Preview Art Fair is hectic and entertaining, but during the first day it's hard to make your art-picks. I passed by the same crammed and picturesque small booths many, many times. While browsing through the walls – filled from top to bottom with small and average-sized artworks – I saw something else: art in a raw and genuine context, the way it would look like in a living room. We talk with Frank Rox, the gallery assistant and a man of many talents himself.
Home Is Where The Art Is
Standing very far away from the white-cube esthetic, Kunstverein Familie Montez was created by artists Mirek Macke und Anja Czioska in 2000. Back then, the art venture was able to showcase their artists in a huge building that unfortunately sold last year. They turned this step backwards into a step forward and began traveling through Germany as a "touring" Gallery, finding new artists. The starting point was Weimar and from then onwards they've visited other cities like Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and now Berlin in search for new artists.
During our English-German remix conversation, I ask Frank Rox if he is an artist himself, he replies: "Yes, more or less. For Familie Montez I do the administrative tasks but sometimes I have artistic out-comings. I can't paint, actually. Sometimes I paint stripes but I can't paint faces." He tells me this while we are looking at the painting of two men kissing, one of my favorites.
The moving gallery is featuring over 200 artists at Preview: all of them are presenting a very small yet amazingly embedded art work. Their criteria is simple and authentic, Frank Rox tells me: "There is no curation per se, we trust the artist's decision to send us whatever they feel represents them. They decide, not us. The curatorial process grows by itself."
I found this idea fascinating, it is more often than not that gallerists decide the 'what' and the 'how.' I thought of a quote in Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote: "The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not?" Different art expressions have all freely emerged and this booth works as a great surface to contain all of them. Much like love, they have no geography either, at least for now.
Why is this one of our favorite Gallery booths? When going inside, there is a warm feeling of togetherness and the fact that the artworks are exhibited tightly together makes one focus more on each individual art work. The small works have different styles, techniques, colors and strokes, but you can somehow tell they all belong to the same family.
Article by Sofía Martinelli