is a quarterly magazine edited by artists and writers. It is composed, primarily, of interviews between creative people working in a variety of disciplines — visual art, literature, music, film, theater, and architecture.
In addition to interviews, BOMB issues feature new fiction & poems, several 500-word "Artist on Artist" essays, and a reviews section.
Each Winter issue (on newsstands mid-December through mid-March) is an "Americas" issue focusing on a specific region of North America (south of the U.S.), Central America, or South America. Spring, Summer, and Fall issues are not themed.
BOMB is published by New Art Publications, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
BOMB magazine was launched in 1981 by a group of New York City
-based artists, editor-in-chief Betsy Sussler
among them, who sought to record and promote public conversations between artists without mediation by critics or journalists. One night, Sussler said, "Wouldn't it be great if we started a magazine where we talked about the artwork the way we talk about it among ourselves?
The name, BOMB, is a reference to both Wyndham Lewis's BLAST and the fact that the magazine's original editors expected the publication to "bomb" after one or two issues.
Shortly after its founding, BOMB became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
As of June 2007, BOMB has published 100 issues and over 800 conversations between artists. Over 150 of these conversations are posted on the magazine's website
BOMB has undergone significant editorial and design changes since 1981, but peer-to-peer interviews have always been a major focus.
In 2005, the BOMB offices moved from SoHo, NYC to Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Interview Goals & Methodology
BOMB coordinates interviews between peers, often across genres or disciplines (i.e. a poet might interview a painter), in order to generate intimate, revealing, revelatory conversations that focus generally on the creative process and specifically on the subject’s oeuvre, but often focusing on the most recent and upcoming projects. Interviewers and interviewees are encouraged to participate in the editorial process, treating the raw transcript as a sort of blueprint but knowing that anything can be added or subtracted, expanded or rewritten, before publication.
Select Interviews, 1981–present
Art & Architecture
- Carroll Dunham by Betsy Sussler (issue 30, winter 1989/90)
- Kiki Smith by Chuck Close (issue 49, fall 1994)
- Lorna Simpson by Coco Fusco (issue 61, fall 1997)
- Elizabeth Murray by Jessica Hagedorn (issue 62, winter 1998)
- Valeska Soares by Vik Muniz (issue 74, winter 2001)
- Samuel Mockbee by Judy Hudson (issue 75, spring 2001)
- Glenn Seator by Anthony Vidler (issue 80, summer 2002)
- Pat Steir by Anne Waldman (issue 83, spring 2003)
- Kerry James Marshall and Luc Tuymans (issue 92, summer 2005)
- Harrell Fletcher by Allan McCollum (issue 95, spring 2006)
Film & Theater
Archive at Columbia University
In 2004, Columbia University
's Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired BOMB's archives, including 24 years' worth of audio recordings, raw & edited interview transcripts, manuscripts, galleys, and assorted ephemera.
Quotes about BOMB
"It will always be of inestimable historical value to have provided these intimate glimpses into the personal centers of the creative process. But the interviews will have that value just because they are not merely documents for future reference. The interviews refer to the culture in its fluid and formative state, and in this way contribute to its direction. In and through them the culture encounters itself... There are plenty of venues for interpretation, but the task that BOMB has preempted on behalf of the culture is to help it find its bearing through understanding those who are helping it change." —Arthur C. Danto
"Reading BOMB interviews was one of the ways that I began to conceive of myself as an artist." —Miranda July
"BOMB's brilliant juxtaposition of voices, mediums, and genres makes beautiful noise." —Jonathan Lethem