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This article is about an arts magazine. For the philosophical concept, see Aesthetics. For the album by Liturgy, see Aesthethica.
Cover of Aesthetica, February/March 2010
Editor Cherie Federico
Categories Art, Photography, Film, Music, Performance
Frequency Bi-monthly
Publisher Cherie Federico, Dale Donley
First issue 2003
Company Aesthetica Magazine Ltd
Country United Kingdom
Based in York
Language English
ISSN 1743-2715

Aesthetica is a British art and culture magazine. Founded in 2002, Aesthetica Magazine covers photography, visual art, music, film and theatre. It has a readership of over 180,000 and national and international distribution.[1] Cherie Federico, managing editor of Aesthetica was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

The magazine offers a respected opinion on visual art and culture.[2]


Aesthetica Magazine includes features on art, film, music and performance, highlighting notable new exhibitions around the world and showcasing photography.

The magazine's primary focus is on contemporary visual art and artists previously covered include Steve McQueen, Martin Creed,[3] Henri Cartier-Bresson[4] and Ernesto Neto[5] among others. The magazine devotes a number of its pages to photography and has featured photo essays from artists such as Richard Tuschman and Stephen Shore.[6] Other articles have explored subjects such as European art and politics,[7] the development of light art,[8] and the art in architecture.[9]

The film section in Aesthetica Magazine reviews and explores new films, with a focus on films of artistic merit. Films covered include works by Ben Wheatley,[10] Richard Ayoade[11] and Atiq Rahimi.[12] The film section also often explores film festivals[13] and alternative filmmaking.[14] A "Film of the Month" is also shown on the Aesthetica website every month and Aesthetica also runs the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival annually, a celebration of short films from around the world.[15]

Aesthetica's music section offers an insight into a wide variety of genres and musicians. Topics covered include manipulating found sounds,[16] creating music from video games,[17] the rise of YouTube and the evolution of the music video.[18] Other subjects include opera, dance music, instrument design, musical comedy, production and packaging[19] as well as interviews with award-winning musicians such as Alt-J[20] and Submotion Orchestra.[21]

The articles on performance cover a diverse range of disciplines including dance, theatre, puppetry and circus.[22] Theatre pieces have covered work from world-renowned companies and institutions such as Punchdrunk,[23] Battersea Arts Centre,[24] National Theatre Wales[25] and acclaimed directors and practitioners including Robert Wilson[26] and Joe Murphy.[27] Akram Khan,[28] Carlos Acosta[29] and Shen Wei Dance Arts[30] have also featured as part of the magazine's coverage of dance performance.

At the end of each magazine is a section called "Last Words", which features an interview with a prominent artist. Previous artists have included Cornelia Parker,[31] Abdulnasser Gharem[32] and Pedro Reyes.[33]

The magazine also includes reviews of new releases in music, film and literature as well as recommendations of new exhibitions and productions to see.

Archived articles are available to read on the Aesthetica website where visitors can also purchase the magazine and enter the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Art Prize and Creative Writing Award.[34] A directory of artists[35] can be accessed via the website as can the magazine blog. The Aesthetica blog[36] contains regularly updated content about art, architecture, fashion, design, film, music, performance and sculpture. Aesthetica's social media accounts on Facebook[37] and Twitter,[38] as well as Aesthetica Short Film Festival's Twitter,[39] have a combined audience of over 130,000.


Aesthetica was founded by Cherie Federico and Dale Donley, when they were students at York St John: A College of the University of Leeds (now York St John University) in 2002.[40]

In 2003 the magazine received distribution through Borders and in 2007 the magazine began to be stocked with WH Smith.[41] In 2006 editor Cherie Federico won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.[42][43] More recently, the publication is now stocked in all major train stations and airport shops throughout the UK.

