We’re in Madrid. The city which has become one of the most important stops for contemporary art is now fearlessly forming into a new shape with what time has left behind.
Last July, Swatch started a journey called Cities project with 15 names under 30 where dreams become reality and made Madrid its first city. Projects coming alive with interactions of artists coming from different disciplines are embodying the transformation the city itself is going through. Madrid, which is both one of the most important examples of gentrification worldwide and is being guided with innovation, positive energy and reformist ideas by sectors such as social and retail, is the first stop of this project where Swatch gets one step closer to the young artists of our time.
How can you transform people around you and connect with them?
Even though they perform their art at public places worldwide, Boa Mistura, a very radical and multidisciplined art group at the graffiti scene, have a different kind of bond with the city they live in. With the support of Swatch, they’re covering the walls of Mercado San Cristobal, an almost-forgotten area of the city due to demographic foziness, with the motto ‘la vida es movimiento’ – life is movement – and bringing a breath of fresh air there.
There are two sides for movement: physical movement and social abrubt change. As the founder member of Boa Mistura, Pablo Leon Sánchez says, “The work we do here honours the neighbourhood which took action in order to protect its identity. What matters is your true life experience, not the number of years you live!
Swatch invites you to the abstract side of time.
For Swatch, words like creation, authenticity and individuality are more than just descriptions; the mean taking action. Coming alive at this point, the ‘Swatch X You’ project opens the mysterious world of watches becoming the world’s smallest canvas a little bit more. Pick your favorite design made by artists in this project and create your own Swatch! With the application coming soon online and to selected stores, Swatch is leading the way to a new place where you can reveal your imagination.
Carlo Giordanetti, the creative director of Swatch, describes the future as, ‘seeing someone’s dream come true.’ He underlines that for Swatch, creativity begins with discovery. “Curiosity is the key point here and the challenge begins when you hand over the world’s smallest canvas to the artist.” For Swatch, making collaborations with artists is crucial in order to have a fresh point of view in every step. Giordanetti says, “I believe that artists are so important, because they ask questions. They force you to think in a different way. If you find an artist that does that, then we can have a good relationship.”
All the codes the brand gather point out a rebel standing against the industry it’s in.
And that takes being able to see the change first hand. “That’s what we keep, it is the challenge that the ability to sense the change. If you see the change that change is happening, it is too late. That’s the tricky part. If you want to be creative, even in a simple way. For example, the right color of the season, then you need to work with the right person. Now we are working on Spring/Summer 2020 already. There is no scientific answer, it is the way we are, it is the way we function. That’s why you get to be successful if you are able to have this sensibility.”
Having starting the museum journey with Rijksmuseum this year and then taking it to Madrid, Swatch took three art pieces from Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum collection and put them in forms which describe time in unexpected ways. Known as the expert of floral paintings, Balthasar van der Ast’s ‘Chinese Vase with Flowers, Shells and Insects’ became the source of inspiration of the watch ‘Gracious Bouquet’. The modest neon touch wrapping the iconic blue iris reveals the 17th century Dutch beauty. ‘The Sleepy Garden’ enters the world of Franz Marc’s painting, ‘The Dream’, with an iconic palette containing degraded colors and the lion figure coming to a lively state instead of threatening. Piet Mondrians’s iconic lines go into action with ‘The Red Shiny Line’ and appear in a complete different language in ‘New York City, 3’. We’re more than excited for the next step Swatch’s going to take, as they announce this inspiring journey with the museums will continue. Having hosting the painters, photographers, filmmakers, sculpturers and fashion designers in ‘world’s smallest canvas’ for 35 years, witnessing Swatch removing borders is quite fascinating.