Saturday, April 1

Galería Carles Poy

Installation shot, street view, at Galería Carles Poy, 1993. Wandering on the Ramblas, “Mortadelo and Filemon” comics jumped out at me. The creation of the Barcelona artist Ibañez, every kid in Spain grew up reading them.

After moving to Barcelona and finding my present studio live workspace a year later, Carles Poy opened his gallery just literally around the corner on Carrer Jupí. Discovering him around the corner and still being a bit disoriented after being here less than a year was a bit strange. The gallery was an intimate ground floor space with an upstairs mezzanine. He was amongst a group of young gallery owners who were betting on young upcoming artists. There were the Alcolea Brothers, who had Lino Silverstein in El Born which lasted a year and then their main galleries uptown, both brothers having a gallery each. There was Galería Benet Costa, Toni Bernini Gallery, Galería Thomas Carslens, and Metrònom, an incredible space in El borne. The art market boom in the 80s in New York and particularly in painting was the driving force for all these new young galleries betting on young artists in Barcelona. But, Barcelona doesn't and didn't have a very strong collector base. The collectors that did buy tended to buy very conservatively, and those who did buy work by younger emerging artists in terms of important collectors were very few.  It was an exciting time in Barcelona with a lot of young artists coming up and showing. Space was cheap, and all kinds of things were happening. The Contemporary Art Museum was built and everything seemed to be promising. But the art market crashed big time in the early 90s, and all these new galleries closed for one reason or another.  The Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, MACBA, recently finished, a big white thing by Richard Meyer, turned out to be a disappointment. It was underfunded from day one. Ham strung by budgetary constraints.

Installation view. Bunny painting. Galería Carles Poy, Barcelona, 1993.
Two Cowboys. Installation shot at Galería Lino Silverstein, 1990. This gallery lasted about a year.  Owned by Fernando Alcolea, he showed a number of high profile New York artists, probably the best known was Donald Baechler. They had some excellent shows there. I've always been interested in detritus, and these images were from a bow and arrow set which I found on the street on Carrer Escudiers. These were some of the first paintings I did after moving into a great live work studio set up.

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