Last year we saw a solid selection of photo books and independently published projects come out of Australia. The latest one to grab out attention is Wanted, a men’s magazine from Melbourne that is equal parts fashion and art. With a background in photography, founder/editor Suleyman Karaaslan brings with him an eye for international talent. We caught up with him to find out more about what's within the pages of his new publication.
The Creators Project: What’s your creative background?
Suleyman Karaaslan: I initially studied fashion design at university and then moved on quite quickly to study photography at art school. I worked in the more commercial side of photography for a long time in Melbourne until I decided to take a break and move to London for two years. I was lucky to get a job at POP and Arena Homme + magazine while I was there. I had no experience in publishing but I grew up reading Arena Homme +; it was my dream job so I just went for it. It was the best experience. Both of the magazines are really unequalled in what they do.
Can you tell us about some of the photographers involved in the first issue of Wanted?
I’m so obsessed by photography and by images in general. I’m always, always looking and despite a terrible memory I somehow never forget what I see. So when I started working on issue one I already had a strong idea of what I wanted it to look like and who I wanted to work with. For example, one of the photographers I worked with—Ute Behrend—she published this amazing book Girls, Some Boys and Other Cookies that I found and fell in love with back in my uni days. I kept her name in the back of my mind for the longest time and she was one of the first photographers I thought of for the issue. When I got in touch she shared with me this beautiful series she had been working on about a subculture of cowboys living in Cologne. It hadn’t been published yet and it was just perfect.
What other stories will we find inside the magazine?
Issue one features fashion stories by photographers Alice Neale, Dexter Lander and Edward Mulvihill; a look into New York’s emerging fashion underground with designers Vaquera, Moses Gauntlett Cheng and Vejas photographed in upstate NY by June Canedo; an interview with the artist Eve Fowler featuring her beautiful series ‘Hustlers’ shot in NY and LA in the ‘90s; a Comme des Garçons Homme Plus story shot at the stunning Robin Boyd House II in collaboration with the team at dot.COMME; as well as many more artist features and portfolios. I also shot a story of my own in Turkey about the wrestlers of Kirkpinar. It’s one of the world’s oldest sporting events going back almost 700 years. It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had as a photographer.
How does Wanted blend fashion and art?
It was important to have fashion stories and contemporary art stories sit side-by-side in the issue and to overlap wherever possible. I didn't want it to be a fashion magazine with a small segment on art. It all had to work together.
Have you started working on a second issue, and if so, what’s the direction?
I started conceptualising issue two midway through issue one actually. I had a burst of inspiration and outlined the entire magazine in an afternoon. It has a much more defined theme than issue one. In my mind I’ve been pulling together photographers, artists, and designers that I would love to work with.
Check out some more spreads from Wanted issue one below: