The German gallery Luisa Catucci is participating for the first time in Art Madrid with a multidisciplinary proposal that combines the installation and performance narrative of the sculptor Lidó Rico, the ethereal photographic compositions of Aqua Aura project and the stratified paintings of the artist David Hochbaum.

Based in Berlin, Luisa Catucci Gallery has an exhibition program focused mainly on ecological, social and existential issues, all expressed in different artistic media (painting, sculpture, photography, video art and installation). Many of the artists represented by the gallery have participated in important biennials and international exhibitions such as Documenta, Manifesta or the Venice Biennale. Luisa Catucci is not a conventional art gallery, its space is situated as one of the main elements of the cultural agitation of the area.

In its premiere in Art Madrid within the general program of the Fair, Luisa Catucci Gallery, will exhibit an artistic proposal where invites the viewer to reflect on the great power of art and to discover intrinsic feelings that are out of the ordinary.

Lidó Rico

Saturno, 2019

Resina de poliéster sobre cristal

80 x 80cm

Lidó Rico

SY, 2019

Resina de poliéster y metal sobre cristal

80 x 80cm

Lidó Rico (Yecla, Murcia, 1968), uses matter as a language, as a means of reflection. The artist himself takes self-portraits in his sculptural installations, his body (arms and torso) and mainly his face being the mould of his creations and one more element within the work. In this way, Rico develops concepts in relation to the body, space and the natures that arise between them. The human subject is the center of his sculptures, far away from individualism, their faces wear masks or maintain extreme stereotyped gestures.

The artist in his creative process generates a game between the performative and the sculptural, using his own anatomy, immersing his body in different materials to get the mold of his pieces; molds that are emptied and filled with polyester resin. From the beginning, Lidó Rico considers it necessary for the contemporary human being to rebel and for this reason he shows in his works that he is totally torn by an anguish, which needs to manifest itself in the form of an intimate groan.

Aqua Aura

Museum Highlights The Great White Hall, 2019


153 x 96cm

The Aura Aqua project was born in Milan in 2009. Based on her studies in astrophysics, particle physics, biogenetics, philosophy and psychology of perception, Aura Aqua uses photography and digital art as means to express her own language. The search for the sublime in our time is one of the main conceptual interests of Aura Aqua's works. For this, the artist needs the direct intervention of the spectator, disconcerting him spatially, that is why she executes her photographs by situating elements apparently taken from nature in scenarios such as scientific and astrophysical research laboratories, art museums, exhibition spaces where they are not commonly located.

”Aqua Aura is a kind of synthetic stone. Originally, it's a quartz. Quartz crystals are placed in a vacuum chamber and heated to 871°C. Gold vapour is then added to the chamber so that it fuses with the surface of the crystal, giving the crystals an iridescent metallic shine and a bright blue colour. The proximity to the gold makes it luminous and iridescent but at the same time more fragile than its initial condition. That is all. I am one of those stones. Time and a slow process have sat on me."

David Hochbaum

A Brief History Of Man, 2019

Mixed media on wood

56 x 41cm

David Hochbaum (New York, United States, 1972), dedicates his artistic career to two concepts: community and collectivity. The American artist works actively with collaborative collectives and artists of all genres and backgrounds. In addition, Hochbaum organizes art criticism salons, free workshops for artists and helps little-known artists to promote their work.

His artistic discourse focuses on the search for philosophical and psychological elements through experimentation with various expressive media such as photography, painting, sculpture, film and even woodworking techniques. In his studio, Hochbaum calcines, distills, ferments and sublimates the main issues in his work. He is interested in themes related to Greek mythology, his collages of cities and towers reflect the places in which the artist lived and to which he has travelled. The cities in his work are at the same time portraits and landscapes, the human figures become cities and the cities become portraits of those figures.


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.