top of page



Shy Plumber is a new independent international art periodical issued in Helsinki, focused on conceptual art today in its varied forms. The journal looks at the questions concerning art theory and philosophy of art, with a particular interest in new concepts and definitions of art and its functions. Along with texts in art theory, Shy Plumber publishes artworks, or perhaps it would be better to say, “artistic ideas, realised in the graphic form”, considering them a “fully fledged analogue of showing it at a gallery or museum exhibition”. The introduction to the first issue clearly places the journal on the side of the artist, and most, if not all contributors to the Journal are indeed artists. 

The journal was invented by the artists and theorists Ilya Orlov (Helsinki) and Matthew Cowan (Berlin, Helsinki) during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way out of the forced break in exhibition activity. The journal was, however, in no way meant as a response to the pandemic; rather, it was a stance of resistance to discussing topics such as “art and covid”. The journal is a result of not giving in, and keeping going with artistic and academic activity despite the difficulties. 

Special thanks: Art Foundation Merita

The journal is spread for free via pdf. Issue 1, published on the 25th of September 2020, can be accessed here:

bottom of page