"At Home, I´m a tourist" exhibits Selim Varol's impressive collection of urban art.

Selim Varol: The art of collecting urban art
Malaga - MAY 28, 2013
For most of us, collecting toys is a hobby consumed by young people. The excitement of adding a new addition to our repertoire could be based on the insatiable thirst of desire, never satisfied, as suggested in psychoanalysis when analyzing the "desire without object": we desire desires, not objects. But there are few who have that passion for collecting through adulthood. Selim Varol is one of those exceptions, taken to its maximum expression.

The Contemporary Art Center of Málaga presents the group exhibition At home, I’m a tourist Collection of Selim Varol, until June 16, to mark the tenth anniversary of the CAC Málaga (2003-2013).
Selim Varol: The art of collecting urban art
"Urban Art", "Art & toys", "at home" are concepts given to the exhibition curated by Fernando Francés, conceived through a selection of pieces that wink at urban art and the collective imagination of a period and generation, as are the 90s and early twenty-first century to the present.

The Turkish-born German collector has about 15,000 pieces by contemporary artists, of which more than 1350 authors have been exposed such as Banksy, KAWS, ZEVSShepard Fairey (OBEY), Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Audrey Kawasaki, FUTURA or JR.
Selim Varol: The art of collecting urban art
Varol began his passion for stacking toys at the age of six years, after discovering design toys in Japan in the 1990s, a hobby that has been growing and currently reaches a collection of over 15,000 toys and art objects. Varol's collection is a statement of refusing to let go his childhood passion, and a representation of the culture of his generation from hip hop to punk, skate culture and street art in general.

Modern art was born from the hands of the collectors of the fifteenth century, the Italian princes, popes, kings, Protestant bourgeois, nobles, imitators of their monarchs. All, with the help of their artists, propagandists of their own power. The old artisans took advantage of this hand to become artists and so exercise their rights, the rights of the talented. That artistic action escaped, centuries later, the walls of the rooms and went to the streets, in the subways (undergrounds), to children's shelves, to movie posters. Now it has returned to the collectors and from them to the museums.
Selim Varol: The art of collecting urban art
Paradoxically, art toys are colectible, mass-produced objects, a dichotomy that can subvert the elitist concept of collector to now secularize it. In 1986, Keith Haring revolutionized the art toys with the opening of The Pop Shop SoHo, offering a range of products created by the artist at affordable prices. Two years later he opened a Pop store in Tokyo. Other graffiti artists such as Stash and Futura 2000 with their store Recon, also favored the evolution of street art into a product that anyone could possess. Varol also attributes much of the recent resurgence of artistic toys to KAWS, who transformed a freelance career in animation at Disney into a toy empire.

The exhibition includes 160 works by KAWS and many others more contemporary artists that refer to mass, popular culture and icons of the twentieth century. Let us remember that an icon is a sign that maintains a similarity with what is represented, and we are faced with the tropes of today's world recomposed in tones of irony and humor: Bush is a vampire, a dollar a death flag, Mickey Mouse is a cyborg, and flocks of birds throw napalm.
Selim Varol: The art of collecting urban art
Upon entering the "collector's room" it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the the large amount of pieces and simultaneously revive the spirit of youth and the enthusiasm necessary to amass an enormous collection. The horror vacui seizes us, our glance gets lost and scans the space without knowing where to focus, a sort of imaginary hypertrophy has its counterpart in today's world: where the image is not only observed, but it is inhabited.

At home, I’m a tourist. CAC Málaga. Malaga, Spain

Silvia Álvarez Mena

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