YOUR FIRST ARTWORK: VENTURE YOURSELF IN THE WORLD OF ART COLLECTING

Perhaps, at first glance, getting started in the collection of contemporary art may seem complicated and even more if the potential buyers are not part of the specialized sector. However, from Art Madrid we want to encourage young collecting and accompany all those interested in entering the wonderful world of private collecting.

Perhaps we can highlight some keys that will help the audience to decide on a work: on the one hand, choosing artists whose careers are in an initial or intermediate state; on the other, start with those small format works made on paper. In addition, if possible, seek advice from gallery owners or even being able to meet the creator, will greatly help in making decisions. Of course, we must erase the possible barriers that still would condition the contemplation and acquisition of contemporary art and simply dare to know it from respect, imagination and personal background.

Virginia Rivas

El amor está en la tierra, 2017

Acrílico, grafito y cinta de carrocero sobre lienzo

20 x 20cm

Contemporary creation is much closer than we think; we have to remember that these artists live in our time and therefore may have very similar aspirations or concerns to ours. Although it seems otherwise, especially because of the variety of languages used by the contemporary artist, we can delve much better into his world view, since we have more tools to understand and it is closer to us than the one Titian, Goya or Picasso had. Anyone who has a real interest in entering the world of current art will discover that it is not as complex or encrypted as he may have thought, and if not understood, it must not be rejected either. Many times it is not about understanding or justifying each of the forms, it is more about enjoying, knowing the creative proposals and letting yourself be surprised. Of course, the viewer does not have to like everything that exposed, for the simple legitimizing act granted by the gallery or the museum, but neither has to deny all creation because of certain prejudices. Painting, sculpture, photography, audiovisuals, graphic work, technological art, living arts, action art... Art was never more open than in our days.

Manuela Eichner

Monstrenga, 2018

Objeto en PS

57 x 29cm

Rūta Vadlugaitė

A Cone, 2017

Oil on fabric

51 x 44cm

In a fair like Art Madrid, which has always stood out for being cosy and close, you can find very interesting and affordable works to get introduced into collecting such as the special edition of Guest Artist, Rubén Martín de Lucas. It is a limited series of photographs part of the series "Repúblicas Mínimas" and corresponds to the "Republic No. 12". Likewise, the work on paper by the young Rūta Vadlugaitė (Contour Art Gallery) could interest the starting collector. Her work, characterized by the roundness of the shapes and the large spots of colour, can be found in one of the stands of the One Project of this edition since this artist has been one of those selected by the critic Nerea Ubieto. Other participants of this curating program are Virginia Rivas (DDR Art Gallery) and Manuela Eichner (RV Art and Culture), from which you can also buy some of the pieces from their series at a very good price. It is the same with the work on paper by Cristina Alabau, poetic abstractions of nature.

Cristina Alabau

Espacio interior, 2018

Acuarela

15 x 30cm

In this edition, furthermore, the potential collector can also acquire works of different techniques or supports at fairly affordable prices. In this sense, it is possible that many would be interested in the work by Silvio Alino (3 punts), a young artist who creates a fun, fresh and colourful work within pop culture, through mixed techniques on canvas. Equally, surely the small format painting by Pepa Salas (Robert Drees) will captivate more than one: from a beautiful game of black and white and colour touches, her work usually hides mysterious stories. They are other worlds in which to introduce ourselves, such as the most naturalist by María Ortega Estepa (Galería Luisa Pita); the urban ones by José Juan Gimeno (Alba Cabrera Gallery); or the most imaginative and enigmatic by Carolina Bazo, Jacques Custer o Jessica Schneider (O-Art Project).

Silvio Alino

Pop Icon, nº 392, 2018

Mixed media on canvas

40 x 40cm

María Ortega Estepa

Soñe contigo la noche que comenzaba la primavera, 2018

Oil on canvas

60 x 40cm

Another work that could seduce the young collector is that by Carlos Tárdez (Bea Villamarín): wonderful sculptural pieces that stand out both for their aesthetics and for their critical messages. Between sculpture and silkscreen lies the work by Iván Baizán (Arancha Osoro), an artist that investigates the technical possibilities of printing to the point of arriving at a three-dimensionality very coherent with its maximum preoccupation: the architectonic and urbanistic tracings and our ways of inhabiting them. And if what interests you is sculptural abstraction you can get to know, in the same stand, the fine work in glass by Luis Parades (Arancha Osoro).

Carolina Bazo

Patrones, 2017

Photography

20 x 70cm

Carlos Tárdez

Atlas, 2018

Polychrome resin

14 x 7cm

Finally, we highlight the special editions of interesting artists that can be found in many of the galleries participating in Art Madrid, such as BAT Alberto Cornejo, Moret Art, Fucking Art or Rodrigo Juarranz, among many others. You just have to dare to get acquainted with contemporary art and chat to gallerists and artists.

It is true that there can be many reasons that explain the purchase of art, a wide range that goes from the pure passionate impulse that can be felt before a piece to the coldest, but also very necessary, purchase as an investment. In the first event, there are such famous cases in Spain such as Pilar Citoler, a great collector who always remembers with affection her first acquisition: the work "El Andaluz Perdido" by José Caballero in the Juana Mordó gallery in 1970. From that date, Citoler has continued to expand a rich and very heterogeneous collection, the result of the passion of a "pure", pioneering and avant-garde collector, concluding with the transmission of more than 1,200 works to the Government of Aragon. Almost a disease that continues to feed today: "there cannot be art without obsession" read one of the great exhibitions on her collection curated by the critic, and specialist in the collection, Alfonso de la Torre. In the second case, there are numerous outstanding national corporate collections, especially those that seek the art of new technologies such as the BEEP Collection, Inelcom or BBVA. It only remains to us to decide how and why we want to collect, with all options being as interesting as they are legitimate.

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.