Open Studio is looking for you to its next edition

 

 

Open Studio is an initiative of the non-lucrative association Open Mind Arte y Cultura that was born in 2012. The purpose of this collective is to contribute to the promotion of contemporary artists through the organisation of activities and residencies that allow them to enlarge their horizons, get experience, foster the exchange of ideas and, especially, strengthen their professionalisation.

Since it was launched, the association has involved more than 140 artists, and it has maintained a permanent activity throughout the whole year, though one of the strongest proposals is the program of residencies, in which artists from the capital host young creators selected after a call for projects.

 

 

Studio of Eugenio Ampudia. Photo by ®María Platero

 

One of the main goals of this initiative is to help other know art as a creative process, and not just contributing to its dissemination once the artworks are already finished. Therefore, each year they organise tours to visit the studios of artists spread around the corners of the city, to know the processes of production and go deeper into those intimate spaces of creation that convey so many details about the authors and their works.

 

 

 

Open Studio keeps until the 9th of November its call for projects to its next edition in 2018, that will take place from the 17th to the 20th of February. The call is open to the participation of artists that has a studio available in the city, either as a holder or as a visiting artist, in any of the following specialities: painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance, sound and new media. With the selected artists, a cycle of activities will be scheduled for February, in which the cornerstone is the visit to the studio with the participation of the artist.

 

Los Carpinteros. Artwork created for the centre of art Carpintarias de São Lázaro, 2017.

 

or the 2018 residencies edition, the association counted on public funds to launch the “Education Program Comunidad de Madrid - Open Studio”. It is a program of artistic residencies held throughout the month of February. In this edition, the host authors are Eugenio Ampudia and Los Carpinteros. The line of work for artists that want to apply to the Eugenio Ampudia’s studio will focus on new technologies, whereas the ones applying to the Los Carpinteros’ will be oriented to sculpture and artistic installation. The deadline is next 12th of November, ¡don't miss it!

 

 

 

 

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.