A NEW DIMENSION FOR ART: THINKING BIG!

One of the attractions of art is the possibility of hosting proposals that exceed the limits of the possible, that allow creations that extend the contours of reality, that play with the implausible, the hypothetical, the impossible and the extraordinary. Many authors follow this impulse because the feasible and the near remain small and need to give way to ambitions that think big.

Anish Kapoor, “Leviathan”, 2011 (via thehardt.com)

In this search for new formats and forms of expression, there are two main challenges, on the one hand, the location of the works, since some great ideas cannot fit within a closed space, and on the other, the choice of execution materials. One of the best-known ways to overcome these barriers is mural art, with no restrictions other than the size of the wall or building to be intervened and with the use of a classical technique such as painting.

JR, “The secret of the great pyramid”, 2019 (via designboom.com)

However, mural painting is intimately connected with urban art and can have connotations that contemporary artists try to avoid. Therefore, new proposals for intervention in the public space arise, which often take advantage of the architectural elements of the cities to develop the pieces. A well-known example of this is the work of the Boa Mistura collective, which disseminates word puzzles on facades, stairs, benches, lampposts and other elements to create optical tricks that encourage the viewer to participate and to look for the correct angle to read the message. With optical illusions also dares Jean René (known as JR) a French urban artist who came to make this spectacular composition for the Louvre Museum. This work, formed with 2,000 sheets of printed paper and placed with a degradable glue, lasted just 24 hours. As JR himself said “The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own.”

Jeff Koons, “Seated Ballerina”, 2017, ©Photo: Tom Powel (vía www.architecturaldigest.com)

KAWS, Massive Inflatable Sculpture in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour (via www.thisiscolossal.com)

Likewise, there are also who want to work with new forms and materials to avoid logistical limitations in the construction of their works. This is what happens with inflatable sculptures, a fashion that many contemporary creators have joined since it is a more affordable method, lightens the weight of the pieces, allows their transportation after disassembly, and also makes it possible to occupy spaces each time Older and more ambitious. In addition to the impressive “Monumenta” that Anish Kapoor installed in 2011 at the Grand Palais (and this is not the only giant inflatable work of this author), we also highlight the proposal of Jeff Koons, for the Rockefeller Center square. Besides, artists like Kaws also dare with this format, with impressive results.

Emmanuelle Moureaux, “‘Universe of Words”, 140,000 Pieces of Paper Form a Colorful Installation for the Tanabata Festival ©Photo: Daisuke Shima

On the other hand, other creators dare to redesign the exhibition halls with immersive installations that completely change the perception of space, and even of reality. A recent trend is to use threads and fabrics to provide volatile networks and structures that expand through the ceiling and the walls. These works produce a diverse effect; some resemble the interior of a living organ, others remind us of the flow of water, and others create a feeling of being somewhere else as if we lived in a parallel dimension.

Chiharu Shiota, “Counting Memories”, installation for the Muzeum Śląskie

All these proposals play with temporality and are designed to produce a passing effect. The ephemeral life of large-scale works never seen before.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.