No not that Apollo. There will be no stories of astronauts, space walks or moon landings. The Apollo I am referring to is the arts and antique magazine which for years, along with Connoisseur magazine, offered insights into arts and collectibles. During most of the years Apollo was in business, my mother had been their US advertising director. That may sound grand but she was a department of one. She did the selling, the billing, consulted on the layouts, proofed the copy before printing and provided copies of the ad to the clients. In addition, she was the US subscription manager. She was doing these tasks in the 60’s well before multi-tasking was even invented and well before women were properly compensated for their work (we’re getting closer but pay equity though improved has not yet been achieved).
I grew up with Apollo magazine. I learned the alphabet by helping my mom file invoices. I honed my grammar skills as I proof read the monthly letters she sent out to potential advertisers and I learned the joy of language when she used some of my suggestions for changes to those letters. Magazines, were always piled up around our house as the first of the month approached. My mom made a game of putting the address labels she typed onto the wrappers before delivering them to the post office. She taught me about organization and efficiency. In the days of carbon copies, she could put her hand on an invoice, a letter, a query or a business card in just seconds.
She was laid off from her job of over 55 years at Apollo in a form letter. “The magazine has been sold. Your services will no longer be needed.” Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. She was eighty five years old. Luckily she had social security and had invested well. She didn’t need the salary; she did need the work. Up to the last year of her life she would tell people she only just retired last month. She kept fifteen years worth of back copies of the magazine in her bedroom office where the printer, computer and files gathered dust. I had to admit to not understanding why she didn’t just chuck everything. I thought it would be easy to toss those remnants of the past. When she passed away the first thing I did was take those old magazines off the shelf and put them into boxes. Then I didn’t know what to do.
I couldn’t bring myself to put them into the recycling bin. I knew how much effort had gone into producing each issue. I knew the quality of the writing and the photographs. I offered them to the local libraries; they declined. I offered them to the local colleges; they declined. I offered them to Goodwill; they declined. Then I saw the work of Dustin Yellin and had an epiphany.
Yellin’s art takes collage to a new stratosphere. He builds full bodies and elaborate scenes from mutli-layered panels of collage. You could spend hours looking at just one piece of his art and still not see everything. I imagined that these magazines could perhaps provide material for Yellin’s art. I contacted the Heller gallery in the Bergamot Station complex in Los Angeles and yay! They agreed to take some of the issues and get them to Dustin. I dropped off a box of 10 issues and a note. Now I am waiting and hoping that he’ll want to use them.
It would be the best outcome for the magazines that my mother spent her life working on. She loved art. She loved Apollo. She would love to see them conjoined.