Those who buy a house in Mallorca need something for the walls. The island offers many interesting local artists who already enjoy international success.
Stefanie Claudia Müller, Palma de Mallorca
Mallorca is no longer a ‘German island’. More and more Americans, Scandinavians, Swiss and now even Indians like Sheela Levy are making the island their home. They find there an excellent health system and a wealth of tranquillity, seclusion in the interior of the island, and security.
The interior designer who studied abroad and her husband Ivan have a special affinity for art and aesthetics which links them to the island:
”We love the Mallorcan nature and creativity”.
Since coming here they have not only invested in numerous properties, but also in art.
”Toni Garau has grown close to our hearts”,
says Levy. They have bought 2 works from him which can be seen in their restaurant ‘Fera’ in Palma, and have helped him to get into the Chinese market. Also internationally known for some time are Susy Gomez and the still-young Ela Fidalgo.
The indian is fascinated by this growing creative and international ambience with its local touch. She studied in England and later married a Swiss.
”At some point we were driven to this island. My husband then found the building where we now have our restaurant”.
‘Fera’ is more than just a place with exquisite food:
”We also want to bring art closer to the guest – every work has its own story”.
With their ‘art’ restaurant, which is full of sculptures, photos and pictures, she has ambitious plans:
We want to become one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and are aiming for a Michelin star”.
An ambitious target in a very competitive market, including the art sector where there are many more offers than buyers, even in Mallorca.
From Mallorca all over the world: The success of local artists
As complicated as it is to buy a property, renovate it and make it into a star restaurant like the Levy’s, making money with art is just as difficult. Then even people who spend a million on a house are much more selective when investing a thousand into art. The gallery owner Gerhardt Braun has learnt this from his own experiences. His art gallery in Palma’s old quarter is considered to be one of the most successful and interesting on the island. It is worth a visit because of the building, and the gallery continues to expand whilst promoting local artists.
”In my opinion the most promising local artist currently is Ela Fidalgo. She is just 26 years old and is actually a fashion designer, but is already very professional”,
The art-lover Mercedes Korzeniowski who lives and works on the island enormously appreciates the investment and tireless work of gallery owners like Gerhardt Braun. She was the director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Andratx (CCA), and is now helping to launch the first art fair in Palma which should take place in the Congress Palace in 2020.
‘The island is already a meeting place for collectors, painters and very important galleries. We want to take Mallorca up to a new level in the world of international art”
says the Swiss gallery owner Matthias Rüthmüller, the founder and director of the project ‘Art Fair Mallorca’ in Palma. Another important art meeting-point on the island is ‘La Nit de l’Art’, the night of art in Palma. As a rule this takes place on the 3rd weekend in September when the summer tourism is already abating, and has brought artists and collectors from all over the world together for 23 years.
The best galleries are not only in Palma
Like business consultant and hobby-winemaker Klaus Heinemann, art lovers visit not only the galleries in the capital but also in other places on the island:
”Personally I also like the art studios in Valdemossa, Alaro or Santanyi. The art scene in Mallorca is a very interesting mix of Spanish and international creative artists who have made their home here on the island”.
One of the most special galleries outside the capital is definitely the Centre of Contemporary Art (CCA) in Andratx, where Korzeniowski worked and which was founded and run by a Danish couple. ”We opened our doors in 2001. At the time the building of the hall of art was an enormous investment”, admits Jacob Asbaek who was inspired to this adventure by the beauty of the island, but also by the possibility to make contemporary art accessible to a very international audience. In the opinion of Korzeniowski amongst the other top-galleries not located in Palma is also the Gallery Dionis Bennassar in Pollenca:
”Particularly those interested in sculpture are in the right place here”,
the Swiss lady with Spanish background believes.
From New York to Palma
Not only artists from all over the world can be found in Mallorca, but also investors who nowadays even come from the other side of the Atlantic to the island. The American Drew Aaron belongs to the top-50 art collectors in the world and is a great fan of Mallorca who found his new home a few years ago in the romantic village of Alaro:
”My love of Mallorca and its art initiated my first step on to the island”
he admits. His decision to start a family here was based on the fact that the international airport is very well connected, and that from Mallorca he can run his businesses in the rest of the world, as can his wife who is a well-known model. His ‘Gallery Red’ in Palma is currently highlighting the work of graffiti-artist Jean-Michel Basquiat:
”We offer a mixture of designer-furniture and contemporary art. When I was 8 years old I saw a work from Andy Warhol and it fascinated me. Some like sport, my interest is in art”.
Naturally you do not have to buy something immediately, just visiting the island’s most important museums will also inspire you and provides an overview of the Spanish art scene. Only few holidaymakers know what cultural wealth the island has in store. The following museums are amongst the best: Museu Fundacion Joan March Palma, Palau March Museu, Fundacio Pilar I Joan Miro a Mallorca, and Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern I Contemporani de Palma. Korzeniowski is already working on a VIP programme for the ‘Art Fair Mallorca’ which will take collectors to exceptional art-sites on the island. For her and many other influential foreigners Mallorca is increasingly becoming a networking place in terms of art and business, where the visitor rapidly forgets that on the island there are also great beaches and ample sunshine:
”Recently the changing relationship between art, business and gastronomy have reached a niveau which puts Palma on the same level as towns such as Basel, which I know very well, or Berlin, although in much smaller dimensions which also has its own appeal”.