WHAT DO ARTISTS' STUDIOS HIDE?

Visiting an artist's studio means entering an intimate field and breathing the creative environment that surrounds the author's work. When one enters this space, all senses are on to trace and locate those little details that tell us a little more about the spirit and thought of the artist, the corrected sketches, the rectifications, the essays, the tests pinned on the walls, the traces in reused paper, the notes, the newly sharpened pencils, the stains of paint... We speak of orderly chaos, of a sphere where work and inspiration coexist and that the creators resist sharing, because, sometimes, opening the doors of the studio is almost like opening the doors of the soul.

Visiting Rubén Martín de Lucas' studio during Art Madrid'19

These spaces also have a halo of mystery, intimacy and familiarity in which we must move forward cautiously, being careful not to go too deep, to discover the secrets as far as the artist wants to confess. But it is also the ideal opportunity to enter into direct communication with the work, to know the production process from its beginnings to the end, to understand the doubts, the intentions, the aim and the message of a project from the bowels.

In the past editions of Art Madrid, we were lucky to visit Rubén Martín de Lucas's and Okuda San Miguel's studios, guest artists in 2019 and 2018 respectively. With Martín de Lucas we were able to know in detail his great vital creative project “Stupid borders”, from which different concrete actions with their titles derive. Still, all of them respond to the same idea: deepen in the relationship of man with the earth and understand the artificial patterns that we impose as a society. In the studio, we could see his most recent pieces and understand the process of conception and expression, the reasons for choosing one discipline or another, his latest video works and the millions of notes and sketches of each line of the project.





Okuda San Miguel opened for us the doors of his studio in 2018. This large diaphanous white-painted unit looked like the perfect canvas for its multicoloured pieces, in the middle of shelves and tables full of spray cans. At the time of the visit, the artist was giving the final touches on the work "Lake of Desire" of 6x3 m, which he made exclusively for Art Madrid and could be seen at the entrance of the fair. This painting is inspired by the Garden of Earthly Delights by El Bosco, an author of reference for Okuda and that continues to arouse the interest, surprise and curiosity of many. The large format pieces coexist with small-sized enamels, in addition to sculptures, test boards and huge sketches for buildings' facades. Because Okuda works big and has a complete team that helps him focus on his work. As he explains, the creative process never stops, and having a team allows him to carry out so many projects at once.

Guillermo Peñalver, “Yo, dibujando” (detail), 2019

Some other artists make their own home their studio. This is the case of Guillermo Peñalver, to whom the ABC Museum of Illustration dedicated an exhibition within its program "Connections" with the title "Self-portrait inside." His voracity for the cropping, the use of paper in various shades, the overlapping of whites and the discreet use of the pencil make Peñalver's work a delicate and intimate one, like the scenes he recreates. In this case, the vision of his collages is like a visit to their house/studio, where the rooms become multipurpose spaces, and the daily actions take the stage. The last work of this author is a sincere exercise where he represents his day to day from the precarious reality of the creator that fuses his work with his daily activity.

FAC 2015

Honouring this direct relationship with the author that occurs when visiting the studio, David Heras launched his project FAC (Home Art Fair), which counts already on five editions. The idea is to foster an open dialogue with the creators by exhibiting their works in a domestic environment and eliminating traditional market barriers. Although the initiative continued to grow, the original proposal was born in David's own house, who opened his studio and his home to exchange, knowledge and experience. It is about linking to art from personal experience, meeting the artists and enjoying their work, whether in the kitchen, the living room or the bedroom.

 

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.