June 10, 2003

HIGH ART: The New York

HIGH ART: The New York magazine world lost a true legend on Monday when longtime GQ editor Art Cooper passed away at the age of 65. Cooper served at the helm of GQ for more than 20 years, stepping down just last month.
For all the bluster from Howell Raines about how he modeled himself after Bear Bryant, Cooper's career had a trajectory that was much more similar to that of the Alabama football legend: like Bryant he revolutionized his field while seemingly defining the job that he held for decades. And also like Bryant, Cooper passed away almost immediately after leaving that job.
In Cooper's stead the sub-genre of formerly respectable "men's magazines" have almost all gone the way of Maxim, combining juvenile humor with sub-pornographic photographs of people like Carmen Electra, who appears to have no career at the moment other than alternately appearing on the covers of Maxim, Stuff, and FHM. Even the current issue of GQ, Cooper's last, features dueling lists of 25 Signs She is Low-Maintenance ("She only screams when she's having fun," "she's not a cat person," "when she's pissed off she tells you why") and 25 Signs She is High-Maintenance ("complaining is a form of conversation," "she wears jewelry to the beach," "her dad calls her 'Princess'," "all her friends are married to bankers," "her last three fiances were bankers"). Come to think of it, that last bit is probably funnier than anything Maxim has come up with the last 4 years.
RIP Art Cooper; his irreverent wit will certainly be missed.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 10, 2003 02:05 PM
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