Paper Weight — Genre-defining Magazines 2000 to Now / Candy

Video

Enlisting the power of desire, play, androgyny, and celebrity, "Candy" challenges the taboos usually associated with cross-dressing, transvestism, and transsexualism. The third publication by Luis Venegas, the Madrid-based niche-publishing whiz who is also behind the cult magazines "Fanzine137" and "EY! Magateen", "Candy" describes itself as "the first transversal style magazine." It sheds light on forgotten stories of the historical struggles of transgendered figures while also embracing the spectacle and fun of dressing up. Mixing real-life stories with cross-dressing glamour shots of fashion models and celebrities (like Tilda Swinton), the super-glossy magazine playfully questions normative conceptions of gender identity through a celebration of diversity, individuality, and fantasy. Unmistakably niche and subversive in spirit, "Candy" nonetheless takes its style cues, as well as its high-production value, from high-circulation fashion bibles like "Vogue" or "Harper’s Bazaar", making "Candy" an independent magazine dressed in drag. Alongside every issue of "Candy", Venegas produces short films that feature the magazine’s glamorous subject matter. Protagonists include actresses dressed in male drag (Chlöe Sevigny), the drag queen Connie Fleming dressed as United States First Lady Michelle Obama, and Hollywood heartthrob James Franco — who posed in a dress and full make-up on the cover of Candy No. 2. The videos align with the magazine’s ambition to put trans culture in the spotlight, transporting it back into the popular culture from which it was distilled. 

Page count: 337; first issue: 2009; location: Madrid; total issues to date: 6; publishing schedule: biannual; circulation: 1,500

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Watch video #2

Candy Issue No. 2, Winter 2010/11, James Franco in drag, photograph by Tery Richardson

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