Photo London: ‘Good art is always in demand and bad art will be always abundant’

ALMANAQUE opened in February 2016 in Mexico City, with a dedication to contemporary photography.  The gallery exhibits and sells international works from both established and emerging artists, exploring current manifestations on image as an artistic dispositive.

Alongside gallery work, ALMANAQUE has begun a Portafolio initiative, offering professional consultations on collecting, curating and art direction for individuals, corporations and institutions. We spoke to director Arturo Delgado ahead of Photo London, to find out more about the artists ALMANAQUE are bringing to the event, and to hear Arturo’s insights on collecting.

L’enfant-terrible © Jesús León, courtesy of Almanaque

What excites you the most about exhibiting your artists at Photo London?

The opportunity to share our multi-award winning artists with the UK public. We are bringing four artists to the fair; three from Mexico and one from Russia, representing several generations of contemporary imagery. These renowned artists all have an unexpected bond to the UK.

Which artists’ work will you be showing at Photo London? Why?

We will be showing work by the preeminent Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, one of the most renowned Mexican photographers, whose oeuvre was recently covered by The Guardian.  We are showing his striking political, poetic and intense contemporary documentary piece called Border’s Walls, Tijuana.

We are also showing L’enfant-terrible by Jesús Leon, a fresh and intimate approach to excess and sensuality, which has a strong connection to underground and nightlife, akin to London’s buzzing nightlife scene.

The works of Tania Franco Klein, who studied photography at the University of Arts London, are acclaimed worldwide. Our Life in the Shadows is a staged series that has been meticulously elaborated for the camera, resulting in intense images that reveal an obsessive use of colour. Her characters, entrancing yet exhausted, seem to be in an odd dispute between defeat and hope, inspired by the book The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han.

Finally, we are bringing the works of multi award-winning Russian artist Danila Tkachenko. A piece from her iconic series, Restricted Areas, has recently participated in an auction and exhibition with Philips London. For Restricted Areas, Tkachenko traveled to countries that were part of the former USSR, in search of places that used to hold great importance for the idea of technological progress. These places are now deserted. They have lost their significance, along with their obsolete utopian ideology

Monument of the Conquerors of the Space, Restricted Areas © Danila Tkachenko, courtesy of Almanaque

How can new collectors start to develop their photographic knowledge?

Watch and observe. Ask questions, argue, dislike and like. If you have money, consume and support artists and their galleries. Invest, participate and be part of it. Make mistakes. Go to galleries and museums. Criticise but also love. Talk with the people and have a good time. Collection value will come naturally afterwards, and remember, that is just secondary.

Which contemporary photographic genres would you say are most in demand?

Staged photography, documental, post-internet and transmedia probably. But genres are neither for the photographer or the spectator. Good art is always in demand and bad art will be always abundant.

Visit ALMANAQUE in D3, Discovery section at Photo London between 17-20 May

Border’s walls, Tijuana © Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, courtesy of Almanaque