ART MADRID\'16: THE YEAR OF NEW COLLECTORS

 

 

After the Madrid Art Week, the most important appointment on the agenda of professionals and art lovers of our country, Art Madrid'16 celebrates having a prominent position these days.

 

 

The 11th edition of the Contemporary Art Fair Art Madrid, developed between 24 and 28 February, has received about 20,000 visitors at the Crystal Gallery of CentroCentro Cibeles, figure to which we add the large participation of the public in the various Parallel Activities of our program #ARTEYGÉNERO with talks, workshops and roundtables that have received about 1,500 people.

 

 

 

 

Art Madrid, consolidated as the second great fair of contemporary art in our country, has managed to bring art to a wider spectrum of fans of all ages and first collectors who have enjoyed a very close form of art experience. But, it has also seen increasing presence of professionals, gallery owners, institutions and museums to visit, among others, Isidro Hernández Gutiérrez, curator of the TEA (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes); Catalina Rodríguez, coordinator of Centro Cultural Las Cigarreras (Alicante); Aurora Zubillaga, senior director at Sotheby's Spain; the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Fenosa Gas Natural (MAC) of A Coruna, Carmen Fernandez; Carmen Espinosa, Lazaro Galdiano Curator Mo; MUSAC representatives and Denver Art Museum US.

 

 

 

 

 

The 11th edition of the fair has been highlighted by the increase in about 40% of the presence of new collectors. Together, with foreign collectors from ARCO, we have received responsible for collections Belondrade (Valladolid), Fundació Lluís Corominas (Lluis Coromina Isern entrepreneur) or Ebro Foods SA Foundation; Iratxe Galindez, Coordinator of the Würth Collection Museo de La Rioja; the Art21 Foundation (Belgium) as well as private collectors as Ernesto Ventos (Collection OLOR VISUAL), Andreu Rodriguez (business group Ticnova), Mª Jose Sobrini (Head of Digital Business Cisco Systems), Emilio Gilolmo (Vicepte. Fundación Telefónica) and responsible for the areas of arts and Culture in Foundation Botin Foundation ICO Foundation and Iberdrola.

 

THE YEAR OF NEW COLLECTORS

 

Joan Miró's sculptures, the work of master Mendive or the art works of Kiko Miyares and Hugo Alonso, were some of the most valued pieces by collectors in this edition. But, the great revelation of Art Madrid'16 has been the canary gallery ARTIZAR, who participated for the first time and risking with a single artist, master Mendive. "Our proposal has aroused much interest and until the last moment of the show we sold almost all the pieces. They were mostly known collectors of Miami and the Canary Islands, but we had pleasant surprises with new collectors", transmitted to us Pedro Pinto, director of the gallery.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Patrick Caputo from Unique Gallery Turin (Italy) remarks that his experience has been satisfactory because of "the level of artists and taste in the selection of galleries". "In terms of sales," he adds, "we sold art works by 4 among the 6 artists I proposed, pieces of various formats, so we are very happy."

 

Meanwhile, Eduardo Sanchez, director of NUCA ESPACIO (Salamanca), gallery awarded the Acquisition Prize NOCAPAPER, said "the setting is magnificent and we already had very good references [...] the influx of visitors has been good and varied and sales, being our first presence, I think they went very well and got great impact and new customers. "

 

Pep Llabrés, director of the Mallorcan gallery of the same name, which premiered in the General Program, notes that "the size and location of the fair are the ideal and although the buying public was critical and had more doubts than in the year above, the end has been a great fair in which virtually all customers were new collectors ".
 

 

Buying the first work of art always instils respect. A difficult feeling to define that mixes vertigo with adrenaline. But over uncertainty and caution, a pleasurable sense of connection, understanding, and desire prevails. That work that, once seen, stays in the mind, reappears in the memory several times a day and seems to tell you that it is willing to be part of your home, is the perfect candidate to make the decision.

