Luis Bisbe de la Fuente Alberto Peral García / Galería Alegría

Site-Specific Conversation’s collaboration with Barcelona Gallery Weekend continues with a series of conversations that will be published weekly over the summer.

Once again, the event centres on a novel this year: Just Kids, by Patti Smith. In doing so, it highlights the process of ‘growing together’ and delves into artists’ beginnings, professionalisation, coexistence with the art market’s demands, and collaboration dynamics, among other elements.

Today we are chatting to artists Luis Bisbe de la Fuente and Alberto Peral García and gallerist Sebastián Rosselló, the co-director of Galería Alegría. This is the first time they are working on an exhibition project together, and the whole process is based on the affection, respect and, above all, trust they have cultivated through years of friendship. The carte blanche Sebastián has given the artists has enabled them to coexist in the space, with more time than they would usually have, so that they can size it up and generate a dialogue that goes beyond the realm of the object.

  • Sebas, how did you meet Luis and Alberto?
  • Sebastián
    I met Alberto first when I helped to install one of his
    exhibitions at Galería Alejandro Sales. At that time, I was working in the gallery, helping to set up exhibitions and looking after the storage part. I suppose I met Luis a bit later, some night in some bar in Raval.
  • Luis
    We had friends in common. You were Daniel Steegmann’s friend.
  • Sebastián                                                                             Yes!
  • SSC
    And, Alberto, Luis, have you known each other for longer than that?
  • Alberto
    Not much longer. I arrived in Barcelona in 1994. It was during the years when I was settling in here, meeting people… To be honest, I’m not sure who I met first out of Sebas and Luis. Sebas was an
    artist for a time; he even exhibited his work at Halfhouse. Sometime after, he started the Galería Alegría project.
  • Luis
    We used to go to all of the gallery’s openings. As well as an art space, it was a meeting point. I met Alberto when we were setting up Pérez Sica’s exhibition. It was common at that time to work for an exhibition installation company to earn a bit of money.
  • Alberto                                                                                The decision to do something together, like this project in the gallery, came about because we’re friends. The starting point for this conversation is very apt, because we’re more friends than anything else. This is the first time all three of us have worked
    together on the same artistic project, but before this, we had already connected on other levels: emotional, mental… Over those years, our generation also came together with a younger generation, with Dionis (Escorsa) and Dani (Daniel Steegmann), among others.
  • Sebastián                                                                   I Remember when Alberto opened Halfhouse, within a week I was looking for the cheapest space in Barcelona so that I could open a gallery, too. And I found a really charming place. As soon as I signed the contract, I was on the phone to Alberto to tell him about it. Halfhouse pushed me to make that step. etHALL was also starting at that time… We all coincided a lot. It was a really fun, prolific time.
  • SSC
    Alberto, would you say that being an artist while managing a project like Halfhouse, which has meant so much to Barcelona’s artistic community, gives you a different perspective of your own work?
  • Alberto
    It gives me a perspective as an artist, and at the same time, it allows me to experience other projects first hand. You absorb all this experience and coexistence with the artist. Ultimately, that’s the most interesting part. All of it is really enriching, of course… For me, having that relationship with the projects and seeing how an artist brings together an exhibition, all of that
    leads to growth as a person and as an artist. As usual with this type of project, a lot of bureaucracy is involved, but that rich experience has shaped me as an artist. As it happens, Sebas and I, for example, were artists before we were gallerists or programmers for independent spaces. For me, this is very important because there’s an understanding, a trust, a different way of asking questions. And that’s really enriching for art. Now, with the project for BGW at Galería Alegría, something similar to that environment in Halfhouse is being created: an environment of friendship, of understanding, knowing and trusting each other. Delving deep, where possible.
  • SSC
    Sebas, I gather that the relationship with the rest of the gallery’s artists must be different.
  • Sebastián
    I’m closer to Alberto and Luis than to other artists. But I usually trust people anyway.
    On many occasions I’ve put on exhibitions of artists I don’t know and I haven’t been able to see their work in person until it arrives at the gallery and I unwrap it. With these two, it’s a very different exhibition to what we normally do. We’ve allowed them to do absolutely whatever they want. In fact, we gave them the keys to the gallery and they have been working in the space for weeks.

SSC                                                                                                    You’ve given them carte blanche.

  • Sebastián
    Having this type of process that is different to the usual ones brings a lot of meaning to the work we do. We can go to the limits, delve deeper and play with the space.
  • SSC
    Is this the first time you’re working together, Alberto and Luis?


  • Alberto                                                                               I I think it’s the first time, or at least the first time so
    directly. We might have coincided before in a collective exhibition or at Halfhouse. In these situations, you realise the art is just as important as creating a good environment for creativity to flourish. I mean, this situation where Sebas has
    left us with the gallery and trusts us, and let’s see what we come up with. Those spaces of freedom, that let you be there and try things, are where things can happen. The whole process has been really enriching. There’s been a lot of communication, a lot of thoroughness… It’s also important to let the readings made by other people permeate you. That’s the most
    magical thing. It happened to me a while ago: I put on an exhibition with a friend of ours, Serafín Rodríguez, and I felt like I’d never learnt so much in such a short space of time. And now I’m getting that same feeling again.
  • Luis                                                                                        It’s been a really symbiotic creative process, but equally, each of us is presenting our own things. In the final result, there’s respect and clear awareness of each person’s individuality, but at the same time, there’s a dialogue. To achieve something like this, you need to be willing to calm your ego, for the good of the exhibition.
  • SSC
    Can you give us a snippet of what you’re going to present?



  • Alberto
    It’s an exhibition that will reflect that we have been here. In other words, not only has there been a relationship between Luis and me, but there has also been a relationship with the space, which happens to have a lot of character. That’s why we have spent so much time coexisting in it, to size it up. There were still days when we didn’t do anything, but being here
    was necessary. We’ve given ourselves plenty of time and we’ve followed other criteria: not those usually adopted in the world of business or work, for example.
  • SSC
    Taking time for exploration, for enjoyment, without having to rush, is quite rare.
    To finish up, we always ask a question you should answer briefly, almost without thinking: what do you think makes relationships between artists and gallerists last?


  • Sebastián
    Even if it’s a professional relationship, there must be something more than that. Or that’s how I see it. And for that to happen, there needs to be trust, commitment. You need to row in unison,
    because you’re always in the same boat.
  • Alberto
    That’s how I see it, too. If you add affection and
    friendship to a professional relationship, more interesting things can happen. But, above all, there must be respect and trust.
  • Luis
    I agree with Alberto completely about trust and respect being essential. Like in any other relationship where you want to avoid stagnation, mutual growth and learning must be stimulated.


Barcelona Gallery Weekend busca reforzar y hacer visible el rico y variado tejido artístico de Barcelona, fomentar el coleccionismo de arte y poner en valor la labor de las galerías como espacios generadores de cultura abiertos a toda la ciudadanía. Del 14 al 17 de Septiembre de 2023 se celebrará la 9ª edición con 27 galerías que presentan el trabajo de más de 60 artistas.