Since the beginning of this month, the Paseo de Poniente has been the scene of a new monumental sculpture exhibition “My Secret Garden” by the Belgian artist Arne Quinze, who yesterday toured the exhibition, accompanied by Mayor Tony Perez; Historical Heritage Councilor Anna Pellicer; City of Arts and Sciences (CAC) Director of Content, Miriam Atienza; and the organization’s Deputy Director of Institutional Relations and Promotion Julio Monreal, among others. The exhibition, which comes to the city from the hand of the CAC, consists of six colorful large-scale aluminum sculptures that evoke a conceptual garden that merges with the “living nature” of Benidorm, as Tony Perez highlighted yesterday.
The mayor pointed out that on the Paseo de Poniente, Arne Quinze’s sculptures not only have a “dialogue with the viewer”, but also “with the beach, the sea and the island”, banners of this “living nature” of the city. Tony Perez assured that having “My Secret Garden” in a place like Poniente’s front line is “wonderful” and praised the “author’s dedication” in “bringing life to cities through color”.
Likewise, he emphasized that with this exhibition, Benidorm reaffirms its commitment to putting art on the street and encouraging “people to encounter it”; a philosophy that the pandemic has generalized in many places due to the impossibility of the public to access museums and in which “we have been working here for some time through the ‘Benidorm Exposes’ initiative promoted by the Department of Historical Heritage”.
Also in this vein, the CAC’s director of content emphasized the importance of “bringing art closer to the people” and “turning cities into open-air museums.” Atienza explained that My Secret Garden “was made especially for CAC.” Since then, the exhibition has traveled through various Spanish cities, conveying “a message of preservation and conservation of nature through the conceptual representation of flowers.”
The artist, for his part, thanked the place chosen for exhibiting his works, as “such a space is not always found” facing the sea and also “very accessible to the public”. Arne Quinze defended the importance of “colouring cities, even those with a lot of color like Benidorm”.
“My Secret Garden” can be seen on the stretch of Paseo de Poniente closest to La Cala, from the intersection of Armada Española and Vicente Llorca Alós avenues to Puerto Rico avenue, where the artist’s large swan sculpture is located. Taiwanese Hung Yi.
“With this new exhibition – noted the adviser of historical heritage – sculptures of three internationally known artists such as Hung Yi, Juan Mejica and Arne Quinze coexist on our Paseo de Poniente, consolidated as an open-air museum”. A coexistence that is probably found in very few cities in the world. In addition, Pellicer recalled, “My Secret Garden” is the second exhibition of sculptures to arrive in Benidorm through the CAC, with which “there is a great harmony in the matching vision in terms of the expediency of turning cities into museums in the air without freedom”.
A relationship and collaboration that will continue into the future and that reflects the “perfect marriage” between an institution that “seeks to design culture, art, leisure and innovation” and a city that “radiates beauty, sea and art from its streets”, according to CAC’s Deputy Director of Institutional Relations and Outreach. Monreal confirmed that the fact that “four sculptural exemplars” currently coexist in the city at street level is “proof” that Benidorm is a “thriving municipality” with a City Council that is “committed to art”.
My Secret Garden will initially be in Benidorm until next May. However, the city council informed the CAC that it would like to extend the exhibition until September 2023, thus favoring hundreds of thousands of tourists to be able to enjoy it next summer. For now, during the visit, Arne Quinze himself expressed his desire for “My Secret Garden” to remain in Benidorm “as long as possible”.