Uxval Gochez, gallerist, cultural agent and external tutor at Metàfora

One of the main aims behind the advanced level of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Programs is to help students network and get on in the artworld. The figure of the external tutors is designed to help the students do exactly that.

Every student on the 3rd year is “paired” with an artist, curator, gallerist etc, whose work and concerns are similar to those of the student. Though our extensive network we look to find external tutors who can be helpful to students in more than one way: We look for someone who can give useful feedback about the work, but also offer insights of what the profesional art scene has to offer, and where to find a niche for young artists.

Netai Halup is one of our most ambitious and hard working students, always immersed into intense artistic investigation about shape, composition and idea. And Uxval Gochez runs a gallery for where idea and form (or absence of form) go hand in hand, where discourse and formal considerations are critically interconnected.
Imagining these two creative souls working together seemed like the perfect match.

Uxval Gochez, founder of Arte Aurora Gallery

A few years ago, Mexican artist Uxval Gochez opened a gallery of contemporary art in Sarrià, in the north of Barcelona.
He baptized the space Arte Aurora Galeria, and launched a series of cutting-edge shows with local and international artists. Last year Uxval decided to move the gallery to the centre of the city.

There is no doubt that Arte Aurora Galeria has become one of the heavy players in Barcelona’s new gallery-hub at Carrer Trafalgar. The opening receptions are always full-to-the-rim of artists, curators and other colourful cultural agents of Barcelona. In short, a place to meet, a finger on the pulse of what is happening in one of the most experimental places for contemporary art in the city.

Netai Halup is the founder of “Pujós Studios”, a co-working space with extensive exhibition activity and continuous inspiring events, today a hot-spot on Barcelona’s art-scene. But more than anything he is a committed artist and a contemporary, political being.

Read his artist statement here:

My body of work is a result of tentatives that explore the performativity of sculptures. I am working through a process of trial and error – problem solving; placing the ‘bodies’ I make in strained and fragile positions, then observing them and asking what role are they performing? How are they affected by the other elements? And most of all, what kind of tension exists in the atmosphere they are provoking?

The sculptural machinery I am constructing springs from tentatives in which bodies are being created; events where the potentialities and peculiarities of the materials are being studied, and where careful observations of accidents and their unknown methods are researched in depth. Through this, I am exploring the possibility in which precarity, resistance, subtlety, and tension can appear as poetic manifestations.

I create theatrical assemblages that explore the encounter between natural and industrial materials; I investigate their capacity to pre-form a poetic precarity, an uncertain one, the capacity to perform foreign tension, and to form new lines of flight in the given space.

My aim is to push this encounter to a meeting point where the materials are provoking each other to act, touching and activating one another, and where their characteristics can be manipulated to the point of otherness.

From www.netaihalup.com

Netai Halup, artist and founder of “Pujós Studios”

Uxval Gochez in the gallery with artist Antoni Ortega

How has the tutoring experience been? Have you tutored aspiring artists before?

I advice artists all the time, it is a privilege  to be involved in the processes of someone who is so compromised and passionate about their practice.
Tutoring for a Metàfora student meant being involved with a community of people that is deeply rooted in the city that is my place of business. Among the other tutors and students I have made new acquaintances and made existing relations stronger, so for me personally was very beneficial.

We always like to look for an adequate external tutor for each student, someone who shares interest in his/her investigation. How does Netai’s work relate your professional experience?

Working with Netai was incredibly interesting because there is potential for us to continue our involvement in the professional ground.
Our approach to this tutoring experience was from the beginning an exercise of the relation between an artist and a gallerist with the advantages for him to be able to go back and forth with materials and with a very clear idea of what I would need to see (or someone in my position) in order to consider him and his production for show in a gallery like the one I run.

Opening at Arte Aurora gallery

Where – and doing what – do you envision Netai in the future?

Netai has all he needs to be a great artist, if he stays focused, works hard and right we will be seeing him wanted by very interesting curators and collections. Is still a long road to travel but he is very hard working so he is got a bigger chance.

“Inspiration exists but it has to find you working. -Pablo Picasso