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 Precisely the last three editions of this work are those the artist made exclusively for Art Madrid, three unpublished works that will be discovered very soon.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

Waxes, oil and enamel on panel

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.

 

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.