The picturesque setting of the town is ideal for displaying art. :: SUR
Sometimes it is necessary to give credit where credit is due. For example Genalguacil, a town with only 500 residents, tucked away in the Genal valley, has hosted an art festival for the past 20 years. Organisers have prepared the most ambitious edition to date for this year’s International Festival of Art Encounters in Genalguacil.
The budget of the event is 100,000 euros - the highest in its history. The 11 projects that will be on show in the town between 31 July and 14 August are by artists who regularly exhibit in Spanish and international galleries.
Perhaps the most high-profile pair of artists is Eugenio Merino and Juan Francisco Casas. Merino’s work featured at the Madrid Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO), with pieces such as a sculpture of Franco standing inside a vending machine, or a figure of Damien Hirst aiming a gun at his temple. JuanFrancisco Casas gained notoriety for his hyperrealist drawings created with only ballpoint pens.
This year’s event contains a range of techniques and media. The other exhibiting artists are: José Luis Serzo, Daniel Silvo, Tamara Feijoo, Juan Zamora, Antonio Montalvo, Antonio Fernández Alvira, Félix Fernández, Nekane Manrique as well as local artists María Bueno, Alba Moreno and Eva Grau.
During the presentation of the festival, Mayor of Genalguacil, Miguel Ángel Herrera, said that this summer’s edition has the highest budget in its history. It has cost 100,000 euros, with 80,000 of that sum provided by the Provincial Government. “The project has become the economic engine of the town,” he said.
For the President of the Provincial Government, Elías Bendodo, the festival is “an international benchmark of urban art”. During the past 20 years, 132 artists have exhibited their work.
“It is a project that represents the province and the richness of Malaga’s cultural appeal,” continued Herrera.
This year, for the first time, each of the artists will be given 1,000 euros for presenting their work after they had been selected from 95 possible exhibitors.