The change in calendar—from late February to July 7-11—is the first thing that makes contemporary art fair Bow 2021 is going to be different. Outside of the usual circuit of dates, with fewer participants—120 galleries than in 2020—and 50% capacity due to the pandemic, it is time to reinvent ourselves with new ones. “Our idea is to transform the extravagance that transforms us into something positive, that visiting visitors, collectors and galleries will miss having, into a unique experience”, underlines its director, Maribel López.
for lopez, last year he was the head of the Madrid event and moving this new edition, he says, has made an extra effort: «We had to work very closely with all the galleries, respect those who could not come … But more than 50% will have an international presence and we will try to present Latin American galleries with a very special project for them. Thus, in this edition “a format different from the traditional one, a fluid space in which they will present works that do not require transportation, video art, and which will promote cohesion between galleries, which can give an appearance to one from Madrid”. is from Mexico who works with the same artist”, adds López, who defends that this is a moment to “think about new models and develop other ideas”.
Among these innovations, it’s worth highlighting the Artist Project section’s dedication to women only, “to give more visibility and support to female artists, and to normalize things.” And one of his ideas will be how to achieve sustainability in the art world, something that will be debated in the Arco Forum with conferences in a hybrid format. Because virtual space – like the e-exhibit, which began in March and will continue throughout the fair – will be another key to this extraordinary event.
In 1986, Juan Usley moved to New York on a scholarship. He was leaving for nine months but the city became a part of his life. In 2002 Santander Painter—National Plastic Arts Award—moved there with his wife, Valencian artist Victoria Cievera, and from the other side of the Atlantic he works on his exhibitions, such as retrospectives. eyes and landscape, which opened in February at the Valencian Art Center zens pump. Also from there he has produced proposals as a guest artist for Space. country Which can be seen in Arco. «It is an open space, with two large walls that open metaphorically like the pages of a book or newspaper, where painting and photography will be the protagonists of a dialogue and friction. I feel like a painter and I am committed to the medium I have practiced for decades, but photography is also with me, in and out of the studio. I wanted to keep the essential structure of the space as an open platform, where two large walls open metaphorically like the pages of a book or an open newspaper,” he explains.
The artist says that during the past year photography has served him as a means of escape: «During captivity I had the great privilege of being able to work every day in the studio. Also, somehow, artists, writers, musicians, etc., when it comes to work, we limit ourselves, because we are many days off. But we have mostly experienced mental confinement and we have all been affected. we have felt Pressure of news, of numbers and of protocol. During this time I’ve dreamed a lot about places I couldn’t go and I’ve run out with cameras to experience the outdoors and shoot beyond the membranes of my studio.”
Usley believes that these strange times may serve to re-humanize us: «Not everything has been negative in this period, many things that have affected us and broken our previous social routines, have Has helped us reflect and reconnect ourselves with those close to us. For us and recover the once neglected values and forms. We’ve seen the pollution index drop drastically in big cities in two weeks of confinement and things like that make us think a little more about fundamental values, the importance of taking better care of nature, our air, our planet. We have to try new forms or models of coexistence too.” His refuge has always been creation. « Making art is what gives meaning to my life and that’s why I need to do it every day When I haven’t worked in a studio, I feel like I haven’t breathed well,” he says, while humorously predicting a less noisy, but no less interesting arc: “Personally ‘I really like art and people in small doses, so I think it’s going to be a good year.
* Juan Usley (MPA-Moisés Pérez Albéniz Gallery) The invited artist at the EL PAÍS space in Arco is “a dialogue and a friction between painting and photography”.
From Genovese to Coral: When Art is in the DNA