It is useless to ignore it, 2020 was a year that we were all happy to leave behind, greeting 2021 with a load of good wishes and good intentions probably much higher than usual. In a sort of collective cognitive blackout, we deluded ourselves (for a very few minutes eh!) That at the stroke of midnight on December 31st we would magically wake up from a bad nightmare, but we soon realized that the space we allocate to wonders remained more or not confined to our mind and its ability to go further and always see, tenaciously, something better.
Fortunately, words and paper train us every day to amazement and are one of the main tools to be lulled by positive thoughts.

Here because in our first Secret Mag Club of 2021 we decided to give our subscribers a double surprise, but also a double exception to the rules: to an artist's zine, in fact, we also send something that was already on Frab's and that in fact, instead of reading, "forces" to write and observe. After spending too much time inside the home, the best wish we felt was something that would help to remember the trips, even the very close ones that lead from home to work or to the supermarket and which, knowing how to look, can hide unexpected treasures. .

Here's what was in the Secret Mag Club in January

1) To help you observe, to focus your gaze on every corner of your city or other cities, but above all to wish you and wish us to be able to travel again soon, we have decided to include Urbarïum Semen which, for the uninitiated, is the first project published by Frab's Publishing.
Conceived by the Bolognese graphic designer, Virginia Viapiano, Urbarïum is a very particular notebook that traces the ancient eighteenth-century monastic herbaria. Among its pages you will find a real code which, skilled “urban botanists” in our days, will allow you to collect and imprint places and moments in your memory. Where, when, with whom, with what atmospheric conditions, but above all what sensations a place has left on your skin: you can tell this to your Urbarïum, accompanying the words with images, to be drawn or captured with a camera, and ephemera (receipts , tram tickets, leaves, menus ... and anything else!).

Urbarïum is the most authentic essence of each of your journeys, but it is also the ability to slow down, a word that we love very much and that perhaps today we should all learn to welcome in our daily lives. 

2) January was a very special Secret. Together with our Urbarïum we have decided to let you discover a small English editorial project created by those who know a lot about editorial projects.
Unseen Projects c-visual is a series of small format zines (A5 for 20 pages of pure wonder) that contain an exclusive concentration of art, a window on the inner world of an artist that is different every time. Producing them is c-ll-ct-v-ly, a studio of graphic designers and visual researchers who have redone the look and design of some of the most important and influential print media in the world such as Bloomberg, Finalcial Times, Domus and Vice just to name a few.
The aim of Unseen Projects is to provide an informal and personal view of the artists and their work. It is an easy-to-use visual project, almost as if it were the page of a physical blog, words and images that become tangible and immediately collectible. The zines have, in fact, very limited editions and we, for our Secret, now reaching several hundred subscribers, have chosen two issues that have been reprinted especially for us and that you can now also find on our store.

The number eight is the diary kept during the lockdown by Japanese illustrator Yu Nagaba who writes: "Through these illustrations, I wanted to show how the lives and appearances of ordinary people have changed due to Covid-19". A testimony, to be kept as a rare treasure, of a moment destined to enter history.

The number nine instead it collects the works of the English artist Thom Atkinson. It struck us because it is an unprecedented reflection, in some ways grotesque, on historical memory that becomes myth and legend, fetish and divertissement. The author collects in the pages of this editorial project the 1:76 scale models of the ruins of Airfix (British company of plastic models founded in 1939) which become, between dream and mysticism, true symbols of devotion and memory of a past never lived, but that we would never even come to live.


N.B. Our subscribers who had already purchased Urbarïum (we hope no one has escaped, if so we apologize), have received another magazine.

If you do not yet know the Secret Mag Club, the surprise subscription of Frab's that every month sends you home editorial products selected by us,  visit this page.


January 31, 2021 — Anna Frabotta

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