EMBROIDERED MASKS FOR UNIVERSAL FACES

Estefanía Martín Sáenz's work has made its way through artistic paths that run outside the mainstream of contemporary production. The use of techniques with higher manual weight and the resource to materials as common as atypical in the current scene made her work a reference in the dialogue between the present and the past. Until October 10th we can visit her exhibition "Máscaras" at the Alcobendas Art Centre.

Estefanía Martín Sáez, Dibujos literarios, "Marcela I", 2016

After her exhibition “Mourning and luxury” at the ABC Museum of illustration, within the 15th edition of the Connections program that relates works of the Banco Santander collection with the funds of the illustration museum, it could be seen that Estefanía's work displays enormous sensitivity and shows a way of creating based on dedication and personal devotion. With this methodology, her pieces convey all together that same generosity and delicacy that are needed to conclude them.

Estefanía Martín Sáez, “Las flores son para el cementerio I”, 2018

At the same time, the artist takes advantage of this detailed quality of her work to reflect on issues that question the traditional role of women in society. It is not therefore strange to see cuts of fabrics, embroidered cloths, interwoven threads and other materials that, in a constant way throughout history, have always been linked to female work within the domestic sphere. As a peaceful proclamation, Estefanía takes up these elements to give them new uses and build a subversive discourse that claims the real importance of women in an environment determined to relegate them to the background.

Estefanía Martín Sáez, "Máscara 5", 2018

Based on this global protest that refers to all the women in the world and, particularly, those that the artist has been encountering throughout her life, the “Máscaras” project offers a visual story where female figures appear faceless, because, what is important to highlight is the universal character of an endemic situation of social imbalance that only in the western world is shyly reversed. That is why the specific features of a face do not matter, but the representation in absolute terms of a shared reality.

Estefanía Martín Sáez, “Sígueme”, 2019

The exhibition brings together two lines of work of the artist: “Fiestas Paganas” and “Aquelarre”. Although with a different foundation, in both cases, Estefanía underlines the state of social exile that the female gender has historically lived in different contexts, times and places. With reference to pagan holidays, the presence of women in these celebrations appears as a mere object; while in "Aquelarre" she recovers part of the events that took place during the performance of the Inquisition, where many of them were sentenced to death accused of witchcraft and heresy for the sole fact of being women.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Master Cheese Tuner, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.