THE YOUNGEST ARTISTS OF ART MADRID'18

L'Homme jaune, “Syria”, acrylic on canvas.

 

 

 

The theory of the end of Art, by Arthur C.Danto, very much in line with the discursive approach to contemporary art developed over the last decade, has favored thousands of pages of essays and no less questions. Danto says: "Art has died. Its current movements do not reflect the least vitality; they do not even show the agonizing convulsions that precede death; they are nothing more than the mechanical reflex actions of a corpse subjected to a galvanic force". We can only respond with examples of young artists, the youngest of Art Madrid, in whose work there are criteria, there are references and there is talent.


In 2009, an Australian consultancy determined the year 1980 as the one that defines the millennial generation, a generation grown with the democratization of information and decision-making processes thanks to the Internet (their daily food), thus being one more civi generation, more critical and more cultured, according to the authors Strauss & Howe in their book entitled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. We do not know if this is true in all cases, but we know of some cases in which it is met.

 

 

 

Irene Cruz. “Stimmung IX”, photography on paper, 2013.

 

 

 

It is fulfilled in Irene Cruz (1987), photographer and video artist who already has performed more than 300 exhibitions around the world and who in 2015 became the youngest photographer to participate in Photoespaña festival. Her work has earned the recognition of La Quatrieme Image Fair in Paris and she was considered the Emerging Artist with the most international projection by the specialized jury of Why on White in 2017.


Cruz repeats in Art Madrid, with the Madrid gallery Mercedes Roldán on this occasion  (for the first time at the fair), and with her series Stimmung. "They are inquiries of my interior, landscapes in which I integrate the body to create scenes in which it is mixed with the elements of nature. The body enters into it in many intriguing ways". The title, given by the German word Stimmung, is very important. It means at the same time state of mind, humor, spirit, climate, tendency, moral... The body transmits the atmosphere of the landscape, and the landscape reflects the feelings of the figures.

 

 

 

José Ramón Lozano, “Audry Hepburn II”, acrílico sobre tela, 2017.

 

 

 

The gallery BAT Alberto Cornejo, from Madrid, works with an eclectic concept of art and combines established artists (they have one of the most interesting avant-garde Spanish collections in the city) with young creators of all disciplines. One of the artists with whom they come to Art Madrid 18 is José Ramón Lozano (1983), a specialist in portraits with whom he generates, thanks to a colorful and vivid realism, "a turbulent dependence on his works and establishing a powerful link with the public". Just look them straight in the eyes. Those eyes.


In the section of painting, it deserves special attention Hugo Alonso (1981), with the Catalonian gallery Miquel Alzueta, a space in constant renovation and in which today artists from different generations live together, from the classics, to the most emerging, as a reflection of the different lines that make up the art mosaic of the 21st century.

 

 

Hugo Alonso, “November 07”, acrylic on paper, 2017.

 

 

 

Alonso develops hybrid and transdisciplinary projects. Initially pictorial, his work has been expanding to other fields such as video, sound or audiovisual installation and in his works it is difficult to mark the border between painting, photography or digital image because, after collecting images from the cinema or the Internet, he manipulates them with digital procedures and a final process in traditional painting. "In my work, I explore the relationships between the cinematographic reality and our daily reality. Also the possible analogies between the history of painting and cinema. Filmic fiction helps me to know the environment in which I live and to know myself. The cinema is my source of visual and conceptual resources."


Among the youngest creators of the fair is Rebeca Sánchez (1986), visual artist and painter that, however, develops a large part of her work in the sculptural medium with disturbing hyperrealistic human figures in resin with which she shows the shadows of the human being, their vices and their fears. The artist comes to the fair with the Leucade gallery, from Murcia, founded in 2013 by Sofía Martínez Hernández with the intention of innovating and being a revulsive of the art world of the city so, for many, it is something like The Factory: a meeting point for artists from all artistic disciplines, a space for free creation, workshops and a confluence of experiences.

 

 

 

Rebeca Sa?nchez, “El hombre sentado en el sofa?”, polyester resin, natural hair, 2017.

 

 

 

The Rodrigo Juarranz Gallery (Aranda de Duero) considers art as a whole, without distinguishing between genres or disciplines, and selects with great intuition the new values included in its portfolio. Diego Benéitez Gómez (1986) is one of them. With a very short career (he paints only since 2010), he already has dozens of samples to his credit, both individual and collective. Self-taught and educated in urban art, he finally opted for painting and he has in Skyline one of his most representative series: horizon lines, "pictorial spaces" almost abstract for their simplicity, perfectly defined strips of color that present us an horizon or a metaphysical question, perhaps about the weight of existence, perhaps about the divine and the human, perhaps about the landscape and its symbolic extension.

 

 

Diego Bene?itez, “El poder del tiempo”, mixed technique on canvas, 2017.

 

 

 

L'Homme Jaune, artistic name of the Algerian Yasser Ameur, is a play on words between Jaune, yellow, and Jeune, young, being the Yellow Man and, at the same time, The Young Man. Ameur, born in Blida in 1989, holds a degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Mostaganem and his arrival in art was as natural as surprising. Self-taught, he found in his yellow men a channel to express his own vision of the world: everyday scenes, of the streets, of the cafes, of the beds... in which the yellow represents the human being born of this society, a sick man, hypocritical and perfidious, which connects with the popular Algerian expression "yellow smile" to refer to falsehood and lies. L'Homme Jaune comes to the fair with the Parisian gallery Norty, specialized in art brut and expressionism, one of the riskiest proposals of the fair.

 

 

 

Carla M. Bell, “Sistemica”, instalation, 2017.

 

 

 

Undoubtedly, the youngest artist of Art Madrid'18 is Carla Maria Bellido de Luna, born in Havana, Cuba, in 1993. Graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts of San Alejandro and at the Higher Institute of Art of Cuba, Bellido she questions with his painting (also photography and installation) the cultural constructions that shape the concepts of truthfulness, subjectivity or imagination. "My work constantly refers to the structures and phenomena that define consciously or unconsciously what we produce from the field of arts. I am interested in exploring the models of reproduction intrinsic to these phenomena, how much we depend -as cultural subjects- of what we consume, of what precedes us". Bellido affirms that every artist can only speak of his own experience and situates herself, thus, almost in the field of the spectator, staying as a passive observer to see how her work is determined by external issues: country, social context and even typical structures of the art system. She will be in Art Madrid with the Carbo Alterna gallery, created in Cancun by Alexander González Carbó, a representative for more than a decade of the work of Maestro Manuel Mendive. It is a space for non-governmental artistic creation, founded in Havana by four young artists to promote the work of emerging artists who reside inside or outside the island.

 

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.