POP CULTURE, CONCEPTUAL ART AND STREET ART. GALERÍA HISPÁNICA CONTEMPORÁNEA

Hispánica Contemporánea (based in Madrid and Mexico), one of the veteran galleries in Art Madrid, proposes for this edition a proposal with national and international artists that could be framed within trends such as Pop Art, Conceptual Art, Activism and Neo-Pop in contrast and interaction with other more current artistic trends such as kinetic art, neo-figurative art and street art. Hispánica Contemporánea proposes in its stand a historical journey through purely contemporary discourses and aesthetics.

The pop culture will be very present at Hispánica's booth. We will see it in the pieces "Flat Depth " of the American artist Paul Rousso, who from a flat surface creates volumes, turning a flat object into a three-dimensional one. Rousso, using complex techniques and under a satirical and ironic approach, discards and wrinkles elements such as American dollar bills, candy wrappers and pages from magazines and newspapers, inflating them to extraordinary dimensions.

Paul Rousso

Action Comic Superman March, 2018

Mixed media

92 x 246cm

The artist (also American) Peter Anton, in the wake of Rousso, creates realistic and giant sculptures, but this time food is the protagonist, especially chocolate candies and other sweets. Anton exaggerates the size of food to give it a new meaning; his creative process begins by smelling, dissecting, feeling and deeply studying the food he is going to represent.

The Italian artist Fidias Falaschetti is concerned with other issues related to pop culture such as consumerism and the globalization of the media. Falaschetti, from an ironic and playful point of view, investigates in his work the relationship between digital and analog, appropriating materials and elements or characters from the past and transforming them into contemporary objects. An example of this is his iconic Disney characters in resin covered in aluminium.

Peter Anton

Splendor Variety, 2017

Mixed technique

90 x 90cm

The sculptural installations by the American artist Rafael Barrios and the kinetic pieces in ceramics by Carlos Cruz Díez represent a turning point in the Hispánica booth. In the work of these two artists, both pioneers in their artistic tendencies although with different plastic discourses, color has a fundamental role.

Rafael Barrios plays with geometrical forms, volumes and colour, building his sculptures in a direction totally far from the orthodox, defying the laws of space and generating new perceptive alternatives with his "floating virtual works". Hispánica Contemporánea is the only gallery that represents Rafael Barrios in Spain.

The Venezuelan artist Cruz-Díez conceives color as an autonomous element, which evolves in space and time, without the help of form or support, in a continuous present. In his delicate ceramics of the series "Cromovela", works that we will be able to see in Art Madrid, we observe how the artist takes the kinetic art to its maximum expression in the land of the three-dimensionality.

Rafael Barrios

Mural, 2015

Lacquered steel

160 x 126cm

Xavier Mascaró and Manolo Valdés, two artists with solid careers and with whom Hispánica has been working for years, will show at the Fair a selection of pieces that could be included within the neofigurative trend.

The pieces by Xavier Mascaró that Hispánica will present in Art Madrid, are a sample of the different lines of research with which the French artist has been working since his beginnings. It is worth mentioning that the artist has recently been included in the list of artists of the prestigious Opera gallery and we will be able to see in Art Madrid a selection of his famous sculptures in iron, bronze and corrugated copper combined with his pieces in enameled ceramics.

From the artist Manolo Valdés we will be able to see work on paper of his characteristic representations of elegant and sophisticated "Gentlemen " and "Ladies with pamela " accompanied by small format bronze sculptures.

Xavier Mascaró

Guardián, 2012

Cobre corrugado

175 x 100cm

Mr.Brainwash, iconic street art artist, will bring "street art" to the stand walls. In his works we see again characteristic elements of the aesthetics of American pop culture fused with his personal style.

Exercising an absolute contrast with the work of the urban artist, we find the deep and symbolic paintings of the Basque artist Guillermo Fornés Through a very personal language, the artist wants to transmit "his expressive force, and at the same time, give the work the poetics and subtlety that make up his plastic identity. In this way, he always speaks of the emotion." His large canvases charged with symbolism, awaken timeless emotions and feelings.

Mr. Brainwash

Einstein, 2016

Técnica Mixta sobre metal

50 x 50cm

Guillermo Fornés

Arch Light, 2018

Mixed media on canvas

146 x 114cm

Crowning the stand of Hispánica Contemporánea the monotypes of one of the most influential artists in contemporary conceptual art, the American Mel Bochner, who works exclusively with the gallery Hispánica in Spain and Mexico.

Bochner is, together with Joseph Kosuth, Art & Language, Lawrence Weiner, Douglas Houbler and Robert Barry, responsible for one of the artistic revolutions of the moment. Trained in an artistic environment (his father was an advertising sign painter), his interest has always been focused on the purely conceptual rather than the superficial. Influenced by his father, from an early age he became interested in strictly verbal information and the meaning of words. Little by little, Bochner begins to divest himself of the elements most closely linked to the pictorial (colour, plane, surface) in order to explore the possibilities of the linguistic universe. Later, he recovers colour in his works to make it an indispensable element in his work.

Mel Bochner

Amazing, 2018

Monotype with collage, engraving and reliefs on Twinrocker paper

158.8 x 119.4cm

In art works such as "Blah, Blah, Blah" or "Amazing", the semantics or meaning of the words, varies as we read them. The artist explores the duality between the solitary and private nature of writing and the way in which the final product is exposed openly to the public, bringing together an immense wealth of subjective gradations in language.

 

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.