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AGNES - Barcelona's Emerging Art Scene

AGNES - Barcelona's Emerging Art Scene

We were lucky to sit down with our friends at new art label, AGNES. We spoke about emerging art, their previous exhibition and Barcelona’s emerging art scene. Founders, Nacho Dura and Aurora Gonzalez Diaz are a talented duo, who are friends and collaborators of Can Pep Rey. They recently exhibited with Juan Diego Thielen at Olivart Gallery and are already talking about their next exhibition plan in the Summer season. The El Peso De Lo Etero inauguration was an unforgettable evening. Filled with friendly faces, art enthusiasts and artworks that took your breath away. 

When did you first come up with the concept for AGNES?

We started speaking about the concept during the Summer. We would’ve liked to have a bit more time to plan and possibly have more resources to plan everything better. Luckily, we found out that a gallery in El Born was closing. We got in contact with the gallerist at Olivart Gallery, who told me she was going to close her gallery in two months. I started talking about Juan Diego and she said she just said she had confidence in us. We got offered the space for the last week of April, which gave us three weeks to plan everything.

That sounds stressful. What were the first things you started planning?

The posters, Instagram, press emails, the logo. There’s so much to think about. The weeks before the inauguration we had to speak to Juan Diego to ask him to do the exhibition. Paul was there when I approached him, we were all watching flamenco and having a few drinks. I turned to Juan Diego and said “I want to represent you, I have a space to exhibit your work, but it would have to be in three weeks.”For me, it's more about focusing on your on your vision, with more of your mission in mind.

What was your main objective when creating the business plan for AGNES?

Connecting emerging and mid career artists with collectors and institutions. We also wanted to push the art scene in Barcelona. Our first goal was to make Juan Diego visible in the cities art scene. Our objective was not to sell art, it was to show Juan Diego’s talent and sell something if we could. We expected maybe a hundred people and to get some press coverage. The outcome exceeded our expectations.

Tell us about the day of the exhibition?

On the opening of El Peso De Lo Etero I think we were both panicking. We didn’t expect to have anyone turn up, but at 6pm it was already full outside. People were really amazed by the gallery space. Lots of people came into the gallery because of the ambience. We had so many obstacles to work with and a very tight budget.  Somehow we managed to get drinks sponsors - Moritz, Lov Ferments and Picofino.

What can we expect in the future from AGNES?

We might plan something during the Summer. Most importantly we want to curate exhibitions that make you feel like you reflected in some way. Maybe it will make you feel an emotion you have felt before. We want to make people think about the art that they see. In Barcelona there is so much nightlife and good parties. We want to do something different, to make people see something they wouldn’t usually. Like I think that these things are not prepared to be seen properly. If you come to Barcelona, how do you know what's going on in emerging art? Like most art scenes, the world of art is very elitist. Art dealers and collectors don’t usually focus on what is next. I think emerging art is also usually communicated badly.

I guess at the end of the day institutions are trying to sell art, so their taste and opinion may be jaded. What do you think?

To us, it’s not just buying the artwork, you are buying into the personality and background of the artist, who has dedicated and living for this. Juan Diego’s artworks are ideas that he has materialised. To every person who stopped to look at the artworks I asked them if they could come over the next few days to hear Juan Diego speak about his work. Even if you don’t have money or an interest in art, I am sure that the way he talks about consciousness and art will resonate with you in some way. His concepts are universal and everyone can feel something about his work. We had so many renowned visitors, it was overwhelming the type of response we received.

The art market has become saturated and art could be criticised to be more of a commodity. How will you remain true to your beliefs and representation of emerging art?

If someone empathises and understands the artists that we are representing this is all that we want to do. All the artists we are working with right now are working with concepts that are universal. Most people can see themselves and experiences reflected within the works. Art is for everyone, it should be accessible to a wider audience. Everyone should have the space to participate.

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