Art for Ibiza’s sake

By Takashi Murakami

You know, I’ve never considered myself an art critic, but I know what I like… and what I like is modern, urban, edgy and (if I may say so) generally quite expensive. Which could explain why the walls of my modern apartment are relatively bare… a fact I have decided, quite recently in fact, to change.

Yes folks, it’s time Miss W made an investment that didn’t end up hanging in her wardrobe (I could argue that fashion is art, but I’d be arguing with myself and that’s a whole other hypnotherapy session just waiting to happen) and thankfully over the course of the last few weeks I have had the chance to check out some amazing art – some in the form of touring exhibitions and others that were created right here on the white isle.

My first foray came via a collective called Urban In Ibiza, the brainchild of long-time Ibiza resident and urban art collector Dizzi Saunders, the idea was to bring more cutting edge music and art to Ibiza. The idea was brought to life via an exhibition held at Atzaro – but this was no ordinary paintings-hanging-on-the-wall kind of exhibition. Music, fashion and art came together on this fine balmy evening (as did most of the island’s residents!) for a display that I thought was nothing short of mind-blowing.

Boasting a gallery of pieces (available to buy) including amazing pieces by the notorious Goldie (drum and bass pioneer, producer, actor and the graffiti artist who brought us the Wonderland artwork), Ben Allen (Miss W’s favourite!), Dan MacMillan and incredible street artists Inkie (known for his collaborations with the famous Banksy) and Chu, who were on hand actually creating a huge canvas live on the spot over the course of the night. Put simply, an amazing feat to witness and an awesome display of modern pieces that I can just imagine hanging on my wall – think tarot style, 70s psychedelic rock poster art, edgy rock and roll symbolism, modern techniques that are far beyond simply a paintbrush and pot of oil… Can you tell Miss W was impressed?

Sadly, all the pieces I had my eyes on had ALREADY been sold to other lucky collectors by the time I arrived (and for once I wasn’t even fashionably late) so I can only hope that the evening’s success means more of the same coming to our fair shores very soon.

Works by Ben Allen

Now that I’d caught the art bug, the next installation to catch my attention was held at the very far edge of Las Salinas – in what looks like an old abandoned warehouse – called Interferencias. The theme was Thinking About Salinas and local artists were invited to show their own interpretations.

When I arrived, just before dusk, it was almost spooky – cavernous rustic warehouse, filled with HUUUUUGE piles of real salt accessorised by spotlights positioned on smaller piles and huge colourful and creative artwork contrasting against the stone walls of the building, with a stream of natural light coming in from huge open windows on either side plus a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel effect created by arched doorways at either end streaming sunlight into the room.

From stunning photographs ranging from extreme close-ups of salt granules to wide angled shots capturing the process of farming the salt itself, by Pep Tur to enormous, tactile pieces in varying shades of white by Werner Branz and a beautiful set of colourful abstract square pieces by Mario Arlatti to a vibrant illuminated picture of the wild poppies that grow in the fields nearby, these were the types of pieces I’d invest in if (I mean when!) I own a glamorous villa, with walls big enough to do them justice.

Ohhh I loved it. In fact, I’d like to move into the warehouse and make it my own home it is already so pre-perfectly decorated (well, I’d probably replace the salt with a bed). But it was time to move on…

Almacen de Sal

Last stop (for the purposes of this artsy expedition anyway) was the new gallery space Centre Cultural S’Alamera, hosting an exhibition called Superflat by famous Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami – considered to be the Andy Warhol of Tokyo in his techniques, inspirations and concepts.

Miss W had originally become aware of Murakami’s work when he collaborated with fashion label Luis Vuitton on an interpretation of their famous monogram print for a handbag that subsequently went on to become one of the most highly sought after (and unfortunately copied) bags in the world (you’ll probably spot fakes being sold on the shores of D’en Bossa in the high season!). After that, I discovered his colourful, cutesy and ever-so-quirky manga-esque characters and figurines on a trip to Japan… and a love affair was born!

Sadly, this was an exhibition that was not offering pieces for sale (though I suspect I would need a slightly larger budget to acquire pieces such as the lithographs on show in Ibiza – we’re talking six figures for some of the man’s work) however I spent hours staring wistfully at the glossy productions, trying to decipher the meaning of mushroom-headed characters flying through the sky, three-eyed, fanged mini-monsters perched on flowers, futuristic Mickey Mouse like heads reproduced in a multitude of different colours (my favourites by the way!) and Picasso-esque faces sporting googly eyes and major eyebrows. An interesting and varied collection to say the least!

Thankfully for me, in the corner was a BBC documentary on the artist showing on TV, answering a few of my questions, but perhaps leaving me even more in awe of this modern genius.

Work by Takashi Murakami

At the end of the day, I am still yet to make my first arty acquisition. After all, contemplating one’s life and art is a task that involves some serious commitment… As I said before – I’m no critic, but I am happy to have been part of three groundbreaking exhibitions, all serving to put Ibiza’s up and coming art scene onto a global map!


THE GOOD: For those who can’t make it to Ibiza for exhibitions like these, never fear! The new White Ibiza Galleries bring art directly to your computer screen, no matter where you are in the world. Check out our very first online exhibition by local artist Maria Ramos… and let us know what you think!

THE BAD: Unfortunately, in Ibiza, parking in August is always going to be a bit of an issue – whether on Vara de Rey or at the far end of Las Salinas. Thankfully, the two ongoing exhibitions are easily accessible by taxis public transport and surrounded by plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat or a drink afterwards… perhaps the lack of parking is a good thing!

THE GOSSIP: In a week where Miss W’s invites included a decadent millionaire’s villa party, worldwide radio sunset broadcasts and plus superstar DJs and mega-cool rock bands doing their thing all over the island, was Miss W really bypassing parties in favour of quietly contemplating art? Or was she managing both? That’s a secret I’ll never tell…

Work by Ben Allen