Highly selected ‘preemergence’ creators made stays at multipurpose Espronceda center, where they can live, produce and present
The wins Henrik and Holger Sprengel, along with two Italian artists, hold an art center in Barcelona as discreet as unusual. The Center pays Espronceda stays creative young artists and exhibitions of half the world, authors ‘preemergence’ already despunten but have not yet made their way into the difficult market of contemporary art. “Our main goal is to bring artists from outside Barcelona so they can show their art to the public here and take with new contacts in international cultural sector,” explains Holger Sprengel as normal.
He, like his brother, is a multireincidente entrepreneur who has opened several successful online and offline -restaurants Vietnamese businesses, tourists rental scooters, video games, books … customizable – and settled eight-year-twelve in the case of Henrik- in the Catalan capital. They have always been interested in creativity, but plans to open a cultural center arose in 2013 following an unexpected opportunity. His friend and partner, Elia Sabato, also Italian artist living in Barcelona, met by chance a set of old workshops Navas neighborhood (Sant Andreu) who started reconverted into ateliers of artists. “We learned that they had been released three ships and decided to rent them to rehabilitate, was very spontaneous!” He laughs. They are in an alley that has no official name not appear in Google Maps. Being perpendicular to the street Espronceda, just call ‘passage Espronceda’. Tenants of this hidden oasis just open their studios to the public and prefer not to attract attention, aware of the serious shortage of comprehensive and affordable spaces in Barcelona.
These three car repair shops are now a multifaceted cultural space which also adopted the name of the street and poet, well soundproofed and for various uses. A ship contains apartments in which artists are housed. Opposite are the large kitchen, which acts as a shared living for residents and can accommodate from gastronomic events to yoga sessions. On the other hand, there are studies-from painting, sculpture, multimedia … – in which artists produce new works. And finally there is the ship of the gallery, which exhibited before returning home.
The usual profile “guest,” explains the German businessman, is a foreign author of around thirty, that begins to live his talent but still sells little work. Visiting Barcelona can last from two to twelve weeks, but usually lasts four or five. The creators self-manage their schedules and tasks-codesign and the center exposure assumes the dissemination of the event, making the catalog and “comisariado”- and if they want, can also visit the city with the scooter that serve them. “At first we feared that spend the day at the beach, but no way, we are surprised that demonstrate the enormous productivity,” says Sprengel to the evil-minded. “They are aware that this will be a striking point on your resume and important people come to the shows, do not want to fail,” he adds.
Although not close the door to welcome artists who are self-financing the stay, with an estimated cost of 950 euros per month according to the website of the center, only in English, they do not promote this route. “We prefer to make a very hard choice, very good people come and scholarship us,” responds Sprengel. With hardly advertise, they receive dozens of requests. They usually choose to recipients personally, but sometimes rely on the criterion of professional juries, such as the prestigious Venetian Laguna Art Price competition: between the four prizes they can choose the winners is a free stay in the Espronceda. The College of Art in London, added, also want to send them a couple of students who choose half.
Alejandro Martin, curator and collaborator of the center as commissioner, adding that just closed a deal with New York Artist Pension Frost, the largest collection of contemporary art in the world: “We have chosen one of their recommended residences, which involves dissemination more than 2,500 artists and many requests to come to Barcelona “. They also maintain good ties with Italy, for example with the University of Fine Arts in Rome and the association of art critics I Martedi Critici through the fourth partner in this adventure, artist and researcher Tarsitano Savina, Italian living in Brussels .
The artists “guests” are the hospitality of Espronceda two ways. On the one hand, they give one of the works that have been created in Barcelona to the collection center, which is expanding gradually. On the other, if they sell part of the above, Espronceda gets a commission of 45% of the amount. “But the purpose of the stay is not selling, is to serve as a catalyst for his career,” says Sprengel. “And in general, it sells very little: a table, two … or none,” he admits. Prices are not for millionaires -there original work by 300 or 400 euros, but local demand is minimal: “The reality is that art is bought in Barcelona, is not like Madrid or London, this market is not developed and that’s too bad for artists “he stresses.
The Espronceda is one of the areas of relationship and social life of the community dynamics ‘expat’ of Barcelona, mainly formed by young professionals Westerners. The networking loved all leisure activities in these circles, whose frank languages are English and Spanish. Instead, the relationship with the local sociocultural fabric runs at half speed. In the case of contemporary art, for example, Espronceda not maintain any link with the very close and pioneer Ivanow Nau, a former factory converted into a cultural container.
In late February, due to local contact Alejandro Martin, the Espronceda host for the first time in its three-year history a sample of authors from Barcelona and Catalonia, from Hangar and the Faculty of Fine Arts at the UB. “We started very focused on building international ties and bring artists from outside, but now we want to connect with centers and creators of here,” Martin explains. Another line of work over the medium term stays for commissioners and curators and art critics.
The last artist who has exhibited in Espronceda has been an exception in every way possible. Kazakh Tolkyn Sakbayeva, 25, has spent five months producing new work in the Espronceda, but lives with his sister in an apartment in the city since mid 2013. His style is inspired by Impressionism and Cubism – chose Barcelona years of study here Picasso and since age 4 is devoted almost exclusively to drawing. Nevertheless, international criticism has started to focus on his other feature Tolkyn: born with severe cerebral palsy. It took a special exam to be accepted at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Almaty, his hometown.
His first exhibition with pieces for sale -more than 50- Espronceda has been in this fall and have extended until January 11. It has already sold half a dozen pieces and has some more “apalabradas”. The family in not dedicated to the art, his father is a scientist and his mother a teacher, but has turned to the vocation of the middle daughter, whom doctors and teachers had given so little hope of a future career. Both sisters and exercise of managers in English and Spanish touting achievements Tolkyn, name in Kazakh means ‘wave’. Coy and flirtatious, he receives praise from Alejandro Martin and her sisters naturally. “When no longer frustrated by not being able to paint small details-because of the motor limitations-, has found his own style,” explains the curator.
Coincidence or fate, these months Tolkyn has come into contact with the drivers of the first self-managed school Catalunya, Arcadia, with which it has begun to collaborate. It tests for them architectural barriers Ships Can Batllo and methodology for teaching art. In addition, 20% of sales in Espronceda exposure allocated to the project, which would open doors in 2018. “Participate in school as a workshop or as a teacher,” agrees Naomi Valero, adding that “it is essential” that the school Expect “adults concerning functional diversity”.
For its part, the family drives Sakbayeva a foundation in Kazakhstan, ARTolerance to help artists without resources or discriminated against for any reason. “We will open soon a kickstarter [an Online micropatronage] to fund new exhibitions and the work of the foundation,” he adds Togzhan Sakbayeva’s older sister.
Beginning of this year have reached Espronceda new guest artists. It is one of Marseille and Madrid Remy O. Manuel Leyva, who from 21 to 31 January will show their work at the exhibition The way you move. A half of January come two young Berlin artists, which lived in the ateliers with One and Leyva and also have their own exhibition scheduled for February.
In May he will give an artist talk, Ernesto Canovas. This 44 Barcelona moved a decade Great Britain, where he studied Fine Arts and triumphed with his paintings and drawings made, that the London celebrities buy at a good price in a gallery of exclusive Mayfair. Your resume accumulates numerous solo and group exhibitions and catalogs, awards and exhibitions. This, however, abroad. The ignorance of this author in his hometown has been Espronceda to invite to “make known” in Catalonia. “It will be three or four weeks here,” Sprengel progresses.
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