STREET ART, POP SURREALISM, POST GRAFITI... FROM THE STREET TO THE GALLERY

Mr. Brainwash, “Andy Warhol”, mixed technique on cardboard, 2016.

 

 

 

The street is a space of freedom, a territory of aesthetic creation and a channel of expression, on the other hand, the objects of consumption and the waste products of our hyperconnected society are tools of communication, protest, criticism, irony ... The Kreisler Gallery is a good example of this adaptation to new ways of doing art. Founded in Madrid in 1965, it opened spaces in New York (1970-1975), Barcelona (1979-2002) and Miami (1993-1995) to be aware of interesting movements in great art capitals and, today, with more than 50 years, it is a benchmark for its eclecticism, its rigor and its openness to contemporary street and urban art.

 

Kreisler has managed to make his story and his spectacular fund of consecrated artists (Miró, Tapies, Picasso, Joseph Beuys ...) live with the creations of the new artists. Okuda San Miguel is one of these new talents, an artist whose style was born in abandoned factories of Cantabria within the purest street art and is now absolutely recognizable worldwide and can be seen in the streets (and in the galleries) of all over the world. He says that he is a contemporary Renaissance admirer of El Bosco and that in his works (from murals of large dimensions to small embroidered pieces) he raises contradictions about the meaning of life and the conflict between modernity and our roots.

 

 

 

Spok Brillor, “K”, neon, 2017.

 

 

 

Spok Brillor is one of the most relevant figures of the graffiti scene in Spain. In the 90s he painted on trains and walls in Madrid where he acquired his own style with marked contours, brightness and light effects, saturated and vibrant color that maintains today in his pieces, urban atmospheres, almost psychedelic, in which mirages and surreal elements speak to us, among other things, about the influence of new technologies in art and the digital manipulation of images. He uses both figurative language and abstraction but always keeps the fantasy and humor as essential ingredients.

 

 

 

Mark Jenkins, “Boyz 2 Men”, mixed technique, 2017.

 

 

 

Another gallery that has incorporated the urban spirit into its fund is the Catalan 3Punts, putting into practice one of its founding principles that ensures that "art galleries are a dynamic element of the cultural scene of both our city and globally" and, as dynamisers, they must be up-to-date about emerging art and new trends. And they do it looking for excellence in any discipline. In this sense it must be enlighted the work of Alejandro Monge (Zaragoza), a sculptor by vocation but with a creative freedom that has led him to develop in a prodigious way the painting and drawing, that rubs hyperrealism, and that he mixes with graffiti, classical sculpture and pop art to result in pieces charged with social criticism. In alabaster, lacquered steel, porcelain, resins, in large canvases, his work is based on the contrast.

 

But if there is a graffiti artist famous for breaking the wall (and in a more than profitable way) between the streets and the galleries, he is the English Banksy, and if there is someone who received his blessings in the StreetArt circuit of Los Angeles that is Mr Brainwash (Thierry Guetta), star of the movie "Exit through the gift shop" - directed by Banksy himself and with footage of Guetta himself - and another one of the urban artists that brings the 3Punts gallery to Art Madrid. Thierry Guetta, of French origin, fell in love with street art through his cousin Space Invader and decided to film with his camera this cultural movement to which he ended up surrendered, already as an artist, supported by figures such as Shepard Fairey and protected by the commissions of the Hollywood jet set. According to him, his works, pure repetition and pop referents, "wash your brain".

 

 

 

Joaquín Lalanne, “Seguimos pintando”, oil on canvas, 2017.

 

 

 

Joaquín Lalanne (Argentina), in Art Madrid with the gallery Zielinsky (Barcelona), is also very influenced by pop and street art and he is ascribed to a surrealist style in which he links with Giorgio de Chirico and the Baroque, with a constant vindication: art as a space of freedom. With an almost Dalinian gaze and a lot of metaphysics, there are those who already speak of "Lalannism" and of Joaquín as a "young promise whose art is splendid and in which we must insist already" (Tomás Paredes, for La Vanguardia).

 

 

 

Paul Rousso, “Monopoly money composition”, mixed technique, 2017.

 

 

 

The gallery Hispánica (Madrid), for its part, offers us the great pop formats of Paul Rousso, an innovative American artist who creates volumes from a flat surface, what the artist calls "Flat Depth" and for which he uses complex artistic techniques as painting, printing, sculpture, digital manipulation and digital printing. Rousso takes pop culture and its contradictions and uses the act of discarding elements such as money, candy wrappers and magazine pages, then expand its size to unusual dimensions and create a metaphysical and ironic paradox.
 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.