Like most of the artists they have been championing for the past five years, the co-founders of Buenos Aires-based miau miau, Cecilia Glik and Mariano Lopez Seoane, could be described as “emerging.” It was their shared passion for art and experimentation that drove Glik, an established fashion photographer, and Seoane, a scholar of Latin American literature, to dive headlong into the world of art-dealing to create something new. As Seoane describes it, “We decided to open miau miau as a lab of sorts...We had always been in touch with the art world; most of our friends are artists, and we wanted to give them the opportunity to show their work in a different context. Thus, the first two years of miau miau were very playful, absolutely non-professional. It was more like a space of reunion and conversation between artists, and we would set up shows, but also concerts and poetry readings.”
Then came their participation in arteBA. “After our first experience of a fair, we decided it was time to become a proper gallery, or at least something closer to a proper gallery,” Seoane explains. “So being in an art fair...was surely a key experience, which taught us that we were part of an established circuit, with rules and protocols we needed to learn.” But while the partners professionalized their approach and learned the rules, they make sure not to follow them to the letter, in keeping with their founding spirit and their mission “to question received ideas of what a gallery is and should be.”
At this year’s arteBA, Glik and Seoane plan to put miau miau’s short history on display, while looking forward to what will surely be its long future. Their booth will contain a lively mix of works by the up-and-coming artists who have been with the gallery since its inception, including Diana Drake, who transforms such commonplace materials as ropes into luxe, crystallized objects, as well as by the more established artists with whom they have recently been working, like Benito Laren and Jorge Gumier Maier. “In all the pieces we are presenting there is...an aspiration to find beauty in the most unlikely materials and formal experiments,” Seoane explains. As do their artists, so do these gallerists, who have staked their claim on the unlikely and the experimental, and found beauty.
Visit miau miau at arteBA 2014, Main, May 23rd–26th.