GETTING READY FOR THE NEW SEASON

Like the collectable journals, the beginning of the school course, the inscriptions in the gym and a great list of new purposes that usually meet in September, this month also marks the beginning of the new season in the art world. Museums, galleries and cultural centres reorganise their calendar to shake summer off and face fall with a renewed schedule. And so that nobody gets surprises, we bring you some of the most interesting activities that the new course holds for us.

 

CANIDO (FERROL)

Las Meninas de Canido returns with its 11th edition, from August 31st to September 2nd. Since the launch of the idea in 2008, the project has gained in quality and recognition. The artist Eduardo Hermida is the promoter of this initiative that was born to revitalise the most depressed areas of the Canido neighbourhood, in Ferrol, especially affected by the crisis and the change of business model that had left the industrial fabric of the place very weakened. After ten years of work, not only part of the activity has been recovered, but the neighbourhood has become a benchmark in the urban art landscape. Around 2000, artists from Taiwan, Slovenia, Poland, Brazil, Syria, Ethiopia, Germany or France, as well as from Spain, have passed through Canido. The name of the festival responds to one of its working guidelines: artists must be inspired by this famous painting of Velázquez for their works and recreate variations that will remain forever on the facades of the city. As the organisers say: "Las Meninas de Canido is a triumph of artistic talent as a vehicle of communication and a foothold for the solution of urban needs." Last year, besides, there was an enormous expectation when a work attributed to Banksy appeared in one of the murals, although the artist denied it. For the festival, this author is an undeniable reference, and in homage, they reserve each edition a unique space under the claim “Banksy, in Canido we have a wall reserved for you”. It may appear this year…

Cartel “(Fe)meninas de Canido 2019” (detalle) María Maquieira

PHOTOGRAPHY IN MADRID

The Fundación Telefónica Space organises the workshop “Son ciudad” by the photographer Consuelo Bautista. This course takes place from September 11th to 13th, from 5 pm to 8 pm and is aimed at experienced professional or amateur photographers. Hand in hand with the artist, participants will take a tour of urban photography and the power of communication that city images can have, also reviewing the work of other authors such as Wiliam Klein. After a more theoretical first session, it is time to put into practice the concepts worked and the vision of the attendees to develop a project around street photography and the creation of micro-stories with the characters of urban life.

PROYECTOR FESTIVAL

From September 11th to 22nd, Madrid opens its arms to video-creation to host the 12th edition of the PROYECTOR Festival. On this occasion, 14 spaces distributed throughout the city will host this large program for a video art immersion. The agenda incorporates visits to collections, curated cycles of projections, workshops, masterclasses, professional meetings, guided tours... There is no excuse to get to know this discipline that every year gains new followers. Contemporary video creation offers an immense field of exploration that attracts numerous artists, in addition to using a language adapted to the consumption habits of today's society. The power of the moving image and its use for the elaboration of a new contemporary discourse will surprise us with a program of activities designed for all audiences.

Lien Cheng Wang, “Reading Plan”

FESTIVAL OPEN HOUSE

In its 5th edition, the Architecture and City Festival will have the collaboration of more than 100 spaces that will open their doors to the public on the weekend of September 28th and 29th. It is the perfect occasion to get to know some hidden corners of buildings of enormous interest that remain habitually closed to the public. For lovers of architecture, design, interior design, art and history this is an unavoidable event. Last year, visits overpassed the records, and there were long waiting lists, so stay tuned for registration.

BOTIN CENTRE

On September 9th and 10th, the Botín Centre organises the second edition of its “Meeting on Science, Art and Creativity”. These sessions bring together professionals from different branches of knowledge to discuss the similarities that exist in creative artistic processes and scientists. In this way, the similarities between the two spheres can be noticed, and the influence that art and science have on each other can be observed. Concepts such as the golden ratio, art and fractal mathematics, the aesthetics of structures subject to tensegrity or the fascinating reaction of the brain to art and music will be discussed. As Pedro García Barreno, director of the meeting explains, “the speakers will present how artistic beauty has penetrated the scientific theories and the design of the machines, while the artists have incorporated scientific ideas and technological advances in their creative processes".

ALCALÁ 31 SHOWROOM AND REINA SOFÍA MUSEUM

To accompany the exhibition that the Reina Sofía Museum dedicates to the Hispanic-Brazilian artist Sara Ramo, Sala Alcalá 31 organises a parallel exhibition that opens on September 12th under the title "The fall and other forms of life". This exhibition focuses on a site-specific project created by the author for the room and revolves around the idea of ​​simulation and appearance. For its part, the Reina Sofía Museum collects a part of her most extensive work, with pieces of video, installation, sculpture and collage. Sara Ramo always considers the position of the individual in their context and the maintenance of the established standards. This permanent questioning of the status quo soaks its pieces and seeks to open an internal dialogue with the viewer. In the exhibition "lindalocaviejabruja" Ramo works the role of women in our society and explores their domestic or daily context with works that feed on numerous references, even to incorporate absurd objects that produce a disconcerting effect.

 

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.