Art Madrid celebrates this year its 15th anniversary with an edition that stands out for its dynamism and its festive character. With a unique proposal we celebrate years making a review and analysis of the evolution and development of the fair in recent editions. Expert personalities such as Carlos Delgado, curator and art critic, the artist Dionisio González, the gallery owner Aurora Vigil or the critic and curator Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta accompany us on this journey.

Roberto López Martín

Avatar soldado, 2016

Tela sobre fibra de vidrio y resina

100 x 30cm

Andrés Planas

BigMac, 2015

Técnica mixta madera, plástico, pigmentos, pan de oro y restos biológicos humanos

40 x 23cm

One of the biggest commitments of the fair has been to help position and project the work of the artists in the art market. According to the curator and art critic Carlos Delgado, "Art Madrid covers and gives space to many artists who have achieved a visibility that otherwise they could not have. Both through the One Project program and the general program, Art Madrid has maintained and strengthened its commitment to supporting young artists and emerging creators who are in the process of consolidating their careers. The artist Dionisio González states that he has always seen this fair as an excellent showcase in which the works of the most outstanding artists of the current national and international scene have been displayed, so being part of the fair this year is gratifying.

Dionisio González

Inter-Acciones 12, 2019

Impresión digital en papel de algodón sobre dibond y enmarcado en madera lacada en blanco

55 x 55cm

Dionisio González

Inter-Acciones 22, 2019

Impresión digital en papel de algodón sobre dibond y enmarcado en madera lacada en blanco

55 x 55cm

Art Madrid's commitment to emerging creators also allows for the acquisition of works within a wide economic spectrum as varied prices can be found. In the words of Carlos Delgado, "Art Madrid is the ideal place to start collecting, as there are small and medium formats, graphic works..." The galleries participating in Art Madrid have an optimal price range to find high quality proposals at an affordable price, a perfect setting to start collecting with works by young artists who have not yet established themselves.

Likewise, support for emerging and mid-career creators requires galleries that bet on these artists. Some of these, like Aurora Vigil who has been in the art world for 35 years, are an essential element in the shaping of the art scene since, as she herself states, "the gallery owner is not only the person who sells works of art, his role is something else, he has to project the artists he believes in, he has to assume the task of disseminating their work".

Julio Anaya

Francisco de Goya - Vuelo de Brujas, 2019

Acrílico sobre cartón

100 x 75cm

Although Art Madrid maintains its preponderance in the usual disciplines such as painting and sculpture, it has been embracing new proposals that define contemporary art in all its lines. On the one hand, the inclusion of a dedicated program that includes video art and action art, which until now was only part of the parallel program and this year has its own stand at the fair. On the other hand, the curatorial program One Project has been consolidating its place as one of the fundamental pillars of Art Madrid. Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta, curator of One Project, states that it is necessary to maintain programs like this one where transgressive, minority proposals can be observed, with a component of friction towards the environment, questioning fashions and trends. This edition under the title of "Salvajes. La cage aux fauves", One Project reaffirms and strengthens this area as a place of confrontation and artistic subversion.

Imanol Villota

It has also been a "clear success the elimination of the second market" to confirm the positioning of Art Madrid as a contemporary art fair, since according to Delgado the fair becomes an absolute expression of the most contemporary scene that seeks direct contact with current art and allows a mapping of what is happening in art today. Artists such as Dionisio González emphasize the open, dynamic and avant-garde character of the fair, as well as the attendance of a varied public that allows bringing contemporary art closer to a more heterogeneous public without, of course, leaving aside the exhibition function for the collectors that come from various corners of the world to attend this unavoidable appointment with art.

This marked internationality is transversal to the fair since in the last editions Art Madrid has 40% of international galleries in its general program. Countries such as South Africa, Taiwan, Cuba or Ecuador are part of the proposal presented by Art Madrid year after year, generating a greater artistic diversity taking into account the socio-cultural influence of each country.

Alejandro Gómez Cangas

Brecha No. 2, 2019

Oil on canvas

140 x 140cm

Hendrik Czakainski

3ER1, 2018

Cartón y pintura sobre MDF

86 x 75cm


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.