“MINIMUM SPOT, MAXIMUM IDEA”, PABLO AMARGO IN THE ABC MUSEUM

Among all the disciplines that art offers, illustration is usually the most forgotten. Perhaps because of the feeling of accessibility of this technique in contrast to other more demanding specialities. However, illustration has been considerably updated and is one of the artistic branches in which digital tools have come to stay.

This appreciation of the illustration has changed in recent times, which has given rise to a new generation of young illustrators. In addition, the consideration of this discipline has strengthened, and there are many prizes now awarded to creators who previously used pencil and paper and are now using the digital brush more and more frequently.

This is precisely the case of Pablo Amargo, illustrator born in Oviedo who has taken his works beyond our borders and has wide international recognition. Pablo owns many awards and mentions, such as the National Illustration Award granted by the Ministry of Culture in 2004, or the most recent awarded by the New York Society of Illustrators in 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, in 2016 he won the Graphic Award, in recognition for his contribution to Spanish visual culture.

Pablo's work has evolved in permanent connection with the publishing sector. His illustrations are a conscious exercise of simplification and minimalism, with an intentional game of comedy and witticism that honours the maxim "less is more". The exhibition dedicated today by the ABC Museum of Illustration responds precisely to this spirit, with the title "Minimum spot, maximum idea", which includes the original works of two of his most recent series: "Cats are paradoxes" and "Casualidad".

Black and white, the naked line and the play of contrasts are essential elements in Pablo's work. This search for visual double meanings, paradoxes on paper has led him to illustrate on several occasions the covers of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Jot Down Magazine or National Geographic, among others. A good opportunity to know the proposals of this consolidated cartoonist.

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 Cheese Master Affineur, 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.