Art Madrid’20 turns this edition into a celebration of the latest and more dynamic contemporary art. On the occasion of the 15th anniversary, we have prepared an intense program of activities program of activities since February 12th and that extends during the five days of the fair. In collaboration with the video art platform PROYECTOR and under the curatorship of its director Mario Gutiérrez Cru, the program also has the MediaLab Prado and Sala Alcalá 31 spaces.

As a newness and on the occasion of this very festive edition, Art Madrid will have this year its own stand dedicated exclusively to video-creation, action art and performance. An immersive experience in the most complete artistic paradigm.

The program of activities will begin next February 12th in Medialab Prado with the masterclass (from 17:30 to 20:30) of Patxi Araújo under the title of All Prophets are Wrong. The artist will share his creative experience, the paths explored in communication and his production process incorporating technology without losing the burden of speech.Then as an opening the interactive work of Patxi, Sherezade will be projected on the facade of MediaLab Prado. This work proposes a game with the public through the random generation of sentences and phrases according to the position of the spectator in the front square of the facade.

During the next two days, the master classes of Olga Diego will be held in this space with El vuelo como materia viva and Lois Patiño with Tiempo e imagen. Olga Diego stages a practical, unique and exclusive meeting for the public: work on the construction of the concepts of Flight, Art and Action through the installation that will be part of his performance at the fair. An intimate experience between the artist, creation and the audience.

To close this cycle of masterclasses Lois Patiño proposes an approach to video art and feature film through his work and the treatment that is made of these universals, reflecting on time, image and contemplative experience.

Olga Diego, "The bubble woman show". Photo: Carolina Diego

For its part, the auditorium of Sala Alcalá 31, will host on Thursday 20th the meeting with professionals De la imagen fija al New Media . They will discuss the evolution of the image in contemporary culture and the impact it currently has for the creators and the society that enjoys and consumes it. The experts will make a tour of the still image, the video art or moving image and its multiple visions until reaching the new media. Rafael Doctor, historian, independent curator and cultural manager, critic and curator Karin Ohlenschläger, today director of activities of Laboral Centro de Arte y Industrial Creación, and Berta Sichel, cultural agent and curator who today directs Bureauphi Art Agency, all moderated by Miguel Álvarez-Fernández.

Finally, in this cycle of previous activities, Art Madrid organizes on Saturday, February 22nd, a visit to the artist Eduardo Balanza's workshop, in which we will have the opportunity to know his creative space and approach one of his last pieces “B71”, which combines sound and technology with an impressive result. B71 organ is an instrument that works activated by vibrating speakers on plates capable of connecting to meteorological data websites, works in manual and automatic mode, generating its own sounds. The visit will also end with performance in petit committee.

Eduardo Balanza, "B71"

Art Madrid wants to accommodate less visible artistic disciplines that, however, house some of the most groundbreaking and contemporary languages. An own stand inside the fair, from February 26th to March 1st, will be dedicated to moving image and contact with more ephemeral manifestations such as installation or performance.

Every day at the fair, we will enter the video art thanks to the screenings of a selection of award-winning pieces and finalists from the main international festivals dedicated to the moving images. Mario Gutiérrez Cru presents an international tour of Argentina, Colombia, France, Greece, Mexico, the Netherlands, Morocco, Peru and Portugal.

Among its goals, this programming is to promote dialogue and understanding of the new working methods that the authors follow in the field of video creation and the action art. For this, every afternoon at 5:00 p.m. we will attend the presentation and meeting with an outstanding artist from the field of video creation: Abelardo Gil-Fournier, Fernando Baena, Mario Santamaría y Maia Navas will star in this space where he will introduce his work and then proceed to the visualization of a selection of his most recent work on the screen.

To end this art festival, we will have an exclusive experience every evening at 8:00 p.m: live audiovisual performances by artists with great international recognition. Iván Puñal, Olga de Diego, Eunice Artur con Bruno Gonçalves y Arturo Moya con Ruth Abellán.


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.