ENJOY CONTEMPORARY ART WITH FAMILY THIS CHRISTMAS

Although we know that commitments get crowded these dates and that meals, dinners, visits and events accumulate without giving truce, there is always a chance to make room to disconnect and enjoy contemporary art with family. Here we bring you a list of some of the most interesting and entertaining cultural activities so that everyone enjoys these holidays between ‘turrón’ and grapes.

Workshops ‘¿Soy yo?’ and ‘Viaje espacial’ at the CGAC

One way to get to know contemporary art is to see it and live it in person while working on some of the concepts present in the exhibitions. The proposal of the CGAC (Santiago de Compostela) is to work, on the one hand, the last series of Jesús Madriñán focused on the people he was portraying when travelling the Camino de Santiago and that allows to delve into concepts such as inclusion and gender diversity and, on the other, the showing of the artist Pedro Cabrita Reis, who reworks objects through found elements and helps us to work the notion of reconversion, destruction and reconstruction. The workshops propose activities linked to the visit of these exhibitions to bring contemporary art to the kids of the house.

21st and 22nd December | From 4 to 9 years old

Workshop ‘App Inventor’ at Espacio Fundación Telefónica

To get into the technology and know some of its many applications, this workshop for teenagers proposes some important keys, without forgetting the responsibility in the use of these devices. A recreational and educational activity that will allow you to get the most out of a tablet while introducing us to the programming language.

26th and 27th December 2019 and 2nd and 3rd January 2020 | From 12 years old on

Workshop ‘Navidad en el museo’, at the Lázaro Galdiano Museum

A good way to soak up the Christmas spirit is to participate in the preparation of decorations, ornaments, gifts and greeting cards that are so exciting at this time. Putting themselves in the shoes of a true artist, participants will be able to tour the galleries of the museum and their showrooms while they soak up the works that reign the space and blow up their imagination in the crafts that they then carry out.

26th and 27th December 2019 and 2nd and 3rd January 2020 | From 5 to 12 years old

‘Este año la Navidad es… ¡verde!’, at the Guggenheim Bilbao

To raise awareness about the need to care for the planet and adopt sustainable practices in our day-to-day lives, the Guggenheim Museum proposes dynamic programming to address these issues by solving puzzles and always keeping in mind the art and work of the artists. In addition, one of the workshops, taught by the artists in residence Miren Arenzana, Zaloa Ipiña and Karlos Martínez Bordoy, will make the little ones reflect on the value of gifts and the possibility of emphasising non-materialistic elements.

From the 20th December 2019 to the 3rd January 2020 | From 3 to 11 years old

‘VaCAACiones’ at the CAAC (Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art)

The whole family is invited to know the works of the CAAC collection through entertaining and dynamic activities that will allow them to visit and investigate something else in the work of Amalia Pica (Neuquén, Argentina, 1978) and Juan Suárez (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, 1946). The workshop wants to encourage the creative contribution of visitors, to feed their imagination and development, while putting in value the contemporary art that can be seen in the centre.

26th and 27th December 2019 and 2nd and 3rd January 2020

 

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.