Apartamento Magazine was founded in 2008 by graphic designer Omar Sosa and Photographer Nacho Alegre. The first magazine came about due to the pair’s lingering desire to create something together, the perfect opportunity presented itself when Nacho was photographing some of his friend’s houses. This was originally meant to be a series of images but Nacho thought it would be nice to make it into a publication, he told Omar about it and thus Apartmento was born. After a chance meeting, Journalist Marco Velardi came on board and worked on the very first issue of Apartmento.
The magazine is biannual and packed with unique and interesting content from some of the worlds most fascinating people. Alongside its strong content, the magazine still uses the founding fonts and layouts, a detail which is not lost on the readers and is just one signal of why and how the magazine has achieved such acclaim. The spaces are uncurated, honest and the publication offers a glimpse into the lives of many interesting, influential and inspiring humans.
Issue #23 is a special edition indeed, with a shadow of loss that hangs over it due to the death of one of the featured artists; Nobuo Sekine, who passed away in May this year. The magazine would have been put into production just months before his untimely death. However, this issue, as well as other Apartamento editions, can be seen as a celebration of fruitful and creative lives lived by many vital artists of our time. Nobuo Sekine made some incredibly beautiful and thought provoking work such as this piece titled ‘Phase of Nothingness’ (1969/1970) which appeared at the Venice Biennale in 1970. The sculpture was situated outdoors and featured a large block of marble balanced atop a square column of mirrored stainless steel.
Sekine was integral to the post-war art movement in Japan known as ‘Mono-ha’ (The School of Things). In the May 2012 issue of Artforum Joan Kee stated, “Although never bound by a formal association, the Mono-ha artists were nevertheless joined by a shared commitment to what several members identified as a refusal of ‘making.'" Mono-ha member; Korean born artist Lee Ufan explained it as a desire to present the world ‘as it is,’ without unnecessary interference from the artist or from viewers’ expectations of what the artwork would or could contain; in the context of artistic input. If anyone has been to the Benesse Art Site, Naoshima - just south of Tokyo, Japan they would have witnessed Ufan’s work and the notion of presenting the world ‘as is’ in action.
Up until his passing, Sekine was still making artworks and forging new ways of making and thinking about materials. In the feature on him, Sekine mentions “I’m in the middle of changing my style, so it’s not completely resolved”. Even at 76 years of age, he describes his practice as unfixed and evolving, which speaks to his pioneering spirit and relentless hard-working nature.
We love the peacefulness and alternative thinking that went into these works, of Ufan and Sekine, and the effect of seeing them in real life. It is such a pleasure to see and to read about them. They definitely inspire us here at Monk House Design.
Issue #23 includes a feature on Paloma Lanna on page 265 who is the founder of Paloma Wool which is arriving at Monk House Design very soon!
Be sure to check it out, so many great stories.
Available in-stores and online…don’t miss out. x