We invest primarily in artists that have an established international market, but we also endeavor to identify younger artists who are on the brink of gaining international renown, leading to increased demand and higher prices. Adrian Villar Rojas from Argentina is definitely a success story for us, although none of his works have appeared at auction yet.
We first encountered the works of Adrian Villar Rojas in May 2011 while reviewing a number of artists during a visit to Ruth Benzacar Gallery in Buenos Aires. Over the next couple of months we agreed to acquire 3 works by him for the collection.
The first sculpture “Angel” was the centerpiece of the artist’s first solo show in the gallery “Lo que el fuego me trajo” in 2008, and a very significant and personal work for the artist - made out of love for his girlfriend. The work was re-cast by the artist in 2011 before being sent to us.
The second work, also from 2008 “Todo lo que vos sos yo no, (Everything you are, I am not)” was first shown at the gallery’s booth in Arco Madrid in 2008 and then again at Art Basel in June 2011, where we agreed to acquire it. This work is a unique compilation of ready-made objects from the artist’s immediate surroundings, immaculately painted with air-brush on one side. Villar Rojas later covered several other motorcycle helmets in the same air-brush style.
The third work we acquired “Shelf/Ledge (of the series "Lo que el fuego me trajo)" was first made for the 2008 show at Ruth Benzacar gallery but was destroyed after the show. In 2011 we commissioned the artist to re-make this work for our collection.
Recently, during Frieze London in October 2012, we acquired a fourth work from Kurimanzutto gallery, Mexico City. “Before my birth” is one of a series of works with this title made during the artist’s Residence in New York as part of the New Museum Triennial exhibition “the Ungovernables” in which he participated with an immense site specific installation, built on-site and destroyed after the show. The “Before my birth” works were exhibited out on the New York sidewalks as an extension of the show in the Museum.
Adrian’s career has sky-rocketed since he represented Argentina in the Venice Biennal in June 2011. His crew of six, which he orchestrates like a Maestro while each member incorporates ideas into the futuristic fossil formations they make, have been travelling the world in the last 2-3 years, creating on-site installations of immense scale. From Ecuador to Germany to Mexico to Colombia to Italy to France to New York and to Kassel in Germany, where for Documenta they built a huge installation made of tens of large scale sculptures covering an entire hill-side.
Most of the works produced are destroyed and almost all works are made primarily of clay and cement, leaving few works that are collectible. With a site specific installation at the Foundation De 11 Lijnen during Art Brussels in April, followed by survey exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in October during Frieze, it is no surprise that big league galleries such as Marian Goodman have started representing him, leading to an increasing shortage of works on offer and lengthening waiting lists. We are confident these investments hold substantial upside for us and are proud to have identified Adrian Villar Rojas early on.
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