Alexandre Melo is curator of the Private Bank collection and Elypse Foundation. The collection of Private Bank was a collection started more than half a dozen years and was originally a collection of contemporary Portuguese art only and that was to be gathered under the protocol between the Private Bank and the Serralves Foundation, according to which works from the collection of the Private Bank be deposited in Serralves, which made the acquisition criteria and acquisitions were decided in collaboration with me as responsible for the collection of the Private Bank and the artistic director of Serralves, Vicente Tolodi at the time, even at that time with the collaboration of João Fernandes, and later with João Fernandes as director.
After 3 or 4 years of work became an exhibition of the collection of the Bank in Serralves, which occupied the entire space of the museum, only Portuguese art. Later Dr. João Rendeiro, President of the Bank, has decided to make an international art collection, continuing the collaboration with Serralves. With the evolution of the collection has an international dimension with Dr. João Rendeiro had the idea to create the Elypse Foundation, headed by him, with the assistance of other people from Portugal, Brazil and Spain, is an international foundation based in the Netherlands, though the center array is in Portugal, with the most ambitious goal of building a collection of international contemporary art that will become a reference collection for the period from the turn of the century, the end of the XX century, beginning of XXI century. There are 3 curators and then there is a panel of consultants with whom we formally met once or twice a year.
The collection has three components, have the artists that we consider historical, with works from the late ‘70s, first half of the 80s, then there are some artists who are at the core of the collection that had a stronger claim, most unique in the panorama world in the last 10, 15 years, and then we have emerging artists, who began to hear the last 5, 6 years.
That idea of the criterion of art as the pope who builds and destroys a reputation with a text, I think no longer exists. Today most of the texts which are published on the plastic arts are not critical texts, texts are news, reports, interviews, news stories and appreciation of works depends on a discourse that is more journalistic than properly critical in the artistic sense.
The whole situation of collecting along the XX century is miserable. Portugal reached the end of the XX century without having anything at all, it is a scandal, is the demonstration of absolute cultural underdevelopment of Portugal throughout the XX century.
The Berardo Collection is a collection that comes to modify significantly the reference of collecting and of the art in Portugal and the lending contract (loan to the State) for 10 years is balanced. The Berardo Collection was created by historical chronological criteria encompassing the likeness of a compendium or a history of art blocks, values didactic and pedagogical perspective.
I'm currently cultural adviser of José Sócrates without power of decision or budget.
The art market today essentially passes through London and New York although Germany and France still have some weight, but there are art centers emerging everywhere.
There is often international exhibitions in which there are so many Portuguese artists such as Spanish, in the younger generations of artists.