Defining an avant-garde project is perhaps one of the most complex challenges, not only because of the responsibility of tagging it with a clear label but at the same time, it would undermine respect for that innovative process. Precisely, that was our great uncertainty. How to delve into the heart of one of the most beautiful publications out there, and that has inspired a large part of our own concept and that also got a hallucinogenic impact on our writers.
Having the opportunity to fully explore the mind and the process behind Polanski is already a gift, and that is that the sole conception of this magazine is a clear testimony of how to evolve, being capable of creating a series of controversial, beautiful, seductive and stimulating editorials, all at the same time. Owners of an impeccable taste in photography, Polanski, under the watchful eye of Irwin Tobias Matutina, the New York art director who founded it, has carried the meaning of cult publication to unsuspected levels.
In the lines below, you going to get the opportunity to see beyond the cover, but also know what awaits in the future to an authentic avant-garde publication. With you, Polanski.

Words by Gianfranco Peña

Even when we see explicit nudes on every page inside Polanski, the truth is we found very difficult to catalog it. Do you guys think Polanski fits in the adult magazine group?

The initial intent of the magazine was to make the viewer question what they were looking at. The magazine is hard to categorize reinforced this idea. I wanted the magazine to feel like it could sit in various categories, so you could never really define it. So yes, it could sit in an “adult magazine group”, but it could also sit within other categories in the creative space.

The visual message used in the offered photos is admirable. How do you start the curation process of these images? What are you guys looking for an editorial?

The curation just comes from seeing people’s work that inspires me. A lot of times it’s just a gut reaction. If I get a feeling of inspiration from the work, then I usually follow through and try to work with that person. Then the rest is editing the images and pacing it properly.

The curation just comes from seeing people’s work that inspires me.

Do you think there is a gap between mass-market magazines like Playboy or even Lui against publications like you? Is there really a continuous consumption of this type of material nowadays?

I don’t really see Polanski being on the same level as Playboy or Lui. These magazines have a ton of advertising dollars pumping through them, which means that editorially they will have to cater to the brands giving them money.  I’ve made it a point to stay away from advertising, because once you take money from someone. You are automatically indebted to them.


I think there is a “continuous consumption” of this material, which is why I’ve tried to evolve each issue of the magazine.

I’ve made it a point to stay away from advertising, because once you take money from someone. You are automatically indebted to them.

If you look at the first issue of the Polanski and compared it to the last issue. It feels very different, but they still feel like they’re living in the same universe.

In a digital world, how do they complement printed editions with a web-oriented presence? How is Polanski different from “paper” in opposition to a digital media platform such as Tumblr?

Polanski actually started in a digital format. It was a Tumblr blog that I turned into a printed publication. The printed publication differs from the Tumblr blog because it’s showing you editorial stories rather than random images stolen from the internet.

We recently noticed a vast of smart music playlists released by so different origins, from magazines to celebrities. Apparently, music is the perfect excuse to expand their branding. How do you guys decide to implement music selections as part of your content?

I’ve always been interested in music, so to me, it made sense to start making it an extension of the brand.

Focusing on the concept, What means nudity, sex and human interaction for the mag?

All of the above are elements of the publication.

Some of your editions are so memorable and widely highlighted, but there are two of them in particular that caught our attention. Could you describe us a little more, about the creative process behind Vol.5 and Vol. 3?

Thank you so much! I think the creative process for the magazine was to always try and evolve it somehow. The theme for Vol.03 was loosely based on food and water. So all the shots in the magazine had elements of this. Vol.05 was essentially about being on acid/psychedelic drugs. That’s why there’s no cover, I wanted things that were familiar to be skewed or taken out completely.

During all this period of time in the market, is there a specific photographer who you could recommend us to our readers?

There’s so many, I would recommend looking at East Photographic‘s roster. They always have great people to work with.

What’s the next step for a cult magazine like Polanski?

Planning to put out a series of t-shirts this year. So look out for it 🙂 Also doing all the creative for this cannabis brand in LA called Pure Beauty. More info can be found here


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