SPECIFIC IMAGES FOR ELUSIVE TIMES

Paulo Nunes-Arte Contemporânea, Bea Villamarín, Cornión y Montsequi galleries

 

Stopping, taking some time and being surprised. It seems a triviality but, either by imperatives or obligations, commitments or frustrated desires and, above all, by that epidemic of the 21st century that is the lack of time, usually, we do not calmly appreciate the things that surround us. This common situation especially affects the contemplation of art, which is also perverted in this heterogeneous era of frivolous cultural tourism, "biennalism", blockbusters and surreptitious advertising.

Ana Pais Oliveira

Ar livre #8, 2018

Técnica mixta sobre tela y contraplacado marítimo

135 x 200cm

In the proposal that the Paulo Nunes-Contemporary Art (Vila Franca de Xira) Gallery presents, fictions and realities are equally emphasized. On the one hand, the nostalgic sculptures by Manuel Patinha and paintings by Ana Pais Oliveira, these last ones seducing us into the indeterminate scenarios of abstract forms, particularly strange and seductive. At first glance, the spaces imagined by the artist are icy, cold, but through a deeper observation, you can also reach a greater sense of warmth. Everything depends on what it transmits to each viewer.

Mário Macilau

Sem título 1, 2017

Hahnemühle paper

80 x 120cm

Rui Dias Monteiro

Nas paredes e no chão, 2015

Photography

15 x 20cm

On the other hand, specific realities are expressed in this gallery’s booth with the work by Mário Macilau, an autochthonous photographer from Maputo (Mozambique) whose objective is to make the sociopolitical situation of his country visible. A perfect and necessary example within the debate of Otherness, because "the Other" can, must and knows how to represent itself. Beautiful and classic work in black and white that tells us about the current circumstances of millions of people, something that we sense or see from a comfortable distance but that we really do not know. Another reality is that reflected by the also photographer Rui Dias Monteiro, more interested in the detail, the fragment, in the intuitive. Any stone in the middle of the road can initiate or end a story, and surely the literary side of this artist is what explains that his gaze stops in these motives.

Alejandro Quincoces

Polluted cityscape, 2018

Oil on board

125 x 195cm

Carlos Tárdez

Tasador, 2017

Polychrome resin

10 x 10cm

Another type of especially narrative realism is the one cultivated by Alejandro Quincoces, an artist presented by the Bea Villamarín (Gijón) gallery. His work, which is located in the mysteriously natural and urban settings, is usually characterized by being very cinematographic, usually melancholic and even catastrophic; even in their broader urban views, dystopian future worlds are predicted, but not because of this are impossible. The world of another of the artists, Carlos Tárdez, is explicitly more critical; everything that his small format sculptures in polychrome resin have, becomes enormous in its provocative forms and satirical messages. Perhaps it is precisely the size what gives his works the greatest impact, both visually and emotionally.

Mònica Subidé

Los hijos del rey bufón y sus buitres, 2018

Oil, pencil and collage on wood

80 x 110cm

At the Villamarín's booth, you can also enjoy the work of Mònica Subidé, as rich in artistic references as in its taste for the oneiric story, both enigmatic and seductive -traits that can be appreciated twice as the artist also will be represented in the Yiri Arts space. Narratives much more hermetic are those the works by Patricia Escutia offer, a sort of palimpsests composed of notes, traces, indecipherable calligraphies that show the negation of language, the difficulties we have in our communication; abstract writing for an elusive time. Framed in abstraction is the work by Candela Muniozguren, an artist of whom the gallery will present a selection of her characteristic geometric sculpture of anchors.

Javier Victorero

En el jardín VIII, 2018

Acrylic on canvas

180 x 150cm

Also, the proposal of the Cornión (Gijón) gallery includes a solid bet for the most abstract geometric work: done by Javier Victorero. From an intense knowledge of compositional harmony and balance, the artist plays with straight lines and colour properties, in some cases intimately connecting with the creation of great geometric artists such as Eusebio Sempere. Similarly, the investigation of the materials characteristics is something he shares with the sculptor Amancio (González), more interested, though, in a kind of figurative abstraction.

Miguel Galano

Nieve en el Monticu, 2018

Oil on linen

46 x 53cm

Cornión closes its selection for Art Madrid with the painting, "atemporal and true", by Miguel Galano: a chant to the Asturian land, full of nostalgia and the most honest simplicity. These solitary and calm scenarios, invite to shelter or empathy; they are places in which we can clearly stop our accelerated vital rhythm and contemplate them from a more serene way of life.

Horacio Fernández Munizaga

Placeres, 2018

Acrylic on canvas

92 x 92cm

Rodrigo Nevsky

Apple fondo azul, 2018

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 30cm

In the Montsequi Art Gallery's (Madrid) booth there will also be a place for contemplation, especially through the bronze and iron sculpture by Mireia Serra, whose characters, as the gallerists point out, "show the beauty and the mystery of small moments full of emotions and feelings of the journey of life: women taking their time to decide at a crossroads of their lives, men enjoying their moments of relaxation, small pleasures, moments to pause... ". "Placeres" (2018), "Fuente Paraíso" (2018) or "Fuego" (2018) are some of the abstractions, vitalistic and mostly naturalistic, that Montsequi will present from the artist Horacio Fernández Munizaga. Along with his work, a selection by Rodrigo Nevsky these paintings, more aligned with contemporaneity, the kind full of marketing and icons such as the giant Apple, and that Nevsky works with a language that includes abstraction and figuration.

Let's take a moment, let's go into the specific stories and emotions proposed by the artists and then decide with more conscience whether they convince us or not. Let us rest from the weight of everyday life.

 

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.