Art for Art’s Sake

Nowadays, the value of art is often appraised relative to how much impact it has in other fields. A poem is considered successful if it captures a socio-political struggle, a painting insightful if it simulates current affairs. While such instrumental functions have been key in the development of art in the past, and will (and should) remain so going forward, we do risk distancing ourselves from its intrinsic value.

Here, at La Piccioletta Barca, our primary aim is to escape this obsession with instrumentalism. We will not engage directly with current affairs, and we will not publish work which is heavily politicised. Instead, we will strive to promote art that our readers can enjoy and deliberate on without needing to ask 'what is this piece actually for?' In other words, we will strive to return to the intrinsic.

In this vein, our only guiding star will be artistic quality, irrespective of form, style or genre. The same goes for our contributors, who are selected solely based on the merits of their submissions. That is, within our (virtual) pages, you will find previously unpublished undergraduates alongside Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and New York Times bestselling authors, and emerging artists, who have yet to find their voice, beside seasoned veterans with dozens of exhibitions under their belt.

As our community of readers and contributors grows, our only hope is that this intrinsic value we seek becomes increasingly pronounced. That all involved, will be able to identify it within the magazine's ever-changing voice.

Creation of a boat drawing

For our readers

We have spoken about our commitment to artistic quality, and the rigour of our submission standards for our contributors is extensively outlined on our submission page. However, we are also firmly commitmed to equal access for our readers. We will never run ads, and no content will ever be hidden behind a paywall. While we will occasionally publish print editions of the magazine, all the collected pieces will have previously been published in our digital archive, and will be freely available for anyone who might wish to read them.

Any proceeds from our print edition, branded merchandise or Patreon page, will go directly towards supporting the extensive administrative and editorial work behind the magazine, as well as remunerating contributors adequately for their work.