Balaguer Gallery from Barcelona in Art Madrid\'15

Balaguer Gallery is placed in the heart of arts neighbourhood of Barcelona. The well known Consell de Cent street groups the principal exhibition rooms of the city, place where the gallery has moved in 2004, hardly two years after its opening in 2002.

 

One of the main working lines of the gallery is the support to young artists and the bet for variety of formats. In this sense, Balaguer includes in its room works of photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, engraved, video or performance. In this last discipline, the gallery has wanted to make the difference in its trajectory through an exhibition project that started in 2001. This initiative, curated by Ariadna Rodríguez, offers a performance cycle bimonthly that takes place in the gallery, activity that completes the varied offer of events that meet up in this space.

 
 

Cristina en Miami. Alejandra Atarés.

 

Balaguer joins this appointment of Art Madrid'15 with a strong proposal of an unique artist: Alejandra Atarés.

 

The work of this artist from Zaragoza is characterized by its liveliness of color and the election of an original leit motiv to assemble her series. In her last collection, Alejandra presents pieces in which appear backs of women facing several urban and natural landscapes. As the artist explains, it's a serie where we can appreciate an evolution from the portrait of people she needs to previously know, with a result near to reality, til the creation of characters immersed into fantastic and imaginary locations. It is about a new way of portrait in which the texture of cloths, in contrast with background, less plastic, gains a special expressive importance.

 
 

Primavera. Alejandra Atarés.

 

With words of the artist Mercedes Mangrané "The work of Atarés plays from the impertinence at laying out a reverse: it is not painting who gives us the back but its enigmas, that we must approach to find out. The look that we will never figure out, the faces (surely selfportraits of the artist) that hide their attitude, but that, as mirrors, are reflected in the landscapes of marvel (of tale) that, as spectators, we contemplate".

 
 

 

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.