JOSEP MARIA RIERA I ARAGÓ, GUEST ARTIST AT ART MADRID FAIR

 

The seabed and the sky, water and air, these are the territories that Riera i Aragó explores since his beginnings, to the controls of submarines and zeppelins, gadgets of almost magical nature that tell us about the totems of the twentieth century: the machines and their urgency. Faced with the frenzied rhythm of the last century, the artist stops the atmosphere thanks to his sculptures, bronzes and rusty iron that seem to float in an original element whose material we do not know.

 

 

Portrait of Josep Maria Riera i Arago

 

 

Josep María Riera i Aragó (Barcelona, ??1954) is the GUEST ARTIST at Art Madrid'17, which is held from 22 to 26 February at the Crystal Gallery of CentroCentro Cibeles, in Madrid's Art Week. As other artists, as Ouka Leele and Carmen Calvo, did in past editions, Riera i Aragó will be the author of the official poster of the fair whose image - one of his planes - will be transformed into a limited edition lithograph.

 

 

The expressive possibilities of his sculpture (weightlessness, floating masses), his dialogue with the urban scene and his plastic approach to this kind of "archeology of machinism", make the work of Riera i Aragó an essential piece to understand a generation of artists who, in the 80's of the past century, resumed in their own way the languages ??of painting and sculpture. Nature, whether as landscape to its suggestive sculptures or as ecologist inspiration/aspiration through the use of recovered materials, is another of its great themes and very present in its pieces of islands and in the series "protected species".

 

 

Work of the artist Jose Maria Riera i Arago

 

 

"If in other times artists had taken the landscape, mythological narratives or the human figure as themes of inspiration, Riera i Aragó opted for one of the most characteristic emblems of his time, the world of the machine and the artifacts in general. But it does not do so by a literal or mimetic realism, but by talking ironically about the machine, its transience, its capacity for suggestion, on a journey back and forth from real to imaginary space, which ultimately makes all these referents Be an immense excuse to make art "(Daniel Giralt Miracle)

 

 

The work of Riera i Aragó is present in important collections and museums around the world, among others: Musée de Céret, France; Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona, ??Spain; Musée d'art Modern de Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico D.F; Vincent van Gogh Fondation, Arles, France; Städtische Museen, Heilbronn, Germany; Museum Otani, Nishinomiya, Japan; MACBA, Barcelona, ??Spain; The Boeing Company, Chicago, USA; Collectie NOG Van Het. SNS Reaal Fonds, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art Union Fenosa, La Coruña, Spain. Among the exhibitions held in recent years are the extensive retrospectives of three museums in France, the Musée d'art modern de Céret and the Musée de Collioure, as well as the Musée d'art Modern André Malraux, MuMa, Le Havr. He did also its large format sculptures for the Tournay-Solvay Park in Brussels, within the framework of the exhibition dedicated by the Folon Foundation. Riera i Aragó lives and works in Barcelona.

 

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.