RUBÉN MARTÍN DE LUCAS OPENS THE DOORS OF HIS STUDIO FOR US

On Wednesday, February 20, from 7 pm, the artist Rubén Martín de Lucas introduces us to his studio in a public visit organized by Art Madrid. In this event, the participants will be able to get to know the artist in a much closer way, as well as enter their creation and production processes directly from the most enlightening place, the artist’s studio.

Rubén Martín de Lucas, "República nº 7" image.

Since Martín de Lucas, trained as a Civil Engineer, he decided to dedicate himself to creating and his main line of work has been the relationship between people and territory. Starting from multiple reflections and using a wide variety of languages and techniques, the Madrid-based artist proposes to the audience to question geopolitical limits and the definition of property. Based on a strong critical ideology, what Martín de Lucas intends through his works is to ask us questions, encourage us to question with a great deal of irony what kind of relationship we have with the space that surrounds us, what are the true reasons that shape borders, as changing and artificial as the capitalist logic that impose them. These questions are explored through the possibilities of painting, performative action, video art, and photography.

Rubén Martín de Lucas, "República nº 12" image, 2019.

A particular country created in the middle of a Castilian countryside, a microstate in the middle of a football field or a one-person republic on the banks of a Cantabrian beach; there are some of the "Minimal Republics": performative actions with which the artist intervenes the landscape symbolically. The process is simple: he appropriates 100m2, draws an elementary form in the chosen territory and lives in that new space for a day. Precisely the last three editions of this work are those the artist made exclusively for Art Madrid, three unpublished works that will be discovered very soon. This kind of action art always carefully conserves documentary material, aerial films, and photographs that become "poetic gestures, endowed with a mordant irony", as the creator explains.

Rubén Martín de Lucas, "República nº 14" image, 2019.

These "republics" are framed within one of their latest and most striking projects, "Stupid Borders": an exciting project in which the absurd character of borders and the links we establish with them are demonstrated, and how to reflect on the processes of abstraction and commercialization of the natural landscape as well. The sense of ownership and the boundaries of borders become very absurd, especially in another of the works that take part of the project, entitled "A plot on the Moon", in which the artist offers the viewer the purchase of a plot on the Moon in usufruct. This idea is taken from the ambitious and supposed owner, Dennis Hope, who since 1980 has initiated procedures to declare ownership of the planets and their respective satellites, this way beginning in 2015 a millionaire business of selling ultra-terrestrial plots. These are works that, although in very different ways, can connect in their essence with the ideals of great artists who also worked critically with space, property and occupation, such as the famous "Anarquitectura" group and the renowned Gordon Matta-Clark, creators who developed projects such as “Reality Properties: Fake Estates”, in which the artists mapped those remaining useless plots that remain between houses, revealing the failure that is modern real estate property concept, which, as Matta-Clark himself stated, does not stop offering us "demoralizing memories over the take it or leave it idea".

Boa Mistura, "Somos Luz", Panama City, 2013.

During the visit to the atelier, the artist will make a selective tour of his artistic career. The beginning of his career can be placed in 2001 when, together with Javier Serrano Guerra, Juan Jaume Fernandez, Pablo Ferreiro Mederos, and Pablo Purón Carrillo, co-founded the multidisciplinary group Boa Mistura. The works that they made have a special connection with the so-called "participation aesthetics" because they are proposals that seek to improve bonds between people and the space they inhabit. In this often conflicting relationship, in which urban space is not adapted to the needs of inhabitants, even directly confronting current lifestyles, this collective modifies the public space with great vitalist interventions that have their roots in the field of graffiti. These practices have reached all corners of the world, from Spain to Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Norway, Algeria, Georgia or South Africa.

Rubén Martín de Lucas

El Jardín de Fukuoka XLIII, 2017

Ceras, óleo y esmalte sobre tabla

120 x 120cm

Rubén Martín de Lucas

Desert 6, Every monoculture is a kind of desert VI, 2017

Oil on board

120 x 120cm

Possibly in this meeting, Martín de Lucas will also highlight two key events that motivated him to start his solo career in 2015: a momentous trip to India and the experience of being a father. In the same way, the artist can explain one of his most pictorial series, "The garden of Fukuoka": a group of abstraction paintings in which he reflects on "two opposite ways of understanding agriculture and life". On the one hand, the more natural, respectful and fluid way, on the other hand, the more artificial, unbalanced and harmful way. The pictorial strategies correspond to this dual speech: colourful and free traces in the first case, which pays tribute to the oriental concept developed by Fukuoka, "WeiWei" (no intervention or action in nature and the cultivation process); and in opposition, the lugubrious and repetitive compositions of the second path, the aggressive industrial system of agricultural exploitation. In these works, both with great lyricism, the artist's speech again questions our overbearing anthropocentrism in front of the natural state of the world.

Thus, the audience attending this visit to Rubén Martín de Lucas’ studio, Guest Artist of this edition of Art Madrid, will have an exceptional opportunity to approach the committed work of a multidisciplinary artist, better understand his work and talk directly to him.

All those interested in attending the visit, just have to sign up here.

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.