YOUNG ART: TALENT IN AND OUT OUR BORDERS

For the last decade, 'millennials' have become a trendy term and we heard often about the concerns of a new generation that has broken into the new millennium to address many of the challenges that the future has in store for us, with all its uncertainty and ambiguity. It is undeniable that any change, even if it generates a benefit, comes along with a time of transition in which the foundations and the structures that we believed to be immovable begin to crumble. The intrinsic evolution of these phenomena is linked to a sense of uneasiness that societies face from the collective support and from the need to open the debate on the concerns, as new and well-known, that marks our evolution and the fate of our time.

The new generation creators have made their way on the art scene, focusing part of their work on addressing topics that are intimately connected to the reality of the moment. It is the channel to subvert classicism, to make pieces that show commitment to the environment, to make their works a manifesto that transcends mere contemplation and becomes a form of plastic expression of a shared feeling.

Alejandro Monge

Black Series - The Wind, 2019

Oil on canvas

40 x 40cm

In Art Madrid, we have been able to verify this growing movement of artists of the new millennium that are detached from prejudices and archetypes to focus on issues of enormous social impact that affect us all. The number of young creators has been increasing in the latest editions of the fair, and it is also remarkable that the paths of expression chosen by many of them are fueled by artistic hybridization, the fusion of techniques, exploration beyond the image, the search for a second reading.

Today we remember the work of some of these authors who have visited us at the 15th edition of the fair and we get closer to their work.

Chen Sheng-Wen

Rusa unicolor swinhoei, 2018

Hilo de hierro e hilo flor danés

30 x 30cm

Chen Sheng-Wen

Martes flavigula, 2017

Hilo de bordar y lienzo, Plástico, Papel higiénico

25.5 x 25.5cm

Among the artists who show a concern for the excessive consumerism of our time, the depletion of resources or the future of an alienated society, we highlight the case of Alejandro Monge (Zaragoza, 1988) and that of Chen Sheng-Wen (Taichung, Taiwan, 1993).

Monge's work has on many occasions sought irony about the tangible value of money and superfluous appreciation of material things, often with art installations that replicated stacks of bills in bank deposits or safes. His latest, more pictorial works show a dark side of global society, drowned in its energy production needs and in the polluted and aggressive atmosphere in which we live in large cities.

For his part, Chen Sheng-Wen proposes a much more delicate hand-made work in which he represents the delicacy of nature and its need for care, reproducing with embroidery and mixed technique numerous animals from our immediate environment. Sheng-Wen's decision to use recycled materials, rescued from the forests usually inhabited by these beings, shows the lack of care for mankind and the degree of exposure to which these species are subjected.

Onay Rosquet

Attachments, 2018

Oil on canvas

200 x 200cm

Onay Rosquet

Tuesday, 2018

Oil on canvas

80 x 80cm

Onay Rosquet (Havana, 1987) moves in a similar line with a work that transmits a great aesthetic balance but allows multiple readings. Their boxes of papers, sometimes folded, others wrinkled or stacked, make us think about the problems of lack of communication in the society of our time while posing the dilemma of the appropriate use of resources and the generation of waste with high environmental impact. Of these two ideas, the first is the main line of his discourse: the era of hyperconnectivity leads to the paradox of the lonely, abandoned individual, who has lost the ability to interact in a non-technological way. A simple glance at his pieces makes us think of the thousands of words that do not arrive, the things that are not said, the feelings that are repressed in a context dominated by the pretending of happiness and the fake of perfection.

Art installation by Nina Franco at Art Madrid'20

Other creators emphasise social inequality. Nina Franco (Rio de Janeiro, 1988) tries to represent gender inequality and the harassment that many women suffer on a daily basis, especially in some patriarchal societies. Her work reflects a great concern for contemporary socio-political conflicts.

Adlane Samet

Tiens, 2016

Acrylic

144 x 120cm

Adlane Samet

Gants noir, 2018

Acrylic on canvas

100 x 80cm

For his part, Adlane Samet (El Harrach, Algeria, 1989) treats inequality from the perspective of its immediate environment, raising the question of where certain societies are located on the global scene, in which there seem to be first-class and second-class countries. His work is visceral and colourful, and the impulse of the brush strokes itself externalises that authentic and pure vitality of the environments not contaminated by imported ideas.

Cristina Gamón

60 Marina, 2016

Mixed media on methacrylate

81 x 130cm

Cristina Gamón

Colores Fronterizos, 2016

Acrílico sobre metacrilato

100 x 70cm

We also highlight the work of Cristina Gamón (Valencia, 1987), an artist who explores the evolution of painting with the incorporation of new materials and the integration of plastics as support. Her works remind us of landscapes of arid zones, laboratory experiments or the iridescent drawings of oil on water. She aims to offer a contemporary painting with representative materials of our time, without losing the expressive force of colour.

 

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.