Classy pervs, rejoice: The coffee-table sex magazine Richardson is back from the dead. British fashion stylist Andrew Richardson (no relation to the similarly licentious photographer Terry) put out three glossy issues featuring porn stars and pontification between 1998 and 2002 before going on hiatus amid the post-9/11 economic downturn. In the years since, Richardson refined his business plan. (Sex = still interesting! Website = necessary!) “It’s the perfect time,” Richardson says. “There is a dialogue to be had about sex. All the information out there—whether it’s about sex parties, Internet sex, or pornography—is overwhelming. There is a real need for an edited voice.”
The new issue—Richardson A4—focuses on the female gaze, with work by pro-sex feminist performance artist Carolee Schneemann, who contributed stills from her 1965 film Fuses, which charts her sexual encounters, and artist Kaari Upson’s letters to Hugh Hefner. “My fashion work was informed by my bisexuality and my point of view on women,” Richardson says. “I wanted to know more about women’s attitudes toward sex and pornography. I’m intrigued by sexual juxtaposition—the erotic attack, in a way.” The issue also includes pieces on Internet hookups (the latest taboo to fall, says Richardson), vintage Japanese porn, and a firsthand account of group sex in Paris. Porn star Sasha Grey graces the cover. “Even though she’s overexposed, she’s in our jurisdiction,” he says. “She’s a by-product of feminism. She’s a young woman who, at the age of 18, wanted to become a porn star, yet she references Jean-Luc Godard. She changed the stereotypical view of what a porn star is.”
The relaunch issue of Richardson is due out this spring, which probably still qualifies as the worst possible time to revive a print magazine. But Richardson is unfazed; he plans a website (richardsonmag.com) with daily updates, porn streams, and documentaries, as well as a small book house. “It’s a difficult economy, but it’s the best possible time to do something that deals with sex,” Richardson says. “When you make an honest effort to delve into a topic we’re all interested in, there’s never a bad time.”
Photos: Above, Andrew Richardson in New York, January 2010. Suit: Welsh and jeffries. Shirt and Bow tie: Budd ShirtMakers. Cufflinks and studs: LongMire. Left, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s Genetic Fear, 1974. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible-Exports.