Agreements and the Fight for Culture

When we talk of culture some people think that we are treading the terrain of the utopian or, even worse, the luxurious and dispensable. Opposing ideologies resign culture, in an opposing but similar way, to private initiative.

Portrait of a Venetian Lady

One of the dreams of any antiquarian-cronopio is to have a famous client visit their shop and buy everything. The possibilities are minimal but, in this business, like in life, it could happen. In fact, it did happen to a colleague of mine the day that…

Aesthetic as anaesthesia

He’s an international photographer with an impeccable reputation, and I’ve asked him a favour, as a friend: to accompany me to the World Press Photo Exhibition (WPPh). I’m interested in his personal vision of the tragedy. Because the WPPh is one big tragedy: in the photos almost no one is smiling.

10 Instructions for Bidding at Auction

Do you think buying art at an auction is easy? Well, you are wrong. Artur Ramon, who is an expert in the field, gives you ten basic tips to, at least, not make a fool of yourself in an auction.

The 1976 Venice Biennale as a Symptom

The cultural control of the Spanish and Catalan Communist parties took the baton from the window-dressing politics of Francoism. In the midst of the transition to democracy, the 1976 Venice Biennale bore clear witness to this.

Political art. A Tricky balance

A few years ago I was able to visit the Proa Foundation in Buenos Aires. Ai Weiwei was exhibiting. The exhibit was called “Inoculación” and consisted of a large number of political works presented as a project of public and social intervention, as dissident art.

Barcelona is falling. Fall and carry on…

Most of these last four decades of democracy have been spent creating a fake culture, using as a marketing ploy a country which urgently needed to demonstrate that it could hit the spot in terms of European culture.

Paintings with Titleplates

Many of the old paintings hanging in city apartments have a small gold titleplates with the name of the painter – usually one of the Grand Masters: Murillo, Ribera, Velázquez, Zurbarán.

Mercy for the MACBA

To the now classic dilemma of “who do you like best, Mummy or Daddy?” the people of Barcelona have added “which do you prefer, culture or health?”.

The Purge of the Foundations

The artistic and hereditary fabric of Catalonia is extensive…and thinly spread, too thinly spread. Are the recent staff dismissals at the Joan Miró Foundation and the “strategic change” at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, warnings of future suspensions?

The Lost Caravaggio

All antiquarians who dedicate out noble profession to antique paintings have dreamed of finding a Caravaggio.

The Invisible Collection

I receive a strange telephone call from a woman who, by the sound of her soft voice, seems young. She tells me that her father has an important collection of drawings and invites me to see them Argentona.

Change Needed at the Academy

An analysis of the convulsive events which have changed the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi.

The Most Christmassy Tradition of Barcelona

If there was ever a Christmas tradition that attracted more followers than the others, at least in the city of Barcelona, it would be to criticise the nativity scene in the Plaça Sant Jaume.

The Hunter Hunted

That a hunter would wish to hunt another is an impossible mission. Second installment of the series “Stories of Antiquarians and Fame”.

Stories of Antiquarians and Fame: a brief autopsy

“An antiquarian is a hunter of art works, somebody who seeks or chases pieces obsessively until they are bagged.” In this space, every month antiquarian Artur Ramon will give us a taste of his most impassioned professional experiences. #nofilters.