October 14, 2005

Galeria H & H, a sense of art

By Geneva Gamez

A little bit about the Owners of the Galería H&H

Petra Hewel-Herrmann from Cologne, Germany and Dr. Jens Herrmann, from Hamburg, Germany have been residing in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico for the last 3 years. Prior to moving to Tijuana, they lived in La Paz, Baja California Sur for more than 3 years. Petra is originally from Cologne and Jens from Hamburg.

About the Gallery

The idea of establishing an Art Gallery was born during the development of Petra and Dr. Jens’ Virtual Art Gallery “ArteTotal.com” on the Internet, which served as a mean to promote 9 local artists form La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico between 1999 and 2002. By mid 2002 “ArteTotal.com” had about 560 artworks within its virtual art gallery.

“We had envisaged that this promotional effort would stimulate communication between the viewers of the artworks and the artists themselves,” said the Herrmanns. “Selling pieces of art through the Internet was not our aim, but we had hoped that the Internet as a global meeting platform would generate more direct interrelationships between the artists and people interested in art,” they added.

Unfortunately, the webpage visits rose to the fifteen hundreds every month, but the established contacts were lacking. The Herrmanns came to the conclusion that they had overlooked the missing link in the relationship between the artist and relevant groups of people interested in the fine arts. In short we are talking about the art dealer as the intermediary between the artist and the public.

Two years later in September 2002 “Newsweek” wrote on their cover page: “The World´s Most Creative Cities: The New Centers of Culture and Vitality are far from New York, Paris and London. NEWSWEEK´S Top Eight.” The article “The World´s New Culture Meccas” describes Tijuana, Mexico, as one of them. Petra and Dr. Jens don’t share that opinion after knowing the art scene of Tijuana a little better.

“There are a good number of artists with a fascinating and innovative production of artworks but this is happening in many other places worldwide too” said Petra and husband Jens, adding that “Many artists feel “homeless” regarding their representation within a broader public as well as on the market.”

This is perhaps due to the non-existing art market in Tijuana -which doesn’t mean that artists don’t sell pieces of art. For years there were no professional privately run galleries in Tijuana focusing exclusively on contemporary art.

Establishing Galería H&H, came at a perfect time. In August 2003, Galeria H & H opened its doors in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, as a strategic point to reach the communities of art lovers and collectors on both sides of the border; by December they had the Herrmanns had their first curated collective show “The Mexican Californias “.

The gallery specializes in contemporary artworks of the visual arts by emerging artists from Northwest Mexico; paintings, drawings, assemblages, sculptures, objects and etchings are some of the artworks featured. A few artists from Baja California Sur whom were selected for the promotional program of ArteTotal form an integral part of the gallery.

In regards to the concept of dealing with art, Petra and Dr. Jens agree with Heinz Berggruen, the famous German art dealer and collector, who describes the art dealer as a person who not only sells pieces of art but also participates actively in the cultural and artistic events of his time and environment.

“To accompany the artists in their process of creative expression is an essential element for our understanding of their artistic development,” agree the owners of Galeria H & H. “Promotion and Networking are two main pillars in our efforts to create and foster new opportunities for the artists in the context of contemporary art.”

Galeria H & H is actively looking for new and young artist. Once Petra and Dr. Jens detect an artist with interesting ideas, concepts and approaches they make a follow-up of her/his work. This often takes some months or longer. Once they decide to incorporate the artist as a featured artist into the gallery portfolio, they start planning an individual show with that artist -a project which last about 9 to 12 months. Once the artworks for the show have been selected a crucial part of the gallery concept begins: the promotion of the artworks.

Although, this is a commercial gallery, the focus is the promotion of the artworks and the artists rather than the selling. This is why there is no standardized scheme for the selection of works.

“We don’t look for artworks that fit to the tastes of the potential clients; we rather look for clients that fit to the artworks we have selected. That is and makes a great difference,” admit Petra and Dr. Jens. “We are fully aware that the only valid denominator in the relationship between the artist and us is the artwork.”

Petra and Dr. Jens own their own collection of art from places they have lived and worked such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and Mexico. Aside from enjoying a good piece of art that is attractive not only to the eye but also carries a connection, the Herrmanns also purchase artworks from artists as their way of showing their support to that particular artist.

This week, the gallery is showing works from Mely Barragán, Julio Orozco, Daniel Ruanova, José Hugo Sánchez and Ricardo Sanders at ArtFair 2005 in Cologne, Germany. ArtFair is a renowned International Exhibition showcasing 21st century art from over sixty galleries from all over the world and featuring over two-hundred artists. Galeria H & H is the only gallery that was accepted to represent Mexico this year. A total of twenty-six pieces of work will be shown from the mentioned artists from now until November 1st.

Galeria H & H is located at Av. Coronel Esteban Cantu 2651, Colonia Davila (La Cacho) or reached by phone at 01152-664-900-6133 website: www.jjponline.com

To contact Geneva Gamez e-mail: gamezgeneva@yahoo.com.

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