3 Absolutely Free Great Art Magazines for iOS

Pablo Picasso once said, "The purpose of art is to wash away the daily dust from our souls."

No truer statement can be said. Art shakes us, wakes us, and lets us see what may have been hidden from us. If our souls could breathe art would be a deep breath of that clean, fresh, crisp ocean breeze on a hot Autumn day.

Art can take many forms, finding expression in an ever expanding list of media, but people find solidity and comfort in mediums they are familiar with like music, dance, paint, stone, clay, and canvas.

Free on iTunes

I enjoy almost all forms of art, but I express my artistic ideas through photography. For me there are few things more compelling than a photo of the energy of night life in a big city, or the despondent resolve of a caged leopard, or the self satisfaction of a grandmother's impulsive decision to sit for an impromptu photo session. These are milliseconds of life captured and displayed for an eternity, and that's what I love about photography.

It's not just my own work I enjoy, I get a kick out of seeing what other photographer see. Sometimes it's odd, strange, and uncomfortable, which is what art is supposed to make us feel. Sometimes what they shoot fills me with unanswerable questions, and sometimes their photos offer up answers to questions that, until then, never occurred to me.

If you're like me then there are times when you'd like to just sit and soak in an article or two about something artistic, whether it's a series of wildlife photos from an exotic location, or the secretive world of graffiti artists. A nice chill session with a glass of good wine or a rich cup of coffee, a comfortable spot in a familiar place, and photos and essays about things that may not be part of your everyday life. That's the good stuff.

Those of you with iPads get a treat this week, because I've got three free art mags that you are gonna love, or at least like a lot. So let's get to them.

Note: While the app/mags have relatively small memory footprints the content can be hundreds of MBs.

Installation [7.9 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.1 or later, Maker: Installation Media LLC]
Every time I take a look at the state of e-magazine I become more convinced that paper mags have numbered days. One look at Installation and you'll see what I mean.


Installation bills itself as a contemporary art magazine, but in this context the word "magazine" seems so 2010. The publication is, itself, a work of art.

InstallationChapter heard in Installation is a work of art

Grab an issue from Newsstand and fire it up. Almost instantly you'll see artwork that grabs your attention. The articles are, of course, about art and the artists who create it and you get to see examples of all manner of styles. The mag is divided into several themed sections. For example, in Issue 17 there are six sections - Emerge, Discover, Collect, Evolve, Install, Vanguard. Each section contain a single story and associated artwork. Good writing and great pictures, and the fact the every issue is free, makes for an excellent e-mag.

Extraordinary Vision Outdoor Photography Magazine [11 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: Angelo Ioanides]
This photo-centric e-mag is a must for photographers, or anyone who loves shots of the great outdoors.

Extraordinary Vision

As you would expect, each mag is stuffed to the margins with gorgeous photos and stories, but it's not just a showplace. Extraordinary Vision also has how-tos and editorials.
Basically there's something for everyone.

Navigating through Extraordinary Vision is a bit off-putting, once you are in a story you have to go back to the first page of the story to get out of it, or go all the through to the end. Still, what you'll see will be worth the minor inconvenience.

Extraordinary VisonLots of content to get

Extraordinary Vision is monthly mag that is free, but if you want all the content offered, including private and subscription-only mags, then you'll have to sign up for a free subscription.

This is definitely one you should check out.

Verso [5.3 MB, iPad and iPad mini iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: Minneapolis Institute of Art]
Verso is a quarterly e-mag put out by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and it is also a must-have for your virtual coffee table.


You'll find interactive articles, some with movies and audio commentary. As with the other two magazines mentioned here, Verso contains articles you'll want to read at a leisurely pace.

Navigation is a bit odd. The mag is designed to be view in landscape mode only. I guess that once you get used to it you won't find it so strange. Also, the mag will let you start reading before the issue is completely downloaded, so be sure it is completely downloaded if you plan on reading offline.

VersoGood reads in quarterly Verso

There are only three issues so far, grab one to read on your next flight. You'll be happy you did.

And that's a wrap for this week.

If you'd like a cool game to play between reading articles then check out this week's Free App of the Week, Le Vamp. It's running game to die for.