My name is Vici MacDonald and I was a founding editor, along with its publisher and instigator Steve Bush, of the UK / Australian art magazine Art World (2007–2009). However after two intense years of both editing and designing the increasingly successful UK edition – and getting to work with some of the world’s top writers and artists (Michel Houellebecq and Jeff Koons, to name just two) along the way – we lost our funding at the height of the crash, and ceased publication. I decided to use the unexpected leisure time to do some things I really wanted to, one of which was to write more about art than editing Art World left time for, hence the birth of Art Orbit. It’s a more serious reboot of my sporadic Tumblr blog Art Anorak, from which Art Orbit now takes over, though I’ll still be tweeting as @artanorak.
Prior to editing Art World, my main contribution to the art world was writing a monograph on the late Australian sculptor Rosalie Gascoigne (1917–1999), renowned for her poetic use of found type. I was privileged to spend many days interviewing this intensely private woman just a couple of years before her death. She was in her early 80s at the time, but was still full of energy and doing some of her best, most elegiac work. She was an inspirational figure, especially for late starters, as she didn’t exhibit professionally until the age of 53, having raised a family first. Her work is not really known in the UK, but she’s very famous in the antipodes, and a fantastic artist – the book (Rosalie Gascoigne, Regaro, 1998) sold out long ago, but you can learn more about Gascoigne here and see example images here.
In the real world, I work as an art director, editor and writer for various companies including Penguin Group, Phillips de Pury, and The Art Newspaper, for whom I recently edited and designed guides to the 2011 Venice Biennale and southern California’s groundbreaking Pacific Standard Time art festival (2011-2012), an initiative of the Getty Foundation.
More recently, I’ve collaborated with poet Tamar Yoseloff on a new publishing project called Hercules Editions, which aims to bring exciting new art and poetry together. Our first publication was a chapbook of photos and poems about disappearing London called Formerly. In 2013 it was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award, and was the subject of a solo exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre. You can find more details on the dedicated website here.
With my design hat on, I also write a blog called Burglar Alarm Britain, a taxonomy of security firm design tropes, aka a lot of pictures of weird old burglar alarm logos (well, someone’s got to do it); and as mentioned above, I tweet as @artanorak. Maybe catch you there…