The Ultimate Culture Guide 2009: X

X-Ray Visions

Visionaire has gone solar. The latest limited-edition issue of the must-have art and fashion publication arrives looking like a handsomely minimal portfolio of black-and-white images by Alex Katz, John Baldessari, Mario Sorrenti, and others. Take it outside, however, and it does a Wizard of Oz–like transformation.

A paint-by-numbers image by Katz—just lines and digits in normal light—changes into one of his boldly colorful portraits. An all-white spread with the word dream in small letters by Yoko Ono turns sky blue except for a little white cloud.

Thought to be the first time anyone’s printed with photochromic inks in this way, the “Solar” issue (available in May, $250), is the 56th edition of Visionaire, which was started in 1991 as a magazine for fashion photographers to show their creative work, but it eventually began doing all kinds of unconventional projects: issues on scent, sound, and taste, another a set of pop-up books. The fall release will be an electronic calendar that displays a new artwork each day. “We offer artists opportunities to do something they wouldn’t normally do,” says Visionaire’s editor, Cecilia Dean. “It’s about pushing imagemakers to think differently.”