For nearly 50 years, Andy Warhol's Interview served as the only magazine to prove art was inextricable from fashion. Then, earlier this year, it was announced that Interview would be closing. Shortly after, its own president and chief revenue officer, Kelly Brant, repurchased the title after it filed for bankruptcy.
Now, with a new staff, Interview is back on newsstands. But it's not the same. In fact, post-Warhol's passing, the magazine struggled to regain its incomparable image. And though we're fans of its re-edition, with its first cover featuring director Agnès Varda, there are a few longstanding fans who are keeping the soul of Interview alive. Brothers Mauricio and Roger Padilha have co-authored Starmaker: Andy Warhol's Cover Artist, a Rizzoli book that profiles American artist Richard Bernstein, the man behind the magazine's iconic covers.
"We've always loved and been inspired by Richard [Bernstein's] artwork, so we knew that we'd one day be doing a book on him," Roger Padilha tells Refinery29. "He was definitely on our 'list' of future book subjects. Richard's nephew, Rory Trifon, direct messaged Mauricio on Instagram saying how much he loved our books and if we'd entertain the idea of doing one on Richard. It was meant to be." Apart from the obvious, Interview's covers stood out during its time — and Bernstein's work endures today. He also designed pop art-style work for Fiorucci, Vogue, and his work still hangs in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Stedelijk Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the MoMA.
So, how did Warhol and Bernstein work together? "Richard didn't have much say in who was selected for the covers, but he was given full creative control by Andy in the middle of his tenure there," Mauricio Padilha says. "Aside from his artwork, his contribution was making every cover subject as glamorous as possible — whether it was an already-glam star like Cher or a not-so-glam sports figure. Richard gave them all his 'icon' treatment. The colours and the scale, coupled with an illustrated image, really made Interview look like nothing else on the newsstands."
Though the Padilha brothers remain tightlipped about their feelings for this generation's Interview (also dubbed the 'Crystal Ball of Pop') — they claim to have "lost interest" in the glossy post-Warhol's death — they understand its relevance in today's zeitgeist of celebrity culture. "After 1989, we have probably only looked through a handful of issues. The magic was gone for us. Hopefully, the powers that be at the new Interview will look back at its amazing history and inject some of that into the new magazine."
Click through some of Interview's best covers ahead.