Tar Founder: ‘You Almost Couldn’t Launch Something During a Worse Time’

In March, we met with Evanly Schindler, founder of Blackbook, who told us about his newest publication, Tar. At the time, Schindler said the biannual magazine — part of Tar Art Media, the company he founded with Maurizio Marchiori, formerly VP of global marketing and communications at Diesel — was “a high-concept publication with the ability to be sustainable.” Today, we got a look at the magazine, which will debut in the States in a few weeks. (It’s already available in Europe and was a presence at Milan Fashion Week.)

So how’s it look? In a word: stunning. From the cover image of Benicio Del Toro — shot by Julian Schnabel, which features a unique, raised “Tar” logo that looks like it was fingerpainted on — to the back image of four “Vote Obama” drawings (Schindler says advertisers liked the fact that there wasn’t an ad on the back), it’s an impressive debut.

Contributors include Matthew Barney, Juergen Teller, Jonathan Lethem, Terry Richardson and Arianna Huffington.

But it gets better…

Although he admitted that “you almost couldn’t launch something during a worse time,” Schindler says he’s proud of the final product and people’s positive reaction to the content. “There’s a lot of support for the content and not just the imagery,” he told us. “People really like ‘Clusterfuck,’ the overpopulation piece.”

Tar is 300 pages long, but only 25 percent ads. This ratio will remain the same even if future issues are larger. “The magazine is less a monetary center and more of a creative muscle for the company,” Schindler said. “Through it, the other work we do is seen more clearly — the kind of access [we have] and the aesthetic [we create].” In essence, Tar serves in part as a great advertisement for the company.

Tar Art Media has a focus on being eco-friendly (the entire office is reclaimed products), and the magazine is no different. “We are very proud to have the stamp, that the magazine is eco-friendly. It’s not easy to get.” Marchiori said, later adding, “We know that we are in the end of the world, but let’s do something concrete [to try to help].”

The prototype had a swatch of actual tar on every page, but they had to cut back on the debut issue. “It’s on a bunch,” Schindler said “Tough economic times, we had to go easy on the tar.”