Alternative contemporary art initiatives happening.
According to a recently published research, the spanish art market has reduced it´s size by a third (from 2007 to 2011).
The research includes many probable reasons for this decrease, but the one that calls my attetion the most is “the lack of true art collectors“. There are maaaaany other reasons but let me just make a point here … What about the millions and millions of tourists that visit Spain each year? (2012 figures predict a new ever record). We are the second or third most visited country in the world. How many of those visitors collect art and know something about contemporary Spanish art? (… and I don´t mean Picasso here, ehhh!!).
Traditionally, spaniards believe that foreign contemporary artists are better than local ones (this way of thinking not only happens with spanish artists). Many brilliant spanish artists have had to stablish themselves abroad in other to succeed. Once they get certain international authority they come back and it´s then when we all appreciate their work, otherwise we normally don´t. So how do you change this “inferiority complex“? How do you transform this cultural heritage that doesn´t changes overnight?.
In a previous post I talked about how some Barcelona´s contemporary art galleries are promoting emerging artists. This is a kind of new initiativeneeded!!. A contemporary art dealer who came to see my abstract paintings last tuesday, told me that the latest Laurent Lo bambu sculpture exhibition she organized in Barcelona was a total success (70% of the sculptures exhibited were sold, not to tell the indirect sales generated after the exhibition). What they did is an example of what is called guerrilla marketing. They rented a fantastic alternative place, adapted it for the exhibition, contacted people by phone, emailing, blogs and social media, did not show prices, included a coherent artworks selection, build a good credible story around the exhibition, and just 3 days later they disappeared!. Brilliant, isn´t it?
Let me give you another example of an alternative art initiative worth knowing. The name for this contemporary art events is Movimiento en blanco. The creative mind behind the idea is Bárbara Aurell (a Barcelona´s young and talented interior designer). who says that she does it “POR AMOR AL ARTE” (for the love of it; for the love of art).
Each month at her Barcelona studio, Bárbara exhibits the creations of an artist selected by her. A mix of different people join, relax, see the artworks, drink some wine, meet new people, listen to the artist explanation of what hungs on the walls, and get back home after having had a great art soiree. By the way, Bárbara has to invite you personally to attend this 1 and only night exhibition.
What Bárbara does, reminds me of Gertudre Stein´s Paris soirees. This impressive art lover and collector got not only famous for her superior art collection (she said she collected genius instead of paintings) but also for her early Saturday evenings at 27 Rue de Fleurus, an event where Picasso, Matisse and maaaaaaany other artists met in the first years of the 20th century.
By the way, Antonio Basso (me :)) will be exhibiting his abstract art at Movimiento en Blanco next march 2013. I´m excited about it!!.
Hope you have enjoyed this article. What ideas would you suggest to help spanish artists and the local art market recover?. What other alternative art venues do you know about?. Please share your thoughts and ideas below in the comment section, and help spread the word by sharing this post pressing any of the social media buttons.
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October 9, 2012 - 4:45 pm
I don’t think that spanish artists are any different from artists all over the world.Some you like and some you don’t.What would I say to help spanish artists?The world is moving toward a global community where we will be one people .No,it isn’t the oppressive thing we have been hearing about.That will fade soon and be replaced by a more just and peaceful world.Help bring this to fruition.Don’t follow trends.The art scene is very fascist.Move away from it and creat from your heart.Feel love for us all while you work.That will come through in your art.It’s new.It’s progressive.Don’t listen to art critics.Paint from your heart more than your mind.Stay away from media.It lies to you.Use lots of bright colors to lift our spirits.We need your help.God has given you this gift.Use it to make this a better world.Smile more often.
October 9, 2012 - 4:49 pm
Brilliant and optimistic contribution Dan. Thanks for participating.
October 10, 2012 - 8:14 am
To go abroad is not an infiriority complex I beleive. Even int 16 th 17 18 and 19 th century artist used to travel abroad especially to Italy and learn other thecnics
October 10, 2012 - 10:08 am
Hello Queta, I agree with you that artists of those periods travelled in orther to learn new techiques. Good point!.
Thanks for joining and commenting.
October 10, 2012 - 12:38 pm
We are all one people,Queta.There are no countries.It’s all just land,God’s planet and we are free to go anywhere we want.Only man makes contrivances like countries and borders.They don’t really exist.
October 10, 2012 - 1:13 pm
What you say would be ideal but unfortunately iit doesn’t really iexists Todayí
October 10, 2012 - 1:25 pm
I know it doesn’t exist today,Queta.An illusion exists.That is what we are living,an illusion,not a reality.
