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UMBIGO

History

Umbigo [“Bellybutton”] is an art, culture, fashion and lifestyle glossy print magazine published quarterly with a daily updated online presence.

From the fresh and classy design and high print quality to in-depth articles and an eye for a place on the coffee table, Umbigo is a media resource that stands out in the crowd.

Launched in June 2002, it filled the need for a Portuguese art and culture publication when there was none. At first it was a magazine that explored the theme of the body as a means of artistic expression. Over time, it has gone through a number of changes, broadening its scope and becoming more wide-ranging.

During its many years of activity, Umbigo has also made notable inroads in curating contemporary art projects, with regular exhibitions in galleries and unconventional spaces, such as Fábulas Gallery in Chiado, Lisbon, Plataforma Revólver where we curated the group show Pieces and Parts, and the organisation of the Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition On the Other Hand, commemorating the 5th anniversary of PIN (Portuguese Association of Contemporary Jewellery), at Reverso Gallery, Lisbon.

In 2002 we also were present at the Triennale di Milano of Architecture and Design waving the publishing flag for Portugal and were responsible for the launch of the book Coordinates of the Body in Contemporary Art, written by art historian Bárbara Coutinho, with a preface by Eduardo Prado Coelho. A series of national artists such as Julião Sarmento, José de Guimarães and João Vilhena among others, along with international names including Annie Sprinkle, Lenka Klodová and Robert Flynt were invited to show unpublished work inspired by the theme of the body.

To the present day, Umbigo has made an indelible mark on the Portuguese media publishing scene as a definitive art, fashion and culture statement, a cult collector’s item from issue number one, hearted by a growing legion of readers.

As publishing changes its focus and migrates ever more from paper to online, in 2013 we also felt it necessary to better reflect the zeitgeist and so we completely revamped our website. Rather than being just an archive for the print magazine, we wanted to transform the site into its own publication, with different articles from the printed version, showcasing a wide range of collaborators.

In May 2014, we won the Bronze Medal at the Festival do Clube de Criativos de Portugal [Portuguese Creative Club Festival].

The Umbigo magazine, being loyal to its innovating appearance and to an unusual trendy spirit, is undergoing a transformation in what concerns its editorial concept. After several changes throughout is 15 years of existence, in 2017 this transformation is more thorough and global and it relies as well on a partnership established with the publisher Sá da Costa, now renewed and relaunched. Thus, Umbigo turns itself into a magazine focused on the artists and creatives of Portugal with support from Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Lisbon Municipality and Caloust Gulbenkian Foundation.

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