Our Founder, Seb Melchor, talks art, careers, life and all things Intemperie.
Read all about it in the full interview below.
You’ve founded Intemperie following a hugely successful career in law. What are your motivations and aspirations for Intemperie?
After many years practicing law in top-tier law firms, I came to realize that I was missing a vital ingredient in my life - which was creativity. Being driven by a single objective to succeed professionally gives you access to financial gratification, but can leave you poorer inside. The allure of chasing goals of prestige and money doesn’t last a lifetime. Life’s lessons are too expensive not to learn from. In 2013, I embarked on a mission to recuperate my creative, curious, philosophical self, before it was too late. I’ve not looked back! My first exploration was a short film, Drop-Dead Rich (Audience Award at the Prague Film School), a tribute to my favorite Director, David Lynch, and took as its theme the metaphor of the 'Time vs Money' dilemma. From here, I moved to New Zealand to study cinema at the New Zealand Film & Television School and was selected to direct the end of year short, which was subsequently invited to international film festivals. Having started my creative journey, it was my meeting with Javier Murcia, a fellow Canary Islander living in New Zealand, that ignited the flame that led to the establishment of Intemperie. His determination and need to realize his vision resonated with me – it reflected the same single-minded energy I had, but been unaware of, throughout my career. His drive was for a higher calling - the creation of beauty. My role became clear - to celebrate and support artists who are compelled to create. Intemperie was born to provide a stage for artists who are not afraid of being bold, of being perceptive. Our patronage and representation is for those artists who might have previously led successful careers in other industries but, like me, are motivated by life’s lessons to turn to art later in life as part of their journey - the universal journey to find meaning.
You offer a fantastic translation of ‘Intemperie’ and explanation to why you chose the name for the gallery / agency. Can you share that with us and outline how it forms the tenets of this new venture?
I found a magazine in my hotel room during a business trip to Mexico City 15 years ago entitled La Intemperie del Amor. It is a hard phrase to translate without losing some of the more subtle sense of the Spanish original. Essentially it means, 'the inclemency of love'. To be ‘at the intemperie’ means to be outside, exposed to the elements, to its mercy and fancies. I compare it with being in love - a place which combines formidable natural forces which can render you defenseless and exposed. It is only when I contemplate specific works of art, movies, or music that I have been enveloped by this overwhelming feeling - beauty and strength. This is what I seek through life and the artists I work with.
You are launching with a intimate and impressive stable of artists from around the world. Are there key elements that drew you to these particular practitioners?
I am drawn to artists who are compelled to create. Artists who have an underlying force in their nature to paint, sculpt or record the world around them through their chosen artistic practice. After Javier, other giants came to join Intemperie: Max Patté, Spiros Poros, Marqués de Jadraque and Nikos Michalitsianos - bold, established personalities that I am proud to represent. Like myself, most of them have led successful careers in other industries but have chosen to focus on their creative calling at a later stage of their lives.
What plans do you have for Intemperie as a predominantly online space?
I do not think that having a physical space is a pre-condition to being able to best serve our artist and collectors. I believe it’s important to be agile both in the online and physical space. Firstly, we aim to provide a virtual excellence at the outset as the online space becomes as important, if not more, than the physical one. There are many freedoms to not being limited to one location and, as we have established relationships with artists working across the globe, we feel it is important to showcase their work to international audiences. However, it is also hugely important to continue direct contact with our collectors. Throughout the year, we will be exhibiting at curated events, art fairs and have planned pop-up events in shared, exciting gallery spaces.
Alongside the launch of Intemperie, you are also launching the Intemperie Foundation Grant. Can you tell us more about this and why it is so important in the development of Intemperie?
Everything started when I met Javier while he was still working in the film industry and decided to allocate the money I had saved for my first feature film to help him realize his vision. He locked himself in his studio, surrounded by talented colleagues, and produced an exceptional series of work, the Eidos collection. Instead of making this an exception, but rather the rule, I have initiated the foundation to support individual artists who have reached a crossroads in life and who proactively choose to pursue their art path. Based in Singapore, the Intemperie Foundation will offer grants and residencies to support their artistic projects.