Umelec Magazine was launched in the Czech Republic by publishing house Divus not long after the original Think Magazine came out, and was always a great source of information about the arts scene in Central Europe.
Even though it focused mainly on Czech and Berlin’s scenes, it has always kept an outward eye on trends in the international scene, primarily the wider Euro- pean circle. Like the current version of Think, they publish in three separate languages (theirs is English, German and Czech), giving it extra emphasis on art in the region.
Umelec (meaning ‘artist’ in Czech) has often been ignored in the local magazine scene because it takes a more subtle and idealistic viewpoint towards the commercial aspects of magazine publishing, yet still is able to impress by continually showcasing the best of the region’s artistic talents. Now, with distributors, readers and contributors from all over the world, the magazine is reaching out towards other regions that might have received scant media attention in the past. In the new design, sections that were originally limited to local regions have been transformed into international news, and the writing is engaging and in-depth. Umelec demonstrates how life and culture work together, rejecting the mainstream media’s typical approach treats art apolitically.
The magazine takes a strong stand against tendencies to restrict art to some safe place (which the public has limited access), preferring instead to make visual culture accessible to the non-specialist, as mental activity in which the individual participates instead of just merely consuming. But while on this mission to bring art to the wider world, the writing is insightful and never pedantic. As they say themselves “Umelec doesn’t follow trends, but reveals their own limits, and lays the groundwork for new ones.”
In 2010, they launched their London edition, showing that more great things can come out the Czech Republic than just Pilsner and stag parties for the UK market. We at Think wish them all the best in their new market, and suggest you check out their website to learn more…