UNUSUAL CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE

The urban space appears as an immense blank canvas that offers a multitude of options to accommodate surprising, ingenious and, above all, large proposals. The visual strength of these pieces is capable of modifying the environment and generating a great attraction, in addition to energising the activity and serving as a way to channel global messages that seek a direct change in the community. In this panorama, the urban sculpture reveals itself as the great winner. The riskiest and voluminous works claim their share of prominence by living with other disciplines that also make their way into the cities. We bring you some of the most curious works conceived for the public space.

Richard Jackson, “Bad Dog”, 2013 (via publicdelivery.org)

Richard Jackson made this temporary sculpture outside the Orange County Museum of Art, in Santa Ana, California, on the occasion of the retrospective that the centre dedicated to him in 2013. The author wanted to open the debate about the role of humour in art, and of course, he got it. "Bad Dog" achieved a significant impact. The work of this artist is very focused on the double meanings, irony and the fight against stereotypes in art. The result is eclectic and challenging to define work that breaks moulds.

Ugo Rondinone, “Seven Magic Mountains”, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016 (photo by Gianfranco Gorgoni)

Other authors prefer to place their proposals in natural spaces where asphalt and cement are far away. This is the work of Ugo Rondinone, which is committed to using elements of the environment, such as stones and giving them a layer of colour to create his compositions. As assembled pieces of large format, its columns of painted rocks rise as beings from another world and remind us of the indigenous totems that evoke the ancestor's spirits. His work swings between the landart and the popart taken to desolate and diaphanous places, as with his famous "Seven Magic Mountains", located in the Nevada desert.

Eduardo Catalano, “Floralis Genérica”, 2002 (via www.craiglotter.co.za)

Urban works are also vehicles for symbolic values. "Floralis Generica" is a huge flower-shaped sculpture made of aluminium, stainless steel and concrete. The architect Eduardo Catalano donated it to the city of Buenos Aires in 2002. Since then, it is installed in the United Nations Plaza, in the centre of an artificial lake. Thanks to an electric mechanism, the flower opens its 23-meter petals every morning and closes at dusk. With this simple gesture, this work represents the hope of each new day and the rebirth of life, and today has become a symbol of the city.

Costas Varotsos, “Dromeas”, 1994

In a review of the futuristic movement that triumphed in the first decades of the twentieth century, the work Dromeas ("The Runner") is a 12-meter high sculpture made entirely of superimposed green glass sheets. The Greek Costas Varotsos wanted to represent the strength, momentum and speed of the racers and pay homage to the start of the Olympic games, where athletics was one of the first disciplines to consolidate. In the middle of the Marathon’s Way, in Athens, this work seems to gain speed and erase its contours to the wind.

Charles Robb, “Charles La Trobe”, 2007

In this list, we cannot forget the sculpture of Charles La Trobe made by Charles Robb in 2007 that we can see in Melbourne. Charles Joseph La Trobe was a public figure in the Australian colony of Victoria driving several cultural projects between 1839 and 1854, a period in which the Royal Botanic Gardens, the State Library, the Victoria Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria and the University of Melbourne. Robb's decision to create a piece by presenting the figure face down was a way of questioning the meaning and purpose of contemporary monuments dedicated to celebrities or people of public interest. Today this work made of plastic and fibreglass can be seen at La Trobe University in Bundoora.

 

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 Cheese Master Affineur, 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.