Launched in June 2002, the magazine firstly 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. To the present day, Umbigo Magazine 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.
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 organization 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 UMBIGO was also 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others, along with international names including Annie Sprinkle, Lenka Klodová and Robert Flynt were invited to show unpublished work inspired by the theme of the body. In May 2014, Umbigo Magazine (online edition) won the Bronze Medal at the Festival do Clube de Criativos de Portugal [Portuguese Creative Club Festival].
After several changes throughout its 17 years of existence, UMBIGO kept loyal to the innovating appearance and to an unusual trendy spirit, but went through an editorial concept transformation. This transformation was 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 platform focused on the artists and creatives with support of new partners and of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Lisbon Municipality and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
UMBIGO represents the outcome of a curatorship, juxtaposing what’s new with topicality, while intertwining everything with the enormous historical, cultural and architectonical value that is located all over the world.
Currently UMBIGO is under an internationalization process with the ambition to select and show the best of the artistic production in Portugal and abroad, maintaining the cutting-edge content and design. It is extremely relevant to present the magazine at international events, as art fairs and biennials maintaining the level of excellence and consolidating UMBIGO’s position as a reference in this segment in Portugal while reaching new internacional audiences.
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.