Monday, July 20, 2015

CREATIV Magazine, unique reality shows among summer pleasures



July 19
Silly summer fun. Guilty pleasures.
We may all define our seasonal escapist pursuits differently, but chances are, we’re all tempted to indulge every now and again in something a little frivolous, something that may help us feel we’re on vacation, even when we’re not.
Halfway through my favorite season, I’ve only managed one weekend getaway and haven’t seen a single blockbuster movie.
But I have given myself permission to join the binge-watch brigades, and I’ve found and gone through a weird genre or two.
My recent faves include “Married at First Sight” and “Arranged.”
The Bachelors and Bachlorettes have long-since lost their luster, but I admit to being intrigued, and then hooked, by these chronicles of alternatives to choose-it-yourself matrimony.
“Married at First Sight” fyitv/shows/married-at-first-sight is explained in the title. Three couples, paired by four “relationship experts,” meet for the first time at the altar, immediately set off to honeymoon at exotic locales, live together for several weeks and then are asked to decide if they want to get divorced or stay together.
“Arranged” fyitv/shows/arranged also featured three couples, all from “traditional cultures” whose families helped with the matchmaking. The motley crew included teens (bride, 17, and groom, 18) from close-knit Romani (Gypsy) families; a couple from the deep South in their 20s, a grad student and a physician finishing his training; and my personal faves, a 30-something professional couple (a laid-back physician and his high-powered business executive wife) who finally gave in to their parents with traditional East Indian roots, who helped arrange their match on an online dating site.
The take-away is that marriage is not easy, however it comes about, and adding reality show observation doesn’t help. However we get to the altar, you have to admire the courage of those of us who have been brave enough to try it.
I also try to get more adventurous and laid-back in my choice of reading material during the summer months, especially rewarding for those of us who give so much at the office, online, and are often burdened with homework in the form of books, reports, e-mailed and texted links and oppressive amounts of new apps.
Luckily, some entertaining finds have materialized this summer, in the line of duty, including a bumper crop of books and specialty publications.
A breathtakingly beautiful publication called  CREATIV creativ.com started showing up on my desk in the spring. The Arizona-based magazine, on the cover of its latest issue, lists “ADVENTURE/ART/CULTURE/INNOVATION” and manages to more than live up to its masthead credo. CREATIV’s photos, art, design, layout and reproduction on thick, high-gloss paper are some of the most lovely I’ve seen in a long lifetime reviewing and writing about visual arts, travel, and diverse cultures and enjoying and sometimes curating exhibits while living in Europe, New York City, Portland, Ore., Santa Fe, Florida and the Caribbean.
This magazine reminded me of the reasons I still vacation at art meccas ... it’s what I love. CREATIV captures images of art and artists in unique ways. Their May issue, for example, included a starry Patagonian sky, closeups of tiger eyes and zebra patterns, giant origami paper horses, a vividly ethereal jellyfish, and eclectic and entertaining profiles of a creative philanthropist and imaginative entrepreneurs.
At a time when I’m cancelling most of my magazine subscriptions and, like most of us, moving more and more online, CREATIV reminded me of what print media, at its best, can achieve. It’s timely, timeless and collectible and makes me feel better about new generations and the future of art and publishing.
Give in to a guilty pleasure during silly summertime. Indulge a little and squander some time looking for something new and different. You could be entertained. You could stumble upon sources of insight and inspiration. And you might just discover a treasure.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @DerricksonMoore on Twitter and Tout, or call 575-541-5450.

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