Artistas Del Barrio, the opening of Artist’s studios, took place over the weekend of the 7-8th of October, inviting all to delve into the renowned art world of Madrid. This special edition was held in Malasaña and Chueca, well-known hotspots for youth, individuality and creativity which is permitted through fusions of cultural freedom.
The sites were dotted around the area in bars, houses and workshops, the street and other public areas, with special ‘Points of Discovery’ sporadically spread across the barrios. Armed with a map, although we struggled to navigate it, we embarked on our art treasure hunt. What more could you ask for?
There was a such a variety of styles, mediums, and stories. This was helped by the differing locations; some of the art was so interwoven into the daily lives of the artists, we were literally sitting at their kitchen table admiring the pieces around us. It felt like we were being invited into their world, allowing us to fully understand their art and the passion behind it.
One of the first artists we came across was Mariano Durante.
Mariano Durante entered the world of graphics in 1979 as an assistant to his father who was a silk printer in Madrid. Since then, Durante has dedicated himself to the edition of art, printing works of artists such as Arroyo, Gordillo and Saura, whilst himself also evolving into an expressive artist. He combines his work as a printer with the creation of his personal work – manipulating painting; sculpture; engraving and silkscreen printing – and teaching.
Using the streets and physical structures as inspiration, Durante explained how he likes to focus on lines, intersections and connections. Whether they are harmoniously fabricated and interlinked or harshly jarring and contradictory. Such ‘simple’ inspiration serves his explosive pieces; the relationship between form, shape and colour is striking throughout his work.
Lazaro Totem’s surrealist piece: ‘Street Eyes’.
We are constantly being watched. Totem uses pyschographic surrealism to form pieces only our subconscious is fully capable of interpreting and connecting with; they are aimed to draw on the viewer’s true current emotional situation, consequences of their family tree, education, society and experiences. All factors of life we often have little control over. Mastering a wide range of mediums, he aids to create pieces that pose questions, observations and reflexions for the viewer.
‘Libertad’ by Mia Madrid and featured artist.
Feminist artist, Mia Madrid, believes photographs are constructed as a metaphor for the thoughts and emotions trapped inside, unable to be fully expressed in other forms. They begin as a conception of mental images that generally translate into sketches before being materialised in a ‘shot’ and subsequent editions of the digital image.
People, props and location are vital in the creation of her fictional scenes. This coupled with touches of dream-like qualities and surrealism characterise her work. Mia Madrid explained that her intention is that the viewer is held in the fragments that break up reality, form unanswered questions and give the image a personal interpretation. She later added that she relies heavily on composition and colour to transit sensations and emotions, with blue being one of her favourites.
These intentions are clearly evident in her piece exhibited in Artistas de Barrios. Here, art has been brought into the streets and freed. Libertad. The statement of the piece, felt, seen and written: all the senses are invited to be freed. The cages of birds, an iconic symbol of female freedom, have be utilised to represent society. The doors of the cages have been opened; we can free ourselves. This is combined with the sentiment of opening up art and its meaning to the street, or public.
We were invited to write down any word of joy, peace or happiness you wanted behind the feature in return for an origami bird. Again, further allowing viewers to become part of this piece and the story behind it.
Paintings by Juana Gonzalez.
Digital graphics by Nickillustration.
‘Hogar’ by Almudena Mora.
A multi-discipline artist developing his work through the employment of different mediums: collage, installations and action, painting, engraving and print. The themes of his works revolve around women, time, memory and nature.
Pablo Sola (Madrid 1984) – photographer and creator of installations.
A ‘shocking’ artist whose projects work as a ‘vomit’ or ‘birth’ (depending on the beauty or darkness of the sensation) that provoke the everyday rebellion of art against the lethargy we call life by recreating irregularity which always refers to someone or something of ‘real life’. His objective is to entangle understanding of the human body with the perception of its artistic representation as a prison.
This is just a small insight to the artistic sphere of Madrid. A city bursting with creatives and thus and sense of expressive freedom; clearly depicted within the variety of art shown.