THE ART OF TERROR

Halloween has become fashionable nowadays because it adds a bit of humour and mystery to a traditionally solemn and serious celebration in which we face a mandatory appointment with death. Despite the imported traditions, the emptying of pumpkins and the famous phrase "trick or treat" (which was never said in our country ever), the truth is that there is a certain homogeneity in the fact that we get ready for an encounter with the after-death world. From this core idea, derive the others that play with the fear of the unknown, the fear of death, the connection with the underworld, etc., proposing a more open and humorous approach. And we, in our particular Halloween, make a reminder of some works that treat fear and terror in a masterly way.

Edvard Munch, "The scream", 1893

This well-known Munch painting is the work par excellence of the Expressionism, an artistic stream that tried to convey the sensations through the colour, without necessarily keeping coherence and verisimilitude. This artist, known for his tormented and dejected character, was one of the greatest representatives of this movement. The most famous version of this work is in Oslo, in the National Gallery of Norway, where it was stolen several times, the last in 2004, until in 2006 the piece could be recovered.

Goya, "Saturn devouring his son", (1819-1823)

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One of the most tormented paintings known is "Saturn devouring his son", by Goya. This work is framed within his famous period of Black Paintings, all dry oils, painted on the wall, in which the artist deals with dark themes related to tragedy and depression. This period coincides with a serious illness of the painter, who channelled his displeasure and disappointment through his work. Saturn represents the Titan Chronos, the god of time, who devours everything in its path. It is a crude and raw work that does not hide its violence, and that Goya had in his house of the Quinta del Sordo.

Salvador Dalí, "The face of war", 1940

"The face of war" painted by Dalí between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II represents the horror of tragedy, the empty sockets, which enclose other faces multiplied in an infinite approximation, to manifest the desolation and impotence. It is said that another motivation of the author for this painting was the execution of Federico García Lorca, with whom Dalí had an intimate relationship.

Zdzislaw Beksinski

And we must highlight the work of Zdzislaw Beksinski. The life of this Polish artist was also testimony to a great life tragedy. He himself was found dead of 17 stabs in his home in 2005. This multidisciplinary author is considered one of the maximum representatives of contemporary surrealism, and his works do not leave indifferent. The presence of death, the connections with the underworld, the horror of sinister images with beings devoured by apocalyptic entities are their most recurrent motives. Beksinski said that he painted what was in his dreams, but he was very jealous of what he communicated, because he destroyed several of his works because he said they were too personal for the world to know them.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Master Cheese Tuner, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.