Architect and Flash Gallery BCN founder and owner, David Correa has had a great deal of contact with working artists. He’s seen first hand how hard it can be for artists to get their work into the world, make a name for themselves and make a living.
With this weighty knowledge and experience at hand, and an open heart to help others, David and his colleagues started converting their architecture office space in the Sants district into a non-profit art gallery with pop-up exhibitions.
After a recent hiatus, Flash Galelry BCN is ramping up again with new energy and plans for the future. We sat down with one David to learn more about the history of the project and their exciting plans for the future.
A flash lasts a thousandth of a second, but can immortalize important moment in our lives.
Hi David, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and how you first became interested in fine art?
I am originally from Colombia and my history in Barcelona started a long time ago. I arrived to this vibrant city full of emotions as a new architect with a plan to spend only two years in a post-graduation degree program. That was in 1982, so you can estimate how long I've been here!
As an architect, I have always been close to art. We study art and we are artists in a way, while still trying not to show off.
How did you decide to open an art gallery in Barcelona?
In my work as an architect, I interact with my clients and help them decorate the spaces I create for them. I suggest different artworks and I get to know the artists. During this process, I realized how hard the life of an artist is; no joke—it's a big challenge for them.
In 2008, we acquired a new space to use as an architectural office. The space was really special. So along with my two colleagues/partners, we decided to create an institution with a solid commitment to art, the artists and the art environment.
What is the concept behind Flash Gallery?
The concept is very simple: provide strong philanthropic support to artists. We are a non-profit institution providing a unique space to exhibit artwork from a group of selected artists.
Our exhibitions are like a FLASH, we only provide 4 exhibitions per year and they only last 2 days each. There are several reasons why I like this structure, but the main reason is that the emotions required to like—and want to own a piece of art is like a flash—you must be committed to get it or leave it.
Can you give examples of artists you have shown and exhibitions that you have organized?
Of course, we have done several exhibitions with many different levels of artists—I don’t mean in their ability level, but their style, dedication and location. We have exhibited many local artists from Barcelona, as well as from Spain, USA, Finland, Canada, Colombia, England, Eire, etc.
The most amazing and inspiring experiences have been when we have presented young artists that have never had the chance to exhibit before. It's also exciting to host very well-known artists who are used to exhibiting in exclusive galleries around the world, and having them attend, not only for the chance to exhibit, but to show support for our activities.
How would you characterize the artists you work with?
It's difficult to describe them, mainly because there have been all type of artists in our gallery; from painters, sculptors, musicians, recyclers, etc.
Let me be honest with you, art is one of the wonders of the world. This poor world that is struggling all the time with wars, conflicts, unreasonable people, etc. We are trying to improve society by being honest and simple, trying to make life easier and more comfortable for everyone. So really, the artists we work with must be people who we can connect with, people that we feel comfortable with.
The art world is going through a lot of changes in recent years and it is likely to see more in the near future. How do you think the role(s) of curators and galleries is changing?
Indeed, I agree with you about all the changes in the world of art. We are just getting through the end of COVID 19, and this unreal situation has given a big push to change our lives. We were forced to be confined and we had to learn to work remotely in a very short space of time. We could not do any more social events—museums were closed—in fact, the world was closed. In a way, everybody had to reinvent themselves, even galleries, so now we've had the opportunity to see art remotely as well. This could be one of the most important impacts from these changes. But I still believe in personal contact, in the face-to-face connection, that will always remain important.
What are your predictions for the future of the contemporary art world?
Contemporary art is very unpredictable. But surely the future of art must exist, with good ideas, quality examples and concepts that will link society and ways of living. In a way, I would like to make a parallelism of contemporary art with architecture. All will be the same, perhaps with special solutions for a demanding world, always keeping in mind the environment and sustainability.
What does the upcoming curatorial program at Flash Gallery look like?
In the last few years Flash Gallery BCN has been on the quiet side due to personal reasons, but even through the lethargy, our spirit never died. At the moment we are in a very intense process of rebirth for our association, even though one of the three founding members has left this world.
The curatorial program is becoming more ambitious, trying to bring in new exhibitions as well as social and sustainable concepts that will allow us to present outstanding pieces of art with a wide scope and outlook.
Any other big plans for Flash Gallery in the near future?
I'm glad that you ask this question. Yes, there's lots going on for us right now, as I mentioned in the previous question. And there is one BIG and ambitious plan that I would like to mention... We are in the process of acquiring a new permanent space in a prime location where we will have gallery space available to our artists and it will also function as a gathering place to create different activities to help and support our society. It is a very ambitious plan that I believe could provide big benefits and relief to our society and at the same time support the artists.
Wow, thanks for sharing this big news with our readers, David. We really look forward to hearing more news from you and following all of the upcoming exhibitions from Flash Gallery!
To learn more about Flash Gallery BCN please visit flashgallerybcn.com.