Image via Kennedy Magazine Facebook Page - Edit by Obsession in Vogue
I think that most of you already know that I have a big crass into magazines and talented people. Well, imagine what can happen when those two elements come together. The answer is an interview with the Editor in Chief of Kennedy Magazine, Chris Kontos whose also a really good photographer. So when I first came up with his work and his latest project Kennedy Magazine, I really just wanted to learn more about him and the first issue of the new Greek based magazine Kennedy. And that's exactly what I did. Enjoy the interview and prepare your selves to enter into Chris's world.
Alexander Voulgaris: Hello Chris, how are you?
Chris Kontos: Hello Alexandros. Right now i'm answering to your questions. While it's raining outside. I managed to stay indoors for a change tonight and concentrate on my neglected tasks. It has been pretty busy lately. I'm trying to work on the second issue of Kennedy which means chasing after interviews and features while at the same time dealing with all sort of deadlines and problems while trying to distribute the first issue. At the same time i'm trying to utilise my international social network to get more work as a photographer so i can get more work. Athens has been really hectic for a long time now in that part.
A: Tell me few things about you, and your work. You started working as a photographer and now you have a new magazine, isn't that exciting?
C: I'm a photographer yes. I don't think i could ever be anything else than that in my life. I mostly shoot models in clothes. I don't like to call my self a fashion photographer. Photography is just photography i guess. When i don't shoot models in clothes i like taking pics of my travels round the world or walking around my city. It can be anything really that will attract my attention. The magazine came as natural result of my long running blog called a Journal of Curiosities. A place i combined my love for photos with words on fashion, art and even food sometimes. I thought there had to be a printed version of all my obsessions. And it would be great if the world could embrace such a personal and bold approach as that. Now it happened and i dare to say it's the happiest time of life in that sense. There might be a shitload of problems around me like thinking how i will manage to pay my rent at the end of the month but the magazine keeps me happy. It's funny to think how glamorous and exciting it might seem to run a magazine but in reality it's just a window you can escape from the everyday hardships of living in a city like Athens.
A: When did you decide you wanted to create Kennedy magazine and why?
C: I guess i covered a bit of that in the previous question. It was all about combining my love for different things in one project. The important thing was that it had to be printed. In a time where there is so much online content i thought that a printed journal is what i was after. An item. Not something ephemeral. The whole idea of creating Kennedy came about last summer after losing my job and thinking it was the perfect timing to concentrate on something i really love. I had no idea it would get that far. I discussed the idea with my best friend Angelo Pandelidis and decided we should be partners in crime in this venture. Angelo sadly passed away this August leaving a huge gap in my life and the magazine. i owe him more than anyone could imagine and he is the reason that this magazine became real and less of a fable.
A: I know that the base of the magazine is in Athens, but people can also find it in London L.A, New York, Berlin and Stockholm. I suppose you want to create an international group of readers?
C: The magazine is indeed international in every sense. From it's content to it's distribution. It's made in Athens for the world. And as we did in our first issue we will continue to portray the place we live and love with our own particular way.
Image via Kennedy Magazine Facebook Page - Edit by Obsession in Vogue
C: It's interesting you ask about the cover. Kennedy is honest. You don't even have to turn it's pages to see what it's about. It's all there in the cover. Thats was the idea. We play with cards above board. We are not pretending to be something we are not. We want people to indulge into our own little world. Be friends with us by just strolling through our pages. Share our love for certain small things - curiosities- with the world.
A: I guess the title of the magazine, in some way, is connected with the "original"J.F. Kennedy. Am I right?
C: The title although not directly is connected with JFK. Kennedy is brand name. And a strong one. It was the first name that went through my head and i decided to stick with it. Follow my guts. JFK is a historic figure that defined an era. Was loved more than hated and in a way portrayed a lifestyle that is timeless. We wanted to make a magazine that looks the same now as in 20 years from now. But to be honest i did not think much of that when choosing the name. It just felt right and everyone loved it from the very beginning.
A: What do you want or hope people to get from your images?
C: My aim when i take pictures is to mess with the emotions of individuals. I want my snaps to stir something your sentiment. For me a good photo must stimulate the imagination. A lot of people think my pics look sad. i don't know if that is the case but certainly there is a tendency to that sometimes. My photos are part of who i am. I believe every artist puts bits of him/her in the finished product. I hope people can understand a few things about me through looking at my photos.
A: How do you visual the future of Kennedy Magazine and do you have any new upcoming projects?
C: To be honest i did not think much of how Kennedy would evolve when i started making it. And how hard would it be to keep it going. It needs a little bit of magical qualities keeping up with all these mails everyday while trying to be creative at the same time. Or deal with unpaid bills as i mentioned earlier. I want Kennedy to expand in many ways. To be a platform for our ongoing projects and a place for all my creative friends worldwide to work and express themselves. As i mentioned before right now i'm working on Kennedy No2 while trying to expand our international network of contributors and stockiest. I'm still shooting bits for Purple Diary and Oyster Magazine from time to time and this year i'm hoping to work with a new label from New York called Datura on some features. Make a long awaited trio to L.A.I will also try to dj and work more in Moscow since it's my favorite city lately. Talking of djing we are also setting up the first party for Kennedy in our hometown Athens which is due on November the 15th at Romantso with special guest Lee Douglas from Berlin. We are also planning a limited line of Kennedy Tees.
Thank you so much Chris,
You can find out more about Kennedy Magazine Here