THE OWN BRAND OF OUR SOLITARY GALLERIES

In this edition we have the pleasure of having galleries from different points of Spanish geography, Cantabria, Bilbao, Mallorca and Aranda de Duero were not going to be less. With a long experience in the sector, these four protagonists illustrate us with the works of their best artists.

 

 

Nacho Angulo, Map, 2016. Mixed technique on wood

 

 

The Spiral Gallery, lived its beginnings to the west of the Cantabrian community, changing its location in 2013, premiering in Noja, a small town with a view to the sea that does not leave indifferent to the landscape that surrounds it. Directed by Manuel Sáenz-Messía and Ana Laguna Vela, in its beginnings began to expose the SIANOJA Collection. With the passing of the years, his dealings with contemporary art have crossed frontiers, developing in the same way with national and international art.

 

The first and second markets were not a challenge to display their innovative languages ??and always to the latest trend. One of its strengths is the great commitment of its gallerists for visibility at national and international fairs of different cities such as Brussels, Strasbourg, Lille, Santander and of course, Madrid. The artists that are going to exhibit in this February edition are: Nacho Angulo, Joaquín Martínez Cano, Antonio Maya, Eduardo Vega Seoane and José Antonio Quintana. All of them are professionals of the sector.

 

 

Rut Olabarri, Self-portrait with table, 2016. Watercolor

 

From Cantabria we travel to Bilbao and here we are welcomed by the Vanguardia gallery. This showcase focuses its attention on the commercialization of the most current and contemporary art. Their great activity when it comes to posing samples and exhibitions makes them stand out. With an average of 6 to 7 annual exhibitions, Vanguardia bets on national and international artists. The new technologies and their commitment to parallel activities reinforce the dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit of the same.

 

The proposal presented by the gallery, with the artist Ruth Olabarri as the protagonist approaches the theme of Basque matriarchalism based on the legend of the Goddess Mari. It raises the description of the character through the objects that represent or belong to it. It also inquires into the symbolism of folklore through dress and ornamentation.

 

 

Cristina Mur, Unfurling the Wings, 2016. Acrylic and oil on linen

 

 

Entering a little more in the center of the territory, we move to Aranda de Duero (Burgos) where the gallery Rodrigo Juarranz opens its doors. This past year in 2016, the gallery turned 10 years and what better way to celebrate than in the 12th edition of Art Madrid. His best gifts have been to meet two goals of great weight, promoting and marketing contemporary art, a task not easy for the times that run. The eclecticism of its exhibitions plays with the alternation of showing artists of recognized prestige with young powers of great international repercussion.

 

All a certain when it comes to projecting such exhibitions. But, his work does not end here apart from participating in numerous national and international fairs. The gallery Rodrigo juarranz has published books and catalogs, completing them with the edition of multiple works in engraving and sculpture. For their stand at the fair they have bet by Mar Solís, Marcos Tamargo, Cristina Mur, Beatriz Díaz Ceballos and Diego Beneitez. Five personalities that will give life to the space of this gallery in Burgos.

 

 

Rubén Torras Llorca, Neo-Coliseum, 2016. Mixed technique on canvas

 

 

Leaving the peninsula aside, we flew to Majorca and landed in the Pep Llabrés gallery, a whim of the island that can be visited in the capital. With more than 25 years of experience in the sector, its gallery owner opened the doors of this new space only two years ago. From this new experience he has focused his objectives on betting on the freshest contemporary art.

 

As the main engine, we highlight the young and dynamic art that supports the most youthful values ??of the sector. The new languages ??of expression, coupled with the experience of great consecrated artists and together bet on the union of different streams that show the identity of the gallery. Robert Ferrer i Martorell and Rubén Torras Llorca, represents the perfection of the theory that wants to make known the gallery in Art Madrid 17.

 

 

 

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.