The Bloody Mary: intervista a Jesy Moliterno e Uliana Sgura

Baby pink cover and a font that in our mind recalls the gothic world, but don't be fooled by the (beautiful) cover, The Bloody Mary is really what you don't expect. Jesy Moliterno and Uliana Sgura, founder of the magazine, have given the panorama of Italian independent magazines that highly experimental project that has perhaps been missing for a while. Among these pages, among a succession of graphic cages and fonts ready to change to marry the content they welcome, we find a concentration of photography, art and beauty. All while maintaining that aesthetic and conceptual coherence that only things done really well have.

While waiting for the second (which would later be the first) issue of the magazine, we asked Jesy and Uliana to tell us about the genesis of the magazine and some curiosities about the pilot issue: Made in quarantine.

1) How would you describe The Bloody Mary to people who don't know you?
Let's start with perhaps the most difficult question of all.
We can certainly define some key points, almost in the form of a recipe: aesthetics, graphics, photography, texts to taste. or the bare minimum, emerging brands and artists, art, architecture, poetry, interactivity and, why not, even a little esotericism. In Issue 0, to better explain the areas mentioned above, in addition to photographic and non-photographic projects, we also started an esoteric column, in this case we talked about Tarot.
But there was also a section of the horoscope in which, as in the magazines of the 90s, you can compile the calculation of your ascendant by hand. Most of all, what we like to do is to give stimuli, new inputs, and not subject the reader to sterile and automatic use. We have always wanted to think of The Bloody Mary as a container in which everything is arranged in an organized way, with the search for a stylistic coherence that is fundamental for us. Consistency that we want, however, to limit to the single number, not precluding changes of style during the journey. Aesthetics are therefore certainly one of the dominant factors, without sacrificing in any way the content, the message, which everyone then welcomes in a different way.
The idea is to create some thematic numbers, with a common thread, in order to develop a sensible and not confusing path. We do not want to be a pop magazine, rather, an underground one, with the aim of giving space and voice to emerging brands and artists, on little-addressed issues. For the rest, the best way to get to know each other right now is definitely to browse the Number 0 - Made in Quarantine, which we are sure explains visually all this better than us.

2) What lies behind the choice of the name?
The origin of the name (which we have deliberately overlooked so far) has various reasons for us. There are personal, historical, visual references. But we cannot go too far as the number in the pipeline, as well as the Number 1, will be precisely focused on our brand identity and therefore also on this choice. We had always imagined the first issue of the magazine's launch as a sort of presentation, a key to reading everything that would come later, to let the reader enter a little bit into our world and our visions. Even if the first chronological number, the number 0, was focused on the quarantine theme, the next one will certainly add a fundamental piece, so the answer is: follow us, you will find out soon.

3) Why did you decide to create a printed publication instead of an online magazine?
For our part, there has never been the desire to be present only on digital, despite our journey starting with a very banal Instagram page. From the first times we started talking about this project, the idea has always been only one, that of creating a paper magazine. We never thought about developing it online.
As we also explain in the intro of Issue # 0, for us, paper is a need, it is a physical means of communication that does not travel through infinite pixels and scrolls in an application, the magazine is for us an object to touch, to preserve, to smell, it is a multisensory experience that a screen can never reach.

4) The pilot number was made in full pandemic. Has this influenced its contents?
We really like the expression pilot number, because that's exactly what Number 0 was for us. Answering the question, absolutely yes. Or rather, it was we who wanted to adapt to the moment we were going through, we felt in some way it was due and that it could also be a good idea to talk about it in another key. It was a very negative period, then everyone has certainly lived and metabolized it differently, but our intent was to make it clear that nothing is always so negative, that even from the most dramatic situations something positive can come out, indeed, often it is precisely a stimulus to investigate and investigate ourselves, to give rise to something else, to transform some sensations into beauty, into art, communication. As mentioned before, our planned launch number was not so planned, we had something else in mind, but we are delighted to have been able to address this issue by giving it new life, and, as you may have noticed, not mentioning even once in the whole magazine the word Covid. We all knew what we were talking about, but after months of news and articles, it wasn't really necessary. The most absurd thing was going out with the magazine in a moment of liberation from what had been the weight of the previous months, but then finding ourselves again in a few months in a practically similar situation. Ironically, predictable. 

5) How did you select the projects and artists hosted in the pages of the magazine?
Many of the projects featured in the magazine were developed by our dear friends, mainly photographers: we thought it was a good opportunity for both of us to combine our ideas with their vision. We found others by doing a bit of scouting and asked them for collaboration. For the rest we launched an online call, they sent us materials from all over the world, and we really spent a lot of time sorting everything out. It was hard work, we had to discard many proposals, but we already had a clear idea of how we were going to develop the number, and for us, as already mentioned, aesthetics, stylistic consistency, must always win over everything to have a project finished that it is appreciable and well usable. We take this opportunity to thank once again all those who took part!

6) What is the future of The Bloody Mary Magazine?
We don't really like talking about the future, probably because we are both incurable superstitions. We fantasize, think, plan, we never stop, but the future is too uncertain a variable to be able to give it all this weight and expectation. We like to think that we can always evolve (it is no coincidence that we have not created The Bloody Mary with a predefined cadence, we want to talk when we have something to say and being aware of how to do it), make ourselves known, establish collaborations, expand by bringing the magazine also to other ideas and initiatives offline and not. We like to question ourselves, re-elaborate, reconsider. There are ideas, and many, but each idea also has its own moment and context in which to expand, each idea is the daughter of a need that can legitimately change. 

7) And the future of magazines in general?
We believe the future of magazines, as well as the present, is still in the hands of a niche of users and is no longer a pop object for the masses. Even the biggest newspapers no longer do the numbers they used to, but we believe that print will always have a life of its own, despite digitization and despite everything. Paper is an investment, for those who produce it and for those who buy it, which not everyone is willing to make, but we are sure that it will always manage in some way to carve out its space and its glory.

Find the number zero of The Bloody Mary on our store HERE

February 02, 2021 — Anna Frabotta

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