Time to see (and buy) art

/ 2 June, 2015

(…)Several contexts and artistic firms thread in Fontanals-Cisneros a taste and a concept for gathering art from wherever it may be. That is why Cuba, an island and a cultural power, is part of the network of her restlessness as a woman who can buy, who wants and needs to appreciate, who shares a too tangible artistic heritage with an interested audience. For Ella and her collection, Cuba is also the bearer of decisive names somewhat distanced from abstraction—Ana Mendieta or Félix González-Torres—, although the cause of our dialogue is very specific: the abstraction treasured in the Cuban variant. (…)
As a collector, are you interested in abstract artists, in the pieces that are abstract or in those outlining elements of that nature?
That is something difficult to define. It does not work that way. I am very much interested in abstraction. I did not begin with Cuban artists but, many years ago, with Latin American artists in general and, then, with others with an international reach. How did I do it? Almost without noticing it. At the beginning, I was attracted by everything having to do with that trend and, little by little, I began to discover artists and poetics which interested me in painting, sculpture and even photography… It was different with Cuba. When I arrived at the island I already had a collection of Latin American geometrical abstraction and was not fully informed of the existence in the country of a group of Concrete or geometrical artists. When five or six years ago someone drew my attention to their existence, I agreed to see their work. They showed me a piece by Loló and I was fascinated with it. Then I went to the National Museum of Fine Arts to learn about what was there of abstraction. I found a magnificent painting by Raúl Martínez, fell in love with it and began to search, to inform myself (…).
Being a collector, what is more important is process… at least, for me it is. It is much more important than owning the painting, the art piece. The process begins by knowing who the artist is, what he does, what he thinks, how is he going to do his work and in what context does he work. These are the questions I ask myself when I am about to buy a work of art.
It may not always take place like that. It has happened to me. It occurred with Gustavo Pérez Monzón. (…)
The following step is lending the work and having many enjoy it. I think this is how we, collectors, shouldact. (…)

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