A HARD ROLE TO CARRY
01 December 2017, AY1661 Helsinki - Madrid
I try to find some glamour for the end of a mundane story. Seat 4C (I never choose window because the aisle seat has an easier access to the toilet and the emergency exit) in business class (no stardom, just accumulated points). Number 4 is considered an unlucky number in Chinese numerology because it is nearly homophonous to the word death. The letter C represents constant change - I guess including the end of life. I sip Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale. Actually I don’t like champagne but it’s just a class ritual.
Before boarding I met Pauli when the monitor blinked last call announcement. We said hello and then I was politely asked to proceed through the gate. Facebook status update: Top players of the art world are busy and always on the move. I had a brief meeting with Serlachius Museums’ director Dr. Sivonen at Helsinki International Airport. He arrived from LHR and I’m heading to MAD.
Basically my days in Finland were working class style routine waking up at 6am and traveling almost two hours to work at Hyvinkää Art Museum where my show Presidential Game opened last night. I had a good team at the museum. We painted huge mural portraits of the 12 presidents of the Republic of Finland. The show coincides with both the 100th independence day of the nation state and the presidential elections. The museum visitors can give positive and negative votes to the presidents with green and red stickers.
Last weekend Jaakko said that I should do something special to get some visibility to the show in the provincial museum. I said that I could draw small portraits of the presidents and glue them on Presidentti brand covfefe packages in supermarkets. He phoned to Oskari, Helsingin Sanomat’s journalist, who interviewed me last winter at Closing Borders show at Serlachius Museums. This kind of actions doesn’t exist if it’s not in media. I felt responsibility towards Hyvinkää’s museum. They anticipate lots of visibility when they invite me to show. Sometimes it’s a hard role to carry. This time I was able to fulfill their expectations.
THE FIRST ABSTRACT PAINTING OF THE WORLD
06 November 2017, Pepino
Malevich was wrong. The Black Square is not abstract. One hundred years later, I have finally created the first abstract painting of the art history.
The abstract art is supposed to be independent from visual references to the world. Malevich said that his Black Square evokes the experience of pure non-objectivity in the white emptiness of a liberated nothing. I’ve showed with my monochrome painting series - colors with text references - that a color can never be independent of meanings. A color is as illustrative as a picture.
A true abstract work can have no color. Furthermore, it can have no shape. Just like colors, any form is a reference to the world. It is from zero, in zero, that the true movement of being begins, Malevich stated.
The possibilities to eliminate the shape is ∞ or 0. The size of my abstract painting is zero. It has neither form nor color. Finally, abstract art has reached its culmination and perfection by me.
MY SALES METHODS
27 October 2017, Pepino
I know nothing about sales methods but sometimes I’m good in the art of selling my art. This week I conducted a successfull three day social selling process with an art collector who came to visit my studio and stayed in our house. It can be hard if you are selling some uninteresting bullshit but easy when both parts have the same passion - my art. It’s gratifying for an egomaniac artist to spend time with his collectors, they are eager to know everything about you and listen to all your anecdotes. I think that for many collectors the essential substance is becoming a part of the artist’s story, the actual sale is just a key to his world and entourage.
We made an excursion to Cáceres and visited one of my favorite art museusm, Museo Vostell Malpartida, and Centro de Artes Visuales Fundación Helga de Alvear. To our surprise we found in Cáceres an interesting high quality commercial gallery, Kernel, that showcases strictly abstract art. However, the way to a collector’s heart is through his stomach. Good Spanish food and wine are even more important than art theory in my business.
BESTIARUM VOCABULUM OF MICKEY AND PORKY
12 October 2017, Pepino
I’ve been painting Dumbo, Sponge Bob, Pluto and Porky. These anthropomorphic creatures have very little to do with the wild life - they are more like fursuiter humans. However, I’d like to call myself animalier, which refers to an artist, who specializes in the portrayal of animals.
I’m not a fabulist giving moral lessons - what I’m creating is a contemporary turborealist beastiary. Do androids dream of electric sheep? No idea but the humans prefer the simulacrum of Disneyland animal replicas. There’s more technicolor in Mickey Mouse than in the real rats living in waste containers. Porky doesn’t exist in the same dimension with the ham in my sandwich.
Bestiary is a compendium of beasts. Originating in the ancient world, bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals. The books were more about the symbolic language than natural history. Also Leonardo da Vinci made his own bestiarum vocabulum.
Animal painters came lower down in the hierarchy of genres, only still life was less prestigious subject matter. Painting living creatures was more estimable than representing dead things without movement. Dumbo is neither living nor dead, he’s animated, not an animated corpse like a vodou zombie but like a golem created from inanimate matter. Golem, in Jewish folklore, is a mutable metaphor with unlimited symbolism. My paintings are golems - not made of mud and clay but synthetic acrylic and enamel paints - and I'm the rabbi controlling them.
MOBY DICK DADA PSYCHOPOMPS
25 September 2017, Pepino
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Operation Anubis is the law enforcement operation against the Catalan independence referendum that is planned for next Sunday. Ancient Egyptian god Anubis was a psychopomp, a deity that escorted souls to the afterlife. The question is that does the Guardia Civil, a military force with police duties, guide Catalonia to the heaven or the hell.
The Spanish government has rented several passenger ships to house thousands of riot control troops. One of the cruise ferries anchored in the port of Barcelona is MS Moby Dada, painted with a colorful livery featuring Looney Toones cartoon characters. I guess the Spanish forces identify themselves with Wile E. Coyote, who repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat Road Runner, but is never successful. At least after the battle they can rest in the casino and the spa of the love boat. I can recommend warmly the sauna. The ship was built in 1980 in Finland and I traveled with her, called then MS Finlandia, to Stockholm when I was six.The ball pit is great too, but I guess it's now filled with multicolor rubber bullets.
Last night several graffiti of hogtied Tweety appeared on the walls around Barcelona. Tweety looks small, cute and powerless domestic canary bird, but in fact he is an aggressive character, who tries anything to foil his foe, even kicking his enemy when he is down.
The love boat has crashed against the everyday.
When I was a kid, I watched the American romantic sitcom Love Boat but maybe it has nothing to do with Moby Dada. Melville's Mody Dick is a more accurate counterpart. The Spanish government is the monomaniacal captain Ahab, obsessed with the whale, who finally drags him to the death.
Dada was a radical anti-capitalist and anti-nationalist avantgarde anti-art movement reacting with nonsense and irrationality to the insane spectacle of the collective homicide of the World War I. We need less nationalist capitalism and more Dada in Catalonia and Spain. True places and real cultures are nothing you can border on a map.