I must admit that I am not much of a modern art guy, despite what my work as a freelance designer may suggest. Maybe because I don’t know much about trends or because I don’t have a formal education on the matter, after a few years trying to understand classical movements, I see most of the current works as iterations of already created styles. It feels like I have encountered those pieces of welded metal somewhere else before, or those neon-colored splashes on delicate paintings in any modern art museum. Being my wife an Art Historian herself, I asked her if my concept of modern art was correct this time and, surprisingly, she answered yes.
That does not mean that everything I saw at Art Madrid ’18 was unoriginal or uncreative. I was surprised by some of the works, there were some that I liked, others that I loved; some really innovative and some purely beautiful. It was a pleasant experience to walk through those walls full of creative energy. I loved how some of the pieces made me feel a mixture of darkness and intrigue. After all, I think art is there to make us think and feel, and even invite us to put ourselves in the artist shoes. On the other hand, the more I try to write about this exhibition and art in a broader spectrum, the more I realize that I don’t know anything about it.
One of the main guests at this edition of Art Madrid is Okuda San Miguel, a Spanish artist who uses colorful and geometric compositions in his works. He has been painting walls all over the world and I already knew him from the Kaos Temple, a desacralized church that he painted a few years ago, not far from where I lived in Asturias. For me, seeing any of his recognizable works was a breath of fresh air. I love the simplicity and volume of his sculptures and paintings.
Although it was great to see Okuda’s pieces in the exhibition, there was an artist that I really connected with. Guim Tió Zarraluki’s paintings were something else. There is some kind of minimalism in his paintings that evokes a journey into the unknown or the lifestyle of simpler times. Definitely, one of the few artists from whom I would hang one of his works in my house. Art Madrid ’18 is one of those events that makes living in Madrid a completely different experience when compared to life in the smallest city I’ve lived in since I was born, so I can’t complain at all.
Cañas and tapas!
The highlight of the evening came after the art exhibition. We walked a couple streets around Plaza Mayor and that’s everything you need to find good tapas, from a fried cod to churros or fried calamari sandwiches. And never subestimate an old and ugly entrance to a bar in Madrid: that usually means a typical place that’s stuck in time, where you’ll feel like it’s the 70s or 80s or 90s again. Yes, I’m talking about out-of-fashion erotic posters and the finest anchovies tapas in the city.