Visionary Algarve art promoter Rolf Osang dies in Germany
The Algarve’s artistic community is reacting with sadness and dismay this week following news that former art promoter Rolf Osang has died in Germany.
Just short of his 70th birthday, Rolf had been ill for some time and forced to leave the Algarve he loved so much partly for health reasons.
But his legacy in terms of how he nurtured the artistic community lives on, with dozens of comments posted online attesting to happier times.
Osang’s ‘greatest hour’ was possibly the Porca Preta era, in Monchique, before the economic crisis played havoc with the local art market.
In the stunning hamlet he renovated with that name, he hosted endless parties and events with artists of all kinds enjoying much success.
His ideas on how to promote art and generate interest were truly inspirational and had there been more ready finance at the right time, the sky quite honestly could have been the limit.
Rolf imagined an art academy – to impel the kind of touristic niche market that Italy has in places like Tuscany – he yearned to create an online culture site, with video clips and interviews – even debates, bringing local celebrities together – and he was always passionate about discovering new talent.
His years running Arte Algarve in Lagoa transformed a drab dingey winery into a vibrant colourful space in which artists of all abilities got the chance of exposure.
And the parties he managed to lay on for each exhibition attracted hundreds of people who will now all be fondly recalling sun-drenched afternoons with glasses clinking and hopes riding high.
As ceramic artist Birte Pröttel has written over Facebook: “Thank you for the beautiful hours we had through you.”
God bless, Rolf. No one will forget you.
By NATASHA DONN firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Rolf with his little shadow, rescue dog Mokka
Photo by: ANABELA GASPAR/ OPEN MEDIA GROUP