Our Take —
Zoo magazine is a special beast. For one thing, there is probably no other magazine that can boast a heritage as the labour of love of a bone fide stadium-filling rock star. So, when Canadian rockster turned photographer Bryan Adams pulled together his little project in Berlin in 2003, a lot of people thought, “Hmm, this will be interesting.”
Indeed it has been and continues to be so. One of the first examples of the growing trend in high-end European magazines to publish both English language and home language versions, Zoo has grown from an interesting Berlin project into a truly international quarterly. Currently owned by the Amsterdam-based company Melon Collie C.V. and headed up by Editors-in-Chief Sandor Lubbe and the shady lady of legend, Paris fashion suprema Diane Pernet, its regular contributors and editorial staff include some of the most respected European talents and personalities. All of this probably accounts for why it has been able to attract top photographic talent such as Steven Klein, Donald McPherson, David La Chapelle, Terry Richardson and Nobuyoshi Araki, to name but a few.
It has an art direction that is fairly restrained, often elaborating the simplicity of a certain European modernist heritage; hardly surprising its key bases. This cohabits with a certain melodramatic grandeur and a whiff of disco-drenched decadence that is equally European.