El espíritu de la pintura, by Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang. Photo ©Javier Molina

 

 

 

The Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang is an internationally recognised character, among other things because of his admiration for the classic Spanish masters. He has inspired himself several times by Goya’s work for his proposals, and his devotion to El Greco led him to reproduce a part of his vital path, passing through Crete, Venice, Madrid and Toledo, with the wish of soaking up of an experience that allowed him to know the artist better and capture these life lessons on his work.

 

 

 

Cai Guo-Qiang, Last Carnival, 2017. Photo by Yvonne Zhao, courtesy Cai Studio.

 

 

 

Guo-Qiang is known as the artist of the gunpowder. His artworks enclose all the strength of the free impulse, the gesture into the air and the intention of feelings. Not for nothing, this artist is also a pyrotechnic worker, and he has known how to incorporate the ignition powder in his creations. The result remembers many times the fireworks exploding up in the air but represented on a canvas.

 

 

 

Cai Guo-Qiang, Mountain in Heat, 2016. Photo by Yvonne Zhao, courtesy Cai Studio.

 

 

For this exhibition, Guo-Qiang enclosed himself for the months of September and October inside the Salón de Reinos of the museum to turn it into a temporary studio. The result of this intense work will open to the public on the 25th. The key piece of the showing is a monumental artwork that the artist will complete live, entitled “El espíritu de la pintura”. This exhibition suggests a dialogue with some of the masters now kept on the Prado, like Tiziano, Velázquez, Rubens, Goya or El Greco, with which the artist attempts to strengthen links between the East and the West regarding their ways of understanding art.

 

 

 

Making-of of the documentary “El espíritu de la pintura”, directed by Isabel Coixet.

 

 

Along with the showing, we count on a full-length film-documentary directed by Isabel Coixet regarding the artist and his work. The film, produced by the museum, was shot during the months when Guo-Qiang was working in the Sala de los Reinos. A reduced version of the documentary will be projected while the exhibition is ongoing. To Coixet, it has been the right opportunity to know more in detail the creative processes of this spiritual artist and to gather these impressions on a film that makes accessible to the public the fascination that Guo-Qiang awakes.

 

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.