A recognized innovator in arts journalism, Benjamin Genocchio has been named editor-in-chief of Incollect magazine. Previously, he was associated with the Armory Show in New York, of which he was the executive director. In an exclusive interaction with Wendy Buckley of the Art + Design Salon, he shared his thoughts on his plans for the magazine and his return to innovation in journalism.
Benjamin Genocchio innovates in artistic journalism with the creation of Incollect Magazine as an online magazine within the framework of Incollect.com, an online design and art marketplace. As part of the assignment, he supports the rebranding of Antiques & Fine Art Magazine to Incollect Magazine, a quarterly print publication.
Exclusive interview with Wendy Buckley
Tell me why you decided to join Incollect.com, a design and art marketplace?
I’ve spent almost 25 years in arts journalism and most of it is dedicated to editing, innovating and creating publications. One of the things I’ve learned is that you have to tie journalism to a revenue stream and when there’s no direct subscriber base or advertising, you have to align what you do with the transactions, this provides relevant market content for those engaged in these markets, but it also supports the best journalism. There is room for a good profitable niche journalism site attached to deals.
How does art and design journalism support a marketplace website?
John Smiroldo started Incollect.com 7 years ago as a tool to showcase quality art and design to a wider global audience and he now has hundreds of paying resellers on the site. Part of that is also providing much-needed information to inform purchasing decisions. It’s the same strategy I originally used to design and build Artnet News from the ground up: if you own the information that informs a purchase decision, you own the transaction and so when I saw what an amazing job John had done to build a strong follower-based gallery network, I knew if we also had a proper magazine and information tool, it would help support customers, merchants , but also their other customers, the collectors, to make transactions.
Why continue with a print publication?
Antiques & Fine Art magazine has a 22-year history. It was founded by John Smiroldo and has a loyal and passionate readership. We want to build on this, but at the same time we recognize that the market for this type of material will be inherently limited in the future, so we will expand the editorial remit to encompass the range of design and art offerings available on our successful sister marketplace website Incollect.com.
To better reflect this expanded content, the magazine will also change its name to Incollect Magazine to consolidate the brands and will be published quarterly as a quality publication. We not only want to build on the strengths of Antiques & Fine Arts magazine, but also recognize that art and design are visual art forms and that print is always a wonderful vehicle for displaying objects and pictures.
So you see continued benefits and synergy in having both print and digital publications, even today?
Yes absolutely. Combining the strength of an online marketing platform with a print magazine benefits both readers and advertisers. Along with the commitment to expand the content of the publication comes a commitment to expand our audience: in conjunction with the magazine’s renaming, the digital version of the magazine will be fully available to our multi-million online readership. people per month to help support and promote our partner dealerships. The integration between print and online means that we will cover more topics, reach many more people and serve our dealers better. More content on more topics.
What else is new in Incollect Magazine?
There’s going to be a strong emphasis on art, whereas you know I have a strong expertise, a doctorate. in art history as well as years of writing as a reviewer for the New York Times and have authored and edited 7 books on the visual arts. We build and develop the art vertical on the principle that there is no meaningful distinction between creativity in the fields of art, design, crafts and furniture – that is all creativity and an art gallery can and does show design while a gallery showing design can also show art. Trying to separate these things, especially for a site like Incollect.com, doesn’t make much sense, especially when we have so many creators buying from the site. When furnishing homes, people want to create integrated interiors. Art merges into a broader, global market category of collectible culture.
I like this idea of collecting culture that you see at Salon Art+Design, the art fair I work on. I guess we always thought that art and design coexist in the same space, hence the name of the fair!
It’s funny, yes you were the first to be on this and I think you were right about that and in truth your fair does a great job of integrating these new cultural collectibles, items in a range of previously low-key categories that now pretty much all straddle art, design, outsider art, folk art, industrial design, jewelry and even collectible luxury drinks! It’s about rarity and beauty and finding things that help define you as a person and that’s what a website like Incollect.com or an art fair like Salon Art+Design offers to collectors.
He had a long career in arts journalism, starting as a national arts critic for the Australian newspaper in Sydney. He spent a decade at the New York Times and was editor-in-chief of Art & Auction Magazine and Artinfo.com for 6 years before founding Artnet News where he was editor-in-chief.