Created to provoke readers to recognize the day-to-day relevance of art, we use the lenses of pop and high culture to challenge the assumptions of a sprawling America. We strive to provide our readers with thoughtful coverage on everything from completely unknown independent artists to the kingpins of pop culture from bygone generations. We also provide a forum for authors of original poetry, memoir and fiction.

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John W. Whitehead – Founder, Editor in Chief
Nisha Whitehead – Executive Editor


Founded as a full-size print publication in 1997 by John W. Whitehead, Gadfly Magazine—the progenitor of the beautiful website you now browse—provided a forum to artists known, unknown and some still in the embryonic stages of their development. The magazine transitioned from a print publication to an online hub in 2001, and the mission has remained the same ever since. Many of the articles published in Gadfly Magazine are preserved and available in our online archive.


Pronounced “odd, eccentric and eclectic” by the Washington Post, Gadfly was selected in 1999 by the Utne Reader’s Eleventh Annual Alternative Press Awards for Best Cultural Coverage. Utne commended the magazine’s diversity of coverage, saying, “Gadfly’s stupendous eclecticism makes this glossy bimonthly second only to the Library of Congress as a warehouse of American pop culture … And number one when it comes to fun reading.”

Our Name

In an old Greek myth, Zeus, king of the gods, loved a mortal woman, Io. When Hera discovered her husband’s infidelity, Zeus was forced to turn Io into a cow in order to shield her from his wife’s wrath. Not to be deterred, Hera sent a tiny gadfly to nip and tickle the cow, a prickling torment that some believe continues even today. You, reader, are the cow.


Gadfly is a publication of Gadfly Productions. Gadfly Productions, Gadfly, and the associated graphic images (e.g., capital G with fly superimposed and Gadfly cartoon character) are marks of Gadfly Productions, owned by The Rutherford Institute.

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