ES.ARTE GALLERY: CONSCIENCE, CONSTRUCTION AND REFLECTION

The artists José Benítez, Marifé Núñez, Johan Wahlstromand Ángela Lergo, are participating in Art Madrid with the gallery Es.Arte Gallery, which is making its debut at the fair with an exhibition proposal where awareness and reflection define the discourse.

Social criticism, feminism, individual and collective conscience, construction and destruction, are the main subjects of concern of the four artists who participate in Art Madrid with Es.Arte Gallery.

Johan Wahlstrom

The Art of Flying Part 2, 2019

Mixed media

101 x 76cm

Johan Wahlstrom

The Art of Flying Part 1, 2019

Mixed media

101 x 76cm

Johan Wahlstrom (Sweden, 1959), describes in his art work the current political and social panorama. His first approach to art was with music, but after twenty years of a successful musical career, he abandons rock and roll and begins to take an interest in painting.

The Swedish artist is a great observer of our time. In the art works belonging to his series "The Art of Flying ", the artist draws human figures in backgrounds of faded landscapes. Meanwhile, in his "Abstract Paintings ", Wahlstrom explores and creates more aggressive forms between positive and negative space, focusing more on abstract forms than on the narrative image. Despite of these changes, man remains the center of his art work, and in some of his abstractions a human face will dissolve among the stains of color. Wahlstrom explores the tense world political situation in which we live today. His art work evokes the absurdity we encounter every day as a result of forces beyond our control.

Marifé Núñez

I love Louis Vuitton, 2019

Neocollage

170 x 140cm

The artist from Cordoba Marifé Núñez, has participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions throughout Europe. In her works, we can see a reflection of the individual, collective and even universal conscience.

The eye that sees everything appears in the most recent series of Marifé Núñez, "Ángeles perdidos", emphasized as a neon eye (God) that observes the spectator and leads him to reflection. Full of symbolism, it is a reflection that goes beyond the physical plane, reaching the spiritual plane through the incorporation of the Man of Vitruvius, a perfect combination between the square, represented by the body, and the spherical, which represents the spirit.

In her "Ángeles perdidos", the woman is the protagonist of the events. An empowered woman who with her gaze, naive but defiant at the same time, shows herself to be a prey to banality and still aware of the power that her wings manifest. According to the art critic Marin Ivanović: "her focus on women as the protagonists of events is very close to feminist theories of gender inversion, which place women in situations previously reserved for men".

José Benítez

Brahma 1, 2018

Oil on cardboard

97 x 67cm

José Benítez (Málaga, 1963), depicts in his art works two possible paths for the human being: construction or destruction.

Through his fantastic beings and his infinite labyrinths, Benítez takes us to a utopian world, full of sublime landscapes full of ruins and inhabited by monstrous characters. In his art works, the notion of time and space is non-existent, organic forms dissolve and objects are complex organisms in continuous metamorphosis.

José Benítez's chromatic palette is reduced to the minimum expression. A special care in the drawing added to the dominion of the lights and shades, accentuated in addition by the use of gray tonalities and sepias, they approach Benítez to the baroque painting, more concretely to the series of black paintings of Goya.

"The sunshine of your smile", Ángela Lergo

Finally, we will be able to see in the gallery's stand Es.Arte Gallery, the impressive three-dimensional representations of the Sevillian artist Ángela Lergo. Lergo seeks to generate sensations and emotions in the spectator through sculpture and performance, transforming it into "a feminine message".

“Her creations, always linked to Salustiano's painting, are fed by the painter's universe. They start from the timeless aesthetics of his paintings and then fly on their own,", says the journalist Margot Molina.

 

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.