Apartamento magazine has garnered itself a very (very) loyal following since its inception back in 2007. The brainchild of friends of friends Marco Velardi, Omar Sosa and Nacho Alegre, the three leapt into business together over 12 years ago and are yet to look back.
A biannual magazine, Apartamento delves into the lives of artists, writers, actors – you name it – chatting to them at home. With insightful interviews, beautiful photography and a sophisticated design to hold it all together, it’s a magazine which holds a place in people’s hearts for a variety of reasons.
“For this article, we wanted to select a collection of books that really speaks of the nature of Apartamento,” the trio explains, “we think that each of the books presented here brings out different elements that truly echo the spirit of the magazine. We hope you like it.”
Dominique Nabokov: Paris Living Rooms
As Dominique says in the preface of this book, regarding the rooms she photographed: “I penetrated the intimacy of their owners, and indirectly helped to reveal their personality. In a way, I painted their portrait.” The unadorned portraits of the various rooms left untouched by their owners clearly speak to us and our magazine. Dominique has captured the living rooms of some of the most notable artists and personalities, first, in New York; then in Paris, as shown in this book; and, lastly, through our own edition of Berlin Living Rooms, in Berlin.
Irving Penn: Still Lifes
We’ve spent many hours looking at Irving Penn’s photographs; it’s a book that we return to again and again. The book is a compilation of his work in a genre which is very central to his art: the still life. In it, the range of subjects goes from organic elements like food or flowers, to make-up, street trash, animal skulls or minimalist steel block constructions. Penn brings these subjects to life through his idiosyncratic style of arranging the different elements, the lighting and his technique. Hands down, he is the best at it. That’s what makes us always go back to him. Also, Penn oversaw the design and production of this book, which speaks of the quality of this edition.
Karl Lagerfeld: Casa Malaparte
This book has such a special quality to it. The photography, the paper, the printing and Lagerfeld’s text at the end transform it into a physical trip to Casa Malaparte. All these elements determine the way he chose to explain his experience of the house and the story behind it. They build a very intimate portrait that makes the book a true work of art, a powerful yet delicate object. It was originally published by Steidl in 1998 and the pictures were taken by Karl Lagerfeld in 1997.
Kyoichi Tsuzuki: Tokyo Style
Omar came across the English edition of this book in Japan. In the early 90s, Kyoichi began photographing cramped, cluttered apartments from different urban tribes in Tokyo. Travelling with his little scooter, a 50cc Honda, he bounced between the dwellings of friends and strangers, shooting inside their homes with a borrowed large-format camera. Depicted in his non-stylised photography, these interiors were not the beautiful, minimalist “neo-Zen” spaces depicted in glossy magazines. These were the unruly dens of Tokyo’s young and poor.
David Douglas Duncan: Goodbye Picasso
This book, published in 1974, is an excellent photographic biography; it really feels like a diary or a journal. It explores the artist’s daily life at work and at play at La Californie, his house in the south of France. There are several pages of text describing the photographer’s observations about the artist, his art, his home and the people that made up his inner circle. The photography feels very intimate, yet not intrusive, and brings to life all the previous observations; it’s lively and soulful, and truly speaks of a moment in a very calm and beautiful way.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.