JESÚS ANGEL PRIETO
Passionate about the decorative arts and an inclusive concept of art, in which its utility is discussed with the art market; Jesús Ángel Prieto, the director of the first and only Postgraduate Program of the Massana School of Arts, flatters us with his participation as our Guest Curator.
Thousands of design, art and photography students have attended his inspiring classes of History and Theory of Arts. Focused on a sociologic perspective and in the rescue of the so called decorative arts, like the artisan crafts ceramic and jewelry, the academic work of this recognized professor has been an inspiration for uncountable students in one of the most productive art schools with the longest artistic trajectory in Spain.
Artig Gallery presents a small and intimate curation designed by the Doctor in Sociology of Arts, Jesús Ángel Prieto. A selection of artworks to fit his home and with a poetic dialogue between them, that meditates from the happy childhood memories to the most conceptual thoughts.
Jesús, what is art for you?
Art is for me a human activity that tries to establish a bridge between our self and reality, where beauty (in its most vast and contradictory way) brings us back together with life and makes us happier.
What motivated you to develop an academic career in the art world?
The previous definition, which I discover when I was a child, thanks to my grandma taking me every Sunday to the movies and my dad with his love for painting, theater and literature.
What do you find enriching of being a professor in such a charismatic and artisan old-fashioned school, as the “Escola Massana”?
Above all, the constant learning from students, together with the School always being unsatisfied, never fully happy with itself.
As the director of the Post Grade in Applied Arts, ¿will you make a special distinction between the concepts of art, design and crafts?
No. Following the definition of art I explained at the beginning, beauty and kindness (together with truth) can be present in art, crafts and design. The utility or function (that keeps being the fundamental difference between art and crafts) doesn’t change the fact that crafts can also makes us feel and be happy (and above all they can even include the happiness of utility). I find the “inutility” of art a fake dilemma (of no more than 200 years) to justify its worth, with clear market intentions.
Which artistic movements or contemporary artists are catching your attention these days?
Those modest artists that keep kindly fighting to offer their creativity, from a small ceramic vase to an impressive audiovisual installation.
Who is the last emerging artist that impressed you?
Without trying to value any artist over other, I have been following (he was one of my students) a photographer that synthetizes a radical connection between reality (refugees, embattled youth) and a clean and pure way of understanding the language of photography and its compositions. And all of that in a tricky world where the net and social media creates an illusion of great diffusion of the artwork, however there is no professional reality to perceive a return that allows him to maintain himself economically. His name is David Molina Gadea.
How do you perceive the actual art market? Do you think it follows a trend?
This question is wordy of a doctoral thesis (there are some). I think that we move in two dimensions: the contemporary art that seeks for the impact and its speculative return (the one we see in museums and Biennales), and a modern art that doesn’t want to lose the personal touch, emotion and modest honesty.
As a doctor in sociology of arts, how will you define the taste of our era?
Pierre Bourdieu says that taste means and give us meaning. We are in such a complex time, expose to an aesthetic that follows the concerns and the comments of others, in which the latest news, the provocation and the speculation are what connect us with the outside world, a world that is constantly threating us to be expulse if we aren´t up to date to what is happening. However, I think there is also people that seeks to give an answer to that trend with an attitude that values authenticity over all, and that is not afraid of concepts such as tradition and ecology.
As a professor and curator, which are the most challenging aspects when showing and explaining the concept behind an artwork?
To show this: the artworks must speak for themselves through the poetry of the material, through the expressive ability of the producer, and how cohesive he or she is in terms of from and concept. Art is not philosophy, conceptual art: was a really interesting movement -in the 60´s- as the result of the dynamization of a really intense historic period. Crafts, design and art have to have a speech of what is impossible to say with words and can only be express through matter, and that is art strong point. Artist acting like philosophers, are, most of the time making a fool of themselves.
Which is your biggest challenge when giving contemporary art classes?
To share with my students the need to be participant and active in an area that mustn’t forget which its function is, its role in a world threated by colossal humanitarian and ecological crisis.
Any tip you can give to an emerging artist?
More than a tip him, I would like to share my enthusiasm with him.
Any tip you can give someone who wants to start their own art collection?
The same answer as before: to share the enthusiasm and hope, seeking for the greatest sincerity in the artworks.
Which artists from Artig Gallery caught your attention?
Besides the ones I selected for my curation (Luis G. Macpherson, Marcos Peinado, Eduardo Rubio, Robert Wunsch, Valentin Russo, Rosie Webb and Norberto Sayegh) the artworks by Gareth Griffiths.
Which line have you followed to develop your collection?
I imagined myself having the luxury of an exposition in my home, in my space. Inviting friends and family. To see if we could create a sensation, a sense of connection between these selected works. A thin thread, an intuition…something that wouldn’t allow me to write a curatorial text…maybe just a title, that says: “come, you are welcome”.
Tell us a little about your selection.
My house is small. Few pieces. That don’t compete, that talk with each other, even they never meet before. Maybe the connection between them is the ability of representing “reality”, playing with photography, illustration and painting. I think art has created a language that renews this bridge between ourselves and what surround us, and what is a part of the other “self”. In fact, our main problem is to mediate the reality we all live in through subjectivity, and the need of transform it to a reality that we all share through objectivity, in order to blend with it.
From the vivid hyperrealism of Luis G. Macpherson (Composición Cables) where the more you think you know about reality, the more distant you find yourself from it; to the synthesis with a clear need of visual peace by Marcos Perinado (Clocher de Collioure); and that ode to live and that lost paradise -always threated- of Eduardo Rubio (Java jumping children); or the overwhelming and dense cities of Rober Wunch (Shades of Grey) faced to the void, to a dematerialized world close to the Matrix of Valentin Russo (La Plage); and why not the innocence of Lewis Caroll´s childhood paradise by Rosie Webb(Madame Cockerel). And a visual poem that will end (or begin) the small and domestic exhibition, a paradox with a Zen touch: Apariencia en el espejo by Norberto Sayegh.
JESÚS ANGEL'S SELECTED ARTWORKS:
Eduardo RubioPhotographyDifferent sizes€250
Marcos PeinadoPainting130cm x 60cm€900
Norberto SayeghPainting100cm x 81cm x 3cm€1,800
Robert WunschPhotographyDifferent sizes€856
Rosie WebbFramed Print33cm x 33cm x 1.5cm / 40cm x 40cm x 1.5€65
Valentin RussoPhotographyDifferent sizes€127