COLD WAR WAS COOL
29 April 2007, Cervera de los Montes
My wife gave me Umberto Eco's A passo di gambrero - a collection of his recent essays. Eco writes about war and peace and makes some interesting remarks on neowar, how he calls the conflicts involving the United States since the first Gulf War until the War on Terrorism. Surprisingly, Eco feels nostalgia for the Cold War. I chatted with Erkka about it and he agreed with Eco and said that then the world was in balance. Is the balance always positive? Do people really miss the equilibrium of the nuclear bombs? I just remember being afraid of the World War III constantly when I was kid.
It's macabre to choose between the horrors but I prefer the Global Civil War (Paul Virilio's concept) to the Cold War. Still, I believe that nostalgia for a horror scenario like an atom war is even worse. Now I'm doing for Umberto, Erkka and other people yearning for the past a big painting called Cold Was Cool.
26 April 2007, Cervera de los Montes
Yesterday, I went to Cáceres to the opening of Muestra de Arte. The opening was boring but it was romantic to drive fast on a raining and empty highway listening to Leonard Cohen's Ten New Songs album.
Today it's again an ordinary day:
7.30 I wake up.
8.00 My wife and daughter leave. I have coffee and read Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper, on internet.
9.00 I go to the studio.
13.00 I go to the bakery.
14.00 I cook lunch.
15.00 My wife and daughter come back and we have lunch.
15.30 They have siesta and I have coffee and read El País, a Spanish newspaper, in print.
17.00 I give a snack to my duaghter and we go for a walk.
19.00 I go back to the studio.
20.30 I bath my daughter and give her dinner.
21.30 I read the e-mails.
22.00 I have dinner with my wife.
23.30 I go to bed.
HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS
24 April 2007, Cervera de los Montes
In my drawings the animals are cute and humanized: they play baseball and eat strawberry ice-cream. They look nice and funny but I think they are horrifying. I don’t mind eating dog but I’d never wear a dog in my favourite football club’s shirt. The number one animal right should be the right to be an animal. Hello Kitty violates more the animal rights than Burger King.
In two weeks, I go to Helsinki for a group show titled Zoo at Galerie Anhava. I’ll do a wall painting with the text Animal Rights Damage Our Economy. I’ve used a lot the slogan Human Rights Damage Our Economy. Now it will be in Chinese on the wall in Beijing in Surge, a show curated by Raul. It opens tomorrow but I go to my other opening in Cáceres – only 2 hours drive from my village. There they don't serve hot dogs but jamón.
20 April 2007, Cervera de los Montes
I'm painting big paintings and I have to face the truth: they are not masterpieces. I'm not Gerhard Richter, Neo Rauch nor Luc Tuymans. I don't have the talent to do the best artworks in the world, but still, I believe that I can be the best artist in the world. Being a great artist is not about the work - it's the attitude what matters. Matisse did better work than Picasso but Matisse is a looser and Picasso is a hero. And Kippenberger is the star if you look the entire oeuvre plus attitude but if you take a single painting it's just mediocre or simply crap. Some people look too much at the art and not enough the artist but nobody listens to Britney Spears singing but look at her tits.
CHINOSERIE VS. PUDDLES
16 April 2007, Cervera de los Montes
Finally, I'm not going to Beijing. I really wanted to go but now I don't mind about it too much. Actually, I hate traveling and I think my family needs me more at home than the art world in China. I sent some politically delicate drawings about American fastfood in China and Chinese prostitution in Spain to Raul - he can eat dog and smoke opium in Beijing. I stay in Cervera de los Montes playing in puddles with my daughter.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND HAPPINESS
10 April 2007, Talavera de la Reina
My painting Captain Genocide's Mixed Bomb is almost finished. It might be my best painting ever but I've spent too much time with biological and chemical warfare: Sulfur mustard gas, cuanogen chloride, kolokol-1, anthrax, bubonic plague, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, novichok agent, yellow fever, lewisite, diphosgene, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen mustard gas, sarin, cyclosarin, tularemia, smallpox, ebola, cholera, Q fever, soman, tabun, cholorpicrin, chlorin, Japanese encephalitis. Are the artists who do art about light-hearted and deligthful things happier? Is Beatriz Milhazes happier than Tania Bruguera? Is Assume Vivid Asrto Focus happier than The Atlas Group?
03 April 2007, Talavera de la Reina
My best friend Jani, one of the most famous artists in Finland, and his fiancee Anna visited us in the weekend. We sent the ladies shopping and spent great time in my studio talking about my work. That's what I miss here in the countryside - The cowboys don't understand art much more than the cows. We had a fantastic dinner at La Posada del Hidalgo. The deal was that my wife and me ordered and Jani and Anna paid - we got D.O. Extremadura Pata Negra ham, truffles, foie gras and Aalto Crianza 2003 - I suppose the brand is a hommage from Ribera del Duero to the illustrious Finnish architect - which was rated by the American wine critic Rober M. Parker Jr. 98/100. Though I live in the perifery, have no money nor fame, I give to my life even one point more: 99/100. And if Real Madrid wins the Spanish football league, it will be 100/100.