“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.

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.