In the first steps, many collectors do point out that one does not start from an established plan, but rather that one acquires pieces based on taste and the connection one feels with them until, after time, they realise that the volume of works that accumulates can be labelled as a "collection". For example, this is how Alicia Aza explains it:

“I was not aware that I was collecting until many years later when a third party named me as a collector and talked about my collection. In 2005, I became aware of what collecting means and decided to articulate a collection with an identity of criteria and formats”.

Marcos Martín Blanco, co-founder, with his wife Elena Rueda, of the MER Collection, shares this same opinion:

“Collecting has been a passion, driven by a visceral state that encourages you to do so. The collection, in terms of acquisitions, has not been particularly complicated because, let's face it: it is easy to buy because they are all beautiful things and you have some clear idea of where you want to go, but at first those preferences were not so clear. It is with the time that a criterion is being formed”.

It is not always this way, of course, but for the buyer who starts out on this path, the personal connection that entails the first piece is essential. There it is the germ of a lasting relationship that is not limited to a simple aesthetic question but is an open window to knowledge, to exploration, to a world that is often unknown to us and awakens our fascination. The seed of that connection is purely sentimental, and it is precisely this impulse that determines the first acquisitions. The first piece is never forgotten.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Ana Maqueda

Exceeding the usual recommendations made by advisers and agents, rare is the occasion when the art lover decides to buy by pure investment. These paths usually open later, when the volume of pieces is large enough. In addition, there are those who are a bit against this classic concept of the traditional collector, approached from an eccentric, elitist and little accessible vision. On the contrary, art buyers are, above all, art lovers, sentient beings and permeable to creative stimulus who, at a given moment, decide to deepen the relationship they already have with art to take a piece home.

It is not that hard to overcome that small psychological barrier that turns the visitor into a buyer if one approaches the matter from a more personal and intimate perspective than from social consideration. Small-format works, graphic work or serial photography are of great help for this, whose price range, generally more affordable, allows a closer comparison to the daily basis expenses. In this way, the purchase of art falls within the range of feasible activities and becomes something close and possible.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Marc Cisneros

At that moment, a different relationship with art begins, based on pure experience and coexistence with the acquired piece. Perhaps it can be seen as an act of daring, but on many occasions, it is more a matter of necessity and transformation. Collectors also agree that the acquisition of an artwork is an exercise on personal analysis and opening up to a new field of knowledge that was previously alien to us. Alicia Aza explains that the reason she acquired her first piece of video art, by Sergio Prego, is because she did not understand it and because she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to self-improve. This open window to knowledge creates new connections and bonds with creators, as one of the most fascinating parts of the process. Candela Álvarez Soldevilla explains that

"I think the most interesting thing in the art world is talking to artists. They are people with a special sensitivity to listen and understand.”

And Alicia Aza also says:

"I can share the satisfaction of being able to count on many artists in my circle of close friends today, and that is a long way to go."

Thus, with works that seem acceptable within the horizon of expenses that each one considers affordable, it is easy to find a piece that catches us. Since then, our home also evolves into a space in which art has a permanent place and presence, and there is no doubt that this transforms us inside.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Henar Herguera

Jaime Sordo, owner of Los Bragales collection and founder of the 9915 Contemporary Art Collectors Association, has always defined his relationship with art as a true passion and a vital necessity. For buyers who start on this path, he has the following recommendation:

“It is an essential condition that they feel the need to live with their passion to enjoy the works. Another very important aspect is that before making decisions for purchases, they are informed, so it is necessary to read specialised newspapers and books, visit exhibitions and museums and a lot of contact with galleries, which is an important and very specific source of information of the artists they represent. Finally, the presence in national and international art fairs. All this generates information and training.”

Indeed, fairs have become a good place for discovery because they condense a wide offer and allow diverse and global contact in a concentrated way. For this reason, many new generation buyers start in the context of an event such as Art Madrid, whose closeness and quality constitute a unique opportunity to meet, soak up and feed the passion for art.

(*) quotes taken from various interviews published in public media between 2013 and 2019.