Velasquez as a reference point

Oct 19. Kazpravda

By Natalia KURPYAKOVA

Velasquez as a reference pointAn exhibition of Spanish painting is held in the capital’s art center “Kulanshi”.

The Spanish origin of paintings, judging by the names of artists, people’s faces, sunny mountain and sea views, is beyond doubt. But total atmosphere of the exposition is “martial”: ladies with guns, men — hunters, children with firecrackers everywhere… The number of potentially shooting and blowing up things on the pictures clearly go beyond the concepts of the Spanish as temperamental people.

But everything falls into place when you learn that this collection, with the assistance of the Embassy of Spain in Kazakhstan, was brought by the company MAXAM, founded in 1872 by Alfred Nobel — a humanist and inventor of dynamite. In 1899, during the heyday of poster art as advertising, the company decided to publish an illustrated calendar. The picture for it was painted by order, and since the beginning of the twentieth century, the collection of MAXAM increases by one picture a year.

This collection, without exaggeration is unique: a variety of painted explosives and firearms accessories, such as hunting ammunition, pyrotechnic products, guns, rifles and pistols, shown in the diachronic aspect.

In 2000, the famous Spanish artist Manolo Vald?s turned to the creativity of his favorite artist and called his work «Velasquez as an excuse.» Among the heroines of his pictures are the Roman goddess Diana and gentle Santa Barbara.

Over time the styles and trends were changing. On the paintings one can trace back not only the history of painting of XX – beginning of XXI centuries, but also see how people were changing: facial expressions, costumes, hairstyles, postures, home interiors, culture…

The company’s expert Lucas Ferreira conducted a workshop for the students of the capital’s universities.

The collection of MAXAM is called «the museum for those who do not go to museums,» and a model of mutually beneficial partnership of art and business.

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