Show Off

Exhibition to display artworks from three art collectors

From left: Frederico Rato, Francisco Ricarte, Konstantin Bessmertny

Until July 28, three local art collectors, Frederico Rato, Francisco Ricarte and Konstantin Bessmertny, will showcase some of their numerous artworks, collected during years and even decades, in old Taipa Village, to promote a greater understanding of the reasons for collecting art as well as promoting Macanese culture.

With differing perspectives on collecting, the three will display a diverse array of artworks, including one of Marc Chagall’s lithographs, three oils on canvas and platex, six photographs and about ten ancient history and philosophy books.

“This unusual exhibition attempts to address the nature of collecting and prompt a visual conversation regarding cultural possessions by individuals with very specific and highly personal interests,” the curator of the exhibition, João Ó, said during the opening ceremony on June 7.

The art of collecting

“I consider these kinds of old books as proper artworks,” the Russian painter, Konstantin Bessmertny, explained to MDT. “For my part, I’m just collecting because I enjoy it, but of course I have read all the books in my collection. That’s how I’m getting inspired.”

The exhibition also includes the first artwork created by Bessmertny after he arrived in Macau entitled “Macau – Little Landscape,” which now belongs to veteran lawyer Frederico Rato.

“This is one of my favorites in my entire collection,” Rato said. “I like to admire landscapes from a high place and have this feeling of flying, especially this one which shows the old Macau.”

Even though the Russian artist stopped painting Macau for a while, considering it “too commercial,” he’s working on a new painting of the city which aims to show it from a new perspective.

“I always want to challenge myself. That’s why I’m pretending to be an artist from the 19th century in this new painting of Macau that I’m working on, both in the style and the landscape represented.”

“The most important thing for me is to appreciate the artworks,” Rato told the Times. “If I don’t like, then I don’t buy. I always like to say that the art collection is also an art in itself.”

For the lawyer, every community possesses its specific form of art, and the collecting is a “mix between reproduction and conservation” which shows the emotions and feelings of the collector.

This point of view is shared by architect Francisco Ricarte, who displays many photographs in the exhibition.

“I don’t have a ‘portfolio’ approach, meaning that the artworks have to touch me because it’s a part of our identity,” he said. “For me, art collecting is a kind of therapy.”

The opening ceremony also featured a panel discussion where the three art collectors were able to share their thoughts and reasons about why they collect art, as well as interact with art’s enthusiasts.

To facilitate access to culture in Macau, the exhibition, titled “Show Off”, is open seven days a week, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., with free admission for the public.

Staff Reporter

Categories Macau