back to Paris and launched a photo agency called PH Print. It was an intense experience, but my artistic aspirations were not being fulfilled. I decided to step away from the commercial world and created Peeping Tom.

DD: What are your influences, inspirations, and aspirations for the magazine?
CN: Our main influences and inspirations are the methods of communication for the Church of Scientology, paranormal activities, or the Marabout leaflets you can find in Barbes (an Arabic/African neighborhood in Paris). Conceptually, we are more inspired by contemporary artist's gestures than by magazine editing. The publication Charley by the artist Maurizio Cattelan was also a major reference for us. Our biggest aspiration for this book is to bring to light as many under-exposed and emerging artists as possible. In the future, we would love to open a bookstore in Paris that promotes independent publishers. We also want to publish a collection of artists’ books to be released in 2010.

DD: What is the plan for future issues?
CN: Our next issue will be about Mexico. We are sticking to the idea of dedicating each issue to the art scene of a specific territory such as a city, country, or region. Our ultimate goal is to scout the whole world! The publication will be released once a year for now, but hopefully we can move to twice a year in the future.