Rafa Martínez, Odiseo
This morning we’re at work with Rafa Martínez, publisher of contemporary erotica magazine Odiseo at design agency Folch in Barcelona. We catch up with Rafa after the release of the ‘Truth’ themed volume seven of the chunky, small-format publication.
What can you see from the window?
The Mediterranean Sea and the rooftops of Poble Nou, our neighbourhood.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Definitely a morning person.
Which magazine do you first remember?
To be honest, I’ve always been much more interested in books rather than magazines.
What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
What is your favourite erotic publication this morning?
Anything by Helmut Newton.
You aim to move away from the stereotypes of erotic publishing, yet magazines such as yours have been criticised for reviving the objectification of women. How do you respond to such comments?
We just keep doing our job: publishing a new volume every six months and expressing openly our vision. Maybe after many more volumes, we will be able to look back to Odiseo and have an answer for this question. But not for now. At this very moment we prefer to focus on our intuition and our daily work, rather than pay attention to critics.
You place erotic images alongside essays and articles that explore the idea of the erotic. The former is fantasy, the latter a deconstruction of that fantasy. Do you worry that one will cancel the other out, or is this tension a deliberate part of your intent?
There’s two different types of content: erotic imagery and essays. Even if they are bound in the same publication, both run parallel with no relationship between them. Thought is sexy, and we think that intellectual entertainment can provide the reader with the same inner pleasure as erotica. According to your daily mood, you can approach Odiseo differently at any time.
Why the hardback cover and the decision to make a book-magazine hybrid?
We were interested in the content being part of a magazine scene, but we also wanted a different approach that was more in line with book publishing. Books can have timeless content, a hard-back format, and no advertising – we wanted this too.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
A new digital project about cutting edge ideas to do with communication and journalism that Folch will be commissioning.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
To face our deadlines without having enough time to realise how much we enjoy our work.
What will you be doing after this chat?
Portraits by Leo García Méndez