Inside Jaime Colsa’s art collectionUrvanity_crew / 5 October, 2020
Jaime Colsa (Cantabria, 1972) has been an art collector since he was a teenager and his hobby has not stopped. In his personal collection he treasures works of Spaniards among which are Kepa Garraza, Eugenio Merino or Marina Vargas: always artists with whom he has a personal relationship. It has been precisely this love for art that has led him to get into the world of artistic patronage. This industrial engineer, owner of the transport company Palibex and one of the boldest entrepreneurs in the sector, is the architect of the Truck Art Project, which today has a fleet of up to twenty-four trucks intervened by artists (including Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Okuda and Sergio Mora) travelling the roads of the country and has created within his company the PBX Creativa initiative, from where he has curated more than twenty artistic murals at Palibex’s headquarters. His way of conceiving art is to share it and make other people participate and his goal is to help artists to continue creating and in the process promote, modernize and make the transport and logistics sector more attractive. Jaime Colsa opens for us the doors of his most personal projects and we review with him in this interview part of his collection, his latest artistic findings and some of his favorite ones. With Colsa, we open a new section where we give a voice to collectors, a key figure in the entangled art world, and where, through their knowledge, artistic acquisitions and personal taste, we try to enter this contemporary art universe from a different perspective.
When did you realize art was part of your life?
I’ve been interested in art since I was a child. That interest grew when I started to collaborate with my drawing teacher in High School, painter José Cataluña. I was only fourteen years old but I helped him to take pictures and edit catalogs for an art gallery he had in Santander.
How and when did you start collecting?
In 1988, when I was 16, I acquired my first work at ARCO, a fair that I have visited every year since its first editions. I spent ten thousand of the old ‘pesetas’, an amount that meant a great economic outlay for a boy my age. I remember that moment with great affection because, from then on, I began to become more intensely fond of collecting.
What was that first acquisition?
It was an original silk-screen print on canvas by a Czech artist. The image showed an alarm clock and a tibia bone. However, the first painting I had was a work by José Cataluña, which is still hanging at home. This painting, although I didn’t buy it because it was a gift from the artist himself, has much more meaning for me.
Parallel to your collection you have several patronage projects underway. Do you consider yourself a collector and a patron in equal parts?
I consider myself more a patron than a collector because I prefer to promote new projects and help artists to continue creating and living from their work than to store the works. In fact, I don’t keep them for my own personal contemplation but rather I try to get art out of museums and private galleries so that as many people as possible can enjoy them.
What is the main artistic line of your projects as a patron?
It is a very complete sample of contemporary artists from a generation similar to mine. My two main sponsorship projects are Truck Art Project and PBX Creativa. Throughout my career I have evolved from the acquisition of personal works that I would hang at home or at the office, to fund public art projects, investing in murals and large format pieces that can be seen on the street or on the road, promoting modernization and making the transportation and logistics sector more attractive.
In what do both patronages differ from each other?
The criteria for collecting are very clear and defined in both collections. Truck Art Project brings together works by Spanish artists whom we can meet personally to share their creative process. PBX Creativa also contemplates Contemporary Art but it is closer to urban and Street Art because it connects with our desire to revitalize industrial areas and logistic warehouses.
About how many artworks do you have in your collection?
On the one hand, Truck Art Project already has 27 works – 24 of them are trucks intervened by artists and the rest are in other formats such as video or music – by artists such as Abraham Lacalle, Santiago Ydañez, Marina Vargas, Okuda or Felipe Pantone. Almost all of the art intervention trucks provide services to Palibex, the express transport company I founded eight years ago, but any other logistics company can join the project to increase its fleet.
PBX Creativa, currently has around twenty murals. Most of the works are in our Madrid headquarters but there are also other samples of the collection in Valladolid, Ciudad Real, Toledo and, soon, in Barcelona.
What artists are the most repeated in your different collections?
Abraham Lacalle, Marina Vargas, Rafa Macarrón, Felipe Pantone, Ana Barriga or Manuel León are among my favorites artists.
What was the last piece you bought?
The last piece was a portrait of the King and Queen of Spain from the series “Propaganda” by the Basque artist, Kepa Garraza.
Do you collect with your head or with your heart?
Clearly with the heart, I am guided by impulses. I only acquire works that move me, and although I try to document myself to understand the context and the artist behind it, it is a more passionate than rational decision.
What is one of your reference art collections?
The “MER Collection”, by Elena Rueda and Marcos Martín. Also “Los Bragales” Collection, by Jaime Sordo.
How do you evaluate online art fairs? Have you acquired any pieces in this ‘new’ modality?
It is very likely that it is a valid model in the current era, but for the moment I think it is essential to see the work physically. I bought one or two, but they were from artists I already know and identified the work.
Your latest artistic discovery?
African-American artist, Jammie Holmes
In art fairs, online, during openings… Where do you usually acquire art?
I try to keep an eye on international trends by visiting some of the most important fairs held in Spain or abroad such as Frieze London or Art Basel. In Spain, I also keep in touch with other professionals through the Collectors’ Association 9915, Club Matador and the relationships I establish through Truck Art Project, which has allowed me to meet some of the most renowned artists of the Spanish contemporary scene.
What links do you have with other collectors, museums or institutions?
I’m a member of the Collectors Association 9915, a founding member of Club Matador and “Amigo ARCO”, one of the fairs with which I have the most relations since I bet mainly on contemporary Spanish artists. One of my great references is my friend Jaime Sordo, president of the Association of Private Collectors of Contemporary Art 9915. I also have a very positive relationship with other art fairs such as Urvanity, MARTE, Estampa or ArteSantander.
Is your collection exposed to the public?
Both art collections, Truck Art Project and PBX Creativa, are already on display to the public both on the roads and in the logistic warehouses. For now, we have made the galleries realize that trucks and other moving vehicles offer a very valid format to promote artists and bring art to the general public in a different and innovative way.
How do you see the future of your collection?
The future lies in continuing to expand the collections, helping the artists and bringing art closer to a wider public. It would be desirable that more companies, trucks and artists join this project.