Barcelona SWAB 2016 Barcelona SWAB - Impressions

From 29 September to 2 October the ninth edition of the international contemporary art fair of Barcelona (SWAB) took place. SWAB is considered the only art fair founded by collectors seeking to break with the elitist image of contemporary art to make it more accessible. This time involving 75 galleries from 25 different countries like Portugal, Argentina, Japan, Colombia, Italy, Switzerland, among others. Besides having numerous parallel activities, this year the fair promoted Focus Maghreb, a conglomerate of art collectives from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, In-Out a curated art project of galleries from Barcelona and Cross-Boundaries: Moving Images from China , a small group of filmmakers who presented a series of films created by three emerging artists from China. During this day filled with contemporary art we let ourselves be inspired by a series of young artists and pieces that caught our attention that we love to share to our collective.

“Rendering Landscapes” by Santiago Giralda (Madrid, Spain)

Santiago Giralda painting

One of the most powerful artworks of the fair was the series of paintings "Rendering Landscapes" and collages "Series B" created by Santiago Giralda. With oil on canvas the artist explores the concept of landscape using extracts from existing images of specific locations. The artist choose a range of mountains, glaciers and icebergs to portray through abstract pieces composed in different levels on the canvas.

“Rythmic Manufacture” by Amor Muñoz (Mexico, 1979)

Amor Muñoz

The artist makes a performance for 8 hours, while using a metronome, to graphically portray the labor rate at which workers at factories are conditioned. The action consists of drawing during the entire working day for a week, she portrays with watercolors on paper a series of electronic components and functional objects. Once she has completed the stipulated time, the result is a huge amount of drawings outcome of the robotic process, in which the electronic components portrayed lose their functionality to become mere two-dimensional representation.

“República del Amazonas” by Luciano Denver (Buenos Aires, 1975)

Luciano Denver

Luciano is an argentine artist who lives and works in Bogotá. In SWAB he exposed, along the gallery SGR Bogota, a series of digital composed photographs that caught our attention. Luciano through thousands of photographic pieces digitally builts up a series of spaces and places he calls "Republics" which do not exist in rea life, however he wants to generate a feeling between the familiar and fiction to the viewer.

Juan Uribe (Colombia)

Juan Uribe

Another work that caught our attention in SWAB 2016 was Juan Uribe, part of the SGR gallery from Bogotá. The artist's work is almost poetic, with an expressive and casual lettering the artist makes ironic and insightful phrases on different topics. This time his work revolves around the concept of "architecture".

"Photography as Object" de Patrick Grijalbo (Bilbao, 1984)

Patrick Grijalbo

A work that caught our attention was the photographic series of Patrick. In it, the artist breaks with the original referent of the image and giving it object values. This is how, photographs, become a delicate series of sculptures in various dimensions, taking as a central element depth and focus of each piece. The portrayed spaces come alive to become objects of admiration and collection.

Mr. Brainwash (Los Angeles, California)

Mr. Brainwash

One of the star pieces of SWAB was the work of Mr Brainwash, the famous street artist, friend of Banksy, who lives on the thin line between fiction and reality. Born under the name Thierry Guetta, this French-born artist plays with iconic images of our culture, previously handled by Warhol or Banksy himself, to makes them his own. On this occasion he presented "Tomato Spray" work made with mixed media materials on paper, that symbolically portrays the Campbell's Soup Cans as spray graffiti. In addition he exposed a series of portraits of Marilyn Monroe in various colors.