Natalia Foguet of Galeria Safia
NATALIA FOGUET: Galeria Safia co-owner and art collector
This Barcelona-born gallery owner studied philosophy before moving into the world of art, and she approaches her work from a philosophical view, regarding art as a way to find meaning and sense in things: “I view every piece of art that appears before me as an enigma to be explained.” Since 1992, Natalia Foguet has run Galeria Safia with her partner Angels Garcia—their objective, which Foguet says is “pretty unanimous”, is to feature artists who, whatever technique they use, present their way of being in the world. “Their need is to express themselves through their art and what interests me is understanding why they do what they do and say what they say. It isn’t necessarily a question of intellectual understanding but of enjoying; the possibility of enjoying, the feeling of pleasure when faced with something that someone has made, is very important for me.”
Favourite art galleries and museums in Barcelona
Recently, various private foundations have opened here with very interesting personal criteria, and that are a stimulus for collecting, like the Fundación Suñol. I like going round all the galleries on a regular basis to be up-to-date with what my colleagues are doing. You always discover interesting artists and can see the evolution of those you already know.
Local artists I recommend and why
We are lucky enough to have great local artists, both in terms of more traditional techniques (in painting: Jordi Gispert, Marcos Palazzi, Albert Gonzalo; and in sculpture, Gabriel, Cesc Riera, Maïs) and more contemporary and multi-disciplinary languages, such as Eulàlia Valldosera. But I would also add those foreign artists who live here and have enriched this sector: Michelle Concepción, Jorge Zambrano and of course, promising young artists like Francisca López and many others. I’m a collector and find it hard to hold myself back.
Forthcoming art shows in Barcelona that I’m looking forward to
I would really like to see the Robert Wilson show ‘Voom Portraits’, which has opened in Valladolid, but I don’t know if it will come here. I’m keen to see a good show of contemporary African art. It’s a continent that is very close, but we know little of its contemporary cultural reality.
Future plans and shows for Galeria Safia
This month, we’re inaugurating the exhibition ‘La Cruda’, a collective of artists who edit the magazine of the same name and who will be showing their work. It coincides in part with the Saló del Còmic, as the magazine is also going to be presented there. In June, we’re opening L’illa d’Art, the ninth edition of a show that aims to decontextualise art to find new audiences; it’ll take place in the shopping centre L’illa diagonal.
Galleries and museums outside of Barcelona (in Catalunya/Spain) that I think are worth travelling to
In recent years, Spain has seen an explosion of new spaces for contemporary art, all with interesting international projects, perhaps very focused on international production and less on local creativity; this means that many cities have become more geared towards contemporary art, but there are still museums that I visit and that I would definitely recommend, such as Madrid’s El Prado, the Museo Nacional de Escultura or the Museo Oriental in Valladolid, the Fundación Juan March in Palma de Mallorca…
Other Barcelona recommendations
Favourite restaurant: every moment has a favourite; it could be Alkimia or Petit Bangkok
Favourite shop: shoe shops—Juan Antonio López, Iris Morata, Treze…
Favourite cinema: Verdi, never at the weekend
Galeria Safia - Bruniquer 9, Tel. 93 213 8496, www.galeriasafia.com