"We live in total isolation, everyone in their own world, their own fil, their own story, disconnected from the present moment and the other people that cross our path," said Marbella photographer Jesús Chacón of the inspiration for his latest work, 'Instantes/Invisibles', which took up a relatively small 3,100 square-metre portion of Art Marbella this year.
After four short years, the modern and contemporary art trading fair, which took place from 20 to 25 July, has become an important part of the art collectors' calendar. The recipe for its success? High quality and diverse art.
Forty-one galleries took part, setting up stalls at the Palacio de Congresos and bringing together acclaimed, recognised artists combined with fresh new talents who were ready to shine. Alongside the young Chacón, whose work was displayed by Es Arte Gallery, and Inma Femenía, a promising artist that has already attracted buyers, including the Valencian regional government, were works from some of the most highly prized artists of modern times, such as Miró, Warhol and Tàpies. Altogether, the festival featured around 500 works of art with prices ranging from 1,000 to 500,000 euros.
The British sculptor Anish Kapoor, whose work is normally displayed in the prestigious Carreras Múgica gallery in Bilbao, piqued collectors' interest, as well as sought-after Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, who, faithful to her vow to give more visibility to women from Islamic society, exhibited a selection of striking photographs, like 'Women in Line' (pictured).
Women in art
Female artists were featured prominently at this year's Art Marbella: more than 75 women displayed their work. As well as Neshat, some of the more well-known names at the festival included Ángela de la Cruz, Isabel Muñoz, Pilar Albarracín and Helena Almeida. As part of the show's commitment to providing much-needed exposure to women in art, five of the 41 participant galleries were dedicated solely to female artists.
Visitors were given the opportunity to experience the exhibition in the way that the artists intended, using the 'Artist Voice' service which allowed them to tour the exhibitors while listening to the creators describe their processes by way of smartphone.
In addition to the Spanish art galleries, exhibitors from Portugal, Uruguay, Sweden, the US, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, China, Slovakia and Switzerland took part in the event. "For this year's edition we wanted to slightly reduce the number of exhibitors so that we could offer larger, unobstructed stands, superior to those at other art fairs, and a larger VIP area," explained Alejandro Zaia, director of Art Marbella.
The event also featured seven special projects, none of which had been seen before in a gallery, with work from a broad selection of artists, from as far as the Middle East and as close as those on the doorstep in Marbella. A highlight was the Genalguacil Pueblo Museo, an open air museum in that Valle del Genal village, near Ronda, whose stand showed how biannual art shows sponsored by the local council have transformed the village.