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Work / Publication

Émergent Magazine’s pages function like the walls of a gallery to showcase contemporary painters

Although both in their final year of the graphic communication design course at Central Saint Martins, for Albert Riera Galceran and Reuben Beren James, fine art has always been their first love. “We came into graphic design through our interest in fine art, being really passionate about how that could feed into our design practice,” Reuben tells It’s Nice That.

Albert, originally from Spain and Reuben from Brighton, “ended up living together," at the end of their first year of university. It was here that they realised it was time to work on a project together. “We shared a lot of the same interests and fed off each other’s energy,” the pair explain, and so, Émergent magazine was born.

A biannual, the publication showcases more established but also emerging painters through interviews, conversations and essays. Now in its second issue, Émergent has already played host to the likes of Faye Wei Wei, David Quinn, Jeff Kraus and Michael Wall. With an aim to provide a curated space in which artists’ work can be better understood, the pages of Émergent function akin to the walls of a gallery.

Wanting to not only create a magazine on contemporary art but something more specific, the pair chose to hone in on the medium of painting. “I think once we started researching and engaging with the idea of creating a publication on art, it became apparent we didn’t want to just create another art magazine,” they explain. “It needed to be something special, and for both of us our background is in painting, it’s what we are most passionate and knowledgeable about, so it developed quite organically.”

Designed by Adeo, Émergent’s visual language places significance on the democratisation of each artist’s work. “Something that was really important to us was not creating a hierarchy between the artists,” Reuben comments. Its cover, for example, features each artist’s name in the same typeface, at a consistent point size. To add a visual element, the publication uses postcard-sized prints of included contributions and a heat seal packaging so that each issue offers multiple covers.

Reuben and Albert explain how “the magazine, for us, is very much about providing a platform for these emerging artists, for some of them it will be their first time in print.” This is echoed throughout each issue, where contributors’ answers dominate spreads typographically, whereas the interviewers’ questions take a back seat.

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