In 2007 the magazine also began being distributed in major art gallery bookshops and other cultural locations including ICA, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Zabludowicz Collection in London, Arnolfini in Bristol and CCA in Glasgow.[44] In 2009, the magazine significantly increased its distribution network and is now stocked in over 20 countries around the world.[45]

In 2011 Aesthetica Magazine Ltd launched York's first international film festival, The Aesthetica Short Film Festival, or ASFF.[46] The festival is said to have helped "put Yorkshire on the map" [47] and in 2014 the festival was given BAFTA accreditation, unprecedented for a festival in its fourth year.[48] ASFF was awarded Festival of the Year in 2014 by York Press.[49] The festival takes place at the beginning of November every year and creates pop-up cinema across an entire city, screening films from over 40 countries and attracting industry such as Channel 4, BAFTA and Ridley Scott Associates.[50]

In 2012, Aesthetica Magazine Ltd launched the Aesthetica Art Prize to find and exhibit new talent and celebrate excellence in art across the world. The Art Prize is a competitive award and has four categories for entry: Photographic & Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture; Painting & Drawing and Video, Installation & Performance. Previous finalists include artists who have featured in Absolut Vodka campaigns, Zabludowicz Collection and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.[51][52] The Art Prize is judged by a panel of industry leaders, including artist Anna Vogel; Co-founder and Managing Director of Aesthetica Magazine, Cherie Federico; Senior Curator of Art at York Art Gallery, Jenny Alexander; Managing Director of Flowers Gallery, Matthew Flowers; Professor Rob Dickins, CBE; Curator at the Hepworth Wakefield, Dr Sam Lackey; Artistic Director at HOME, Sarah Perks and Independent Advisor and Curator of the Hiscox Collection, Whitney Hintz.[53]

The magazine also runs a Creative Writing Award, which offers winners and finalists publication in an anthology of new writing, mentoring and consultation with agents. The categories for entry are poetry and short fiction. Work is judged by a panel of literary experts, including Arifa Akbar, Literary Editor at The Independent and i newspapers.[54]


  1. ^ "Aesthetica Film Festival in York Given BAFTA Accreditation", "Yorkshire Times", 10 September 2014
  2. ^ "Photography Exhibitions Guide", "The Guardian"
  3. ^ "Inclusive Practice: Martin Creed", "Aesthetica", 1 February 2013. Retrieved on 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Historical Narratives: Henri Cartier-Bresson", "Aesthetica", 1 February 2013. Retrieved on 8 October 2014.
  5. ^ "A Sensory Experience: Ernesto Neto", "Aesthetica", 1 April 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Art & Design", "Aesthetica"
  7. ^ "Cultural Politics: Art in Europe since 1945", "Aesthetica", 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Enlightened Spaces", "Aesthetica", 1 February 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Realigning Architecture", "Aesthetica", 1 April 2014.
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  17. ^ "Game Music Levels Up", "Aesthetica", 1 April 2013
  18. ^ "YouTube Killed the Video Star", "Aesthetica", 1 February 2013
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  23. ^ "The Creation of a World", "Aesthetica", 1 August 2013
  24. ^ "An Intimate Performance", "Aesthetica", 1 April 2011
  25. ^ "For Mountain Sand and Sea", "Aesthetica", 1 June 2010
  26. ^ "Relinquishing Control", "Aesthetica", 1 June 2011
  27. ^ "Expanding Narratives", "Aesthetica", 1 December 2013
  28. ^ "Akram Khan", "Aesthetica", 1 April 2013
  29. ^ "Danza Contemporanea de Cuba", "Aesthetica", 1 February 2010
  30. ^ "Shen Wei Dance Arts", "Aesthetica", 1 August 2011
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  46. ^ Rose, Steve. "This Week's Film Festivals", "The Guardian", 29 October 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  47. ^ Ross, Rebecca."Aesthetica Short Film Festival marks busy month for Yorkshire film", "Leeds Guide", 21 November 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  48. ^ Masterman, Lauren. "Aesthetica Film Festival in York Given BAFTA Accreditation", "Yorkshire Times", 10 September 2014.
  49. ^ Hutchinson, Charles. "Aesthetica Film Festival in York in Top Cultural Events for 2014"
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