October 10, 2012 - 1:29 pm
A free world is what God gave us.We,as artists,have to show this to the world and help bring it back to it’s natural state.That is our duty.That is why God gave us these gifts,not to make money or satisfy false ego but to heal .
October 10, 2012 - 10:54 am
Es una opinión..
Para un gestor cultural, exponer un artista local, significa, tomar una posicion, frente al otro artista local que no expone, Esto genera conflicto, muchas veces por incorformismo de los propios artistas. es mas comodo, exponer gente de afuera, y no generar conflicto. Muchos Centros de arte, en donde se exponen artistas locales, el poder esta tomado, por un grupo de artistas muy vinculados al que gobierna, por amistad o por ejercer presion. El politico se acomoda a este grupo, entendiendo que es una representacion de todos. Es lo mismo que el niño, pequeño que es muy revoltoso, acaba demandando mayOr atencion, y si hay un caramelo,, mejor darselo al niño moleston, y tener la fiesta en paz.
El problema y eso lo podemos ver constantemente, es como en los nucleos de poder que representan a los artistas, muchas veces las ocasiones interesantes no salen del ambito privado…Quien no sabe mas de un caso…
Es misión de los centros de arte traer de afuera, lo que aqui pueda ser interesante para la comunidad. La comunidad al final es la que paga, y se le debe dar un servicio. Otra cosa son los gestores, que aprovechan su poder de desicion, para favorecer por amistad o beneficio propio, una determinada exposicion o artista, que no va a despertar interes alguno en el medio en donde se encuentra hubicado el centro expositivo. Acaba ocurriendo que el espacio, a pesar de lo que uno se gaste en promocion, es bonito, pero sin publico.
Juan Canals Carreras
October 10, 2012 - 11:08 am
Hola Juan, muy interesante tu opinión y visión. Seguro que añade valor a este debate. Como tú bien explicas, la naturaleza humana es como es y no es tan sencillo mantenerse 100% neutral a la hora de tomar decisiones. Pueden ser muchos “los factores” que intervegan a la hora de elegir uno u otros artistas.
Muchas gracias por compartirla aquí.
October 10, 2012 - 1:55 pm
I also would like it was that way but hope is the last we must loose. Many changes have to be done …. But some day it will be a reality
October 10, 2012 - 2:40 pm
You can help make this a better world,Queta.We all need your love and art.Love energy is all that really exists.Do art describing this.Help us make it happen.God will love you for it.Spread the word.Smile.Be nice to people.Don’t be afraid of ANYTHING.Fear is what they use to keep us enslaved.Break those chains with loving kindness to everyone and everything,like God wants you to do.You don’t know how absoluteley important your influence is.Tell everyone you know.It’s that simple.
October 11, 2012 - 10:43 am
Thanks for talking about the event we organised last May in Barcelona around Laurent “Lo” work…specially for “guerrilla marketing”. I like it !.
As you point out, Esfera Bambu, was a great sales success but it was not the goal. It was just the consequence of a different art approach in which prevailed not the sale but the exchange of ideas and experiences between the artist and the audience. I really mean bidirectionally. Laurent “Lo” talked about his travels, knowledge, concerns, creative process…but even more, he was interested on people thoughts to learn from them new ideas and feelings. He wanted to soak up different experiences. From his own bamboo world, he looked for approaching other professional areas as architecture, engineering, design or medicine where bamboo is valued and used. Dialogue and feedback.
The world has changed. We live in a global world where people want to know and to understand what is going on by themselves…Everything is closer than before and we have the tools to get closer. In the art world structures and “modus operandi” are changing too. The artists are no longer inaccessible or accessible just by their galleries. They are placed in a global showcase, Internet, connecting people..meeting them at their studios or workshops.
An exhibition “at usual” in which the public look around and that´s all (well, maybe something else as reading the catalogue ) has no place and no sense. Most of us need more. Of course, buying or selling a piece of art provides satisfaction but it should not be the goal for consumers nor for gallery owners. It must be the consequence of the enjoyment of art experience which is much more extensive than a commercial transaction.
October 11, 2012 - 2:28 pm
Hello Mercedes, first off all thank you for taking your time and adding your thoughts and believes here at yasoypintor. Can not agree more with yout last paragraph. Art galleries (as far as I´m concern) are struggling to survive!. Art aficionados and or collectors requiere a different and evolutioned approach. The world is changing beacuse we are all changing and as you say “it all must be the consequence of the enjoyment of art experience which is much more extensive than a commercial transaction”.
April 15, 2013 - 8:59 am
[…] months ago I wrote about how the Spanish art market had collapsed, and discussed the need to reinvent the way Galleries exhibit, at least in Barcelona, and why new […]