The Jewel in the crown of Mojacar: Art Gallery Miguel Angel

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BRIIING  briiing, the phone rattled in its cradle. “Hello” whispered a quiet unobtrusive voice. “Hi, Ric Polansky here. Is Miguel Angel in town this week?” I cleverly asked. “No, he is away”. “He didn’t sneak off to Damascus did he? He promised to take me next time he goes”.

“No, he is in France, Iran, Turkey, Morocco and Italy, I think. But he will be here next week, all week”.

That’s just the information I needed.

“OK, I’ll catch him then”. But, that didn’t prove so easy.

Miguel Angel comes from a close knit family of frenzied traders. If they ain’t doin’ business 25 hours a day, they feel slovenly and sloth like. The last time I ran into a few of his brothers was 4am in a favourite watering hole in Granada.

Their father was the hand picked mayor of nearby Antas under Franco. A charismatic paternal man who was good to all. And if you were a businessman back in the 70’s sooner or later you dealt with Don Francisco. And you’d better be prepared or you’d become the main meal.

Today if you’re a traveller on the roads of Spain or Europe you will often see one of the very large lorries rolling to Holland, Germany or England transporting Almeria’s green house affect throughout Europe. They also control large farms producing oranges, melons and tomatoes.

So, Miguel Angel, where did this “art thing” happen? Especially from such a powerful business family.

“I just had a natural affinity to art. Something about it drew me in. Hell, I got so involved that I even traded building supplies for works of art. Manolo Coronado, from Delphos taught me a lot about painting and especially what we call “contemporary” modern style, with images not easily recognizable”.

What artists do you sell now?

“Well we have catalogues of many different artists and work likewise with other galleries in Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante. If a collector wants someone especial we can have photos of the work to him within hours. We are selling a Sorolla for €400,000 to a Russian but have gotten a bit stalled with the paperwork as extensive government forms must be filled out assuring the painting is authentic, hasn’t been swiped and there is no legal claim on it from any of the relatives”.

Miguel Angel, it is so good to have “art” back in Mojacar on a big scale. What do your plans include for the coming years?

“Well, I especially want to have a section in our gallery where local painters can exhibit and become known. Do you realize that in the world of art more than 50 famed artists live in our area during the winter, just because of the special light we have here. They come and paint and are sold mainly in America but I am hoping to have them shown here. It will encourage others and bring Mojacar right back to its days when it was full of painters, writers, poets, film starts: fun and exciting people. Maybe even create a “new type of tourismo” for the area”. Angel Medina has been most helpful in encouraging this new idea”.

What’s next? Who can we see and when?

Naturally we want Clemente Jerez right away to show everyone here who he is. Then we want to do Julio Romero de Torres and a few more of the better known ‘grandes Maestros Espanoles’ like Juaquin Mir, Ignacio Zuloaga, Gonzalo Bilbao, Jesus Perceval. Lots of artists that you need to see ‘anew’, maybe catch them in a different style or epoch in their lives. So many good artists to behold.

Watch this column for announcement of the big show.

By Ric Polansky

 

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