Kindred Tales | Galería Échale Guindas
Sisters María and Laura are the co-founders of Galería Échale Guindas. Born and based in Madrid, they both grew up loving art, design, architecture and cinema. Galería Échale Guindas is a dog friendly gallery where you can find artwork by over 40 different international artists, including the The Dog Cabinet which is a group show packed from floor to ceiling with dog portraits by different artists.
We spoke to María and Laura about the inspiration behind the gallery along with their dogs Ramón and Curra and charity Las Muy Perras.
Tell us a about Galería Échale Guindas and the inspiration behind the gallery?
It was in 2016 when we finally made the decision, an art gallery was the place for us. We found the perfect spot for the gallery on one of our favourite streets in the city, Pelayo Street. Échale Guindas Gallery is a project brought about by a love of art, a desire to be surrounded by beauty and bring it closer both to art lovers and to those who still don’t know they are. A gallery where you can enjoy artwork by national and international artists in a different way. A space for creation and experimentation that accommodates every technique and format.
We wanted our Art Gallery to be different from a traditional one. Our purpose from the beginning was for it to feel like a comfy living room, a place where you would step in and feel welcome. A place where you would spend time hanging around, watching, learning, enjoying the moment. Galería Échale Guindas means affordable art in a friendly space, a dog friendly space, of course.
What inspires the selection of work in the gallery?
You can find artwork by 40 different artists at the moment in the gallery. Our intention has always been to select artists whose works inspire us. The group of artists we work with have become part of the family and for this we feel blessed. Our selection of artwork reflects the style of art we would have in our home.
Undertaking this project as sisters has undoubtedly been an advantage. Our taste in art is very similar, so decisions become easier to make. We love illustration, painting, collage, photography and ceramics which is what we have selected for our visitors.
It is obvious when you visit our space that the artwork we exhibit has something in common: colour. We both agree that art should not invade your space. Art that contributes to your home but does not interfere with the calm, so we tend to choose pieces with a softer pallet.
There is another important point behind the selection in the gallery: you sometimes have to look twice. It's not strange that we are amused by this idea as we have grown up reading mystery books, watching old movies, loving Halloween. We love when art contains humour, mystery, something disturbing, kind of disquieting. Is there anything more fun than having to walk past a painting twice and being even more amazed the second time? We love it when this happens.
Our love for dogs has influenced our decisions as well. All of our artists are dog lovers and that is something you discover as soon as you step foot in the room. There are plenty of dog paintings set up in the walls. Last year our third room became The Dog Cabinet, a group show packed from floor to ceiling with dog portraits by our artists. A lovely space we feel so proud of (#THEDOGCABINET)
Tell us about Las Muy Perras?
Las Muy Perras means a lot to us.
We met Maru Quiñonero 5 years ago, she was our first selected artist and the first exhibition we set up in the gallery. We became close friends and she told us about this project she had founded, which we decided to join. It was an honour for us to become part of this association and now we can proudly say we are part of Las Muy Perras.
Las Muy Perras non-profit association formed by Maru Quiñonero, Rebeca Khamlichi, Ale Megale and Échale Guindas (2 artists, 1 photographer and an art gallery crazy about dogs.)
Currently we have focused our efforts on raising money to help the associations who work on the front line and giving visibility to the hundreds of cases of abuse and neglect that come to us.
Every February 1st we start a new campaign. Why February? Because at the beginning of February the greyhound hunting season ends here in Spain. Hunters begin to get discard of their dogs as they are no longer needed. Well, their discards are our treasures.
You can find out more about Las Muy Perras Here
Tell us about your dogs and how they came into your life?
Laura: Ramón is my Westie, who we adopted around 5 years ago. He came from a home where he was not well treated as they didn’t want him anymore. He has had some health issues since then related to a bad nutrition, but he is much better now. We love him so much and we can’t imagine our lives without him.
María: Curra is my 10 year-old Yorkie. She is the daughter of my husband’s cousin’s dog and came into our lives in 2010. We fell in love with her from the very first moment. She’s always been wise and so well-behaved from day one that we believed she has always been a human lady on the inside.
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
We work from home three or four days a week, so we share our day with our dogs. They fit perfectly in the small space between our lap and the computer.
If can’t take them with us to the gallery and we miss them so much, but our parents live pretty close to us and take care of them until we come back home.
At the gallery we are always surrounded by dogs. As we said, we are a dog friendly gallery and all dogs are always welcome.
You can follow Galería Échale Guindas on instagram and check out the #perritosEG to see all of their dog visitors.