30 August 2007, Cervera de los Montes
My beloved great-aunt passed away some time ago. Her will was to give me her little painting collection.
The artistically mediocre paintings are in Finland and I should ship them to Spain. Frankly, I’d never have any of them on my wall. The dilemma is that should I consider them artworks or just symbols of my great-aunt's love.
Last week, I was at Jani’s studio in Helsinki and a reporter from a newspaper was interviewing him about his Art Tuning project. Jani’s idea is that people have paintings – inherited many times – that they don’t like but neither want to throw away. Then I said that it’s exactly my case.
Now I got a bit ironic e-mail from my aunt – who takes care of my great-aunt's testament of - saying that I could have told this directly and not in a mass medium - my unfortunate comment was published in the newspaper last Sunday. My aunt is right. I just didn’t know that I was giving an interview. I must learn to be more careful with press. Anything I say can be used against me.
UNEMPLOYED IN UTOPIA
27 August 2007, Cervera de los Montes
I'm reading Steve Sem-Sandberg's fantastic collage book Theres about Ulrike Meinhof. When I was teenager, I had her photo on the wall and I wanted to an urban guerilla like her.
Now I do something very different and I don’t believe that art can change the world. Sometimes I say that my target is to sell my stuff to rich powerfull people, who buy political art for credibility, and influence their dinner guests. But someteimes I think that it’s kind of fun to live in this supercapitalist dystopia - I admit that it has seduced me. I couldn’t do art in a happy world. “Imagine all the people are living life in peace” and even Hello Kitty would have a mouth and a vote. Utopia wouldn't need neither terrorists – so what could I do there? Could I be unmeployed?
HELLO KITTY DISCIPLINE
22 August 2007, Helsinki
Every year, we come to Finland for the summer holiday but next year I'd like to go to Thailand. It has a lively prostitution scene - one of my main interests professionally - but also an amazing mix of cute and macho. The Bangkok Police has come up with a new way of punishing officers who break the rules - a large pink armband which has a Hello Kitty motif with two hearts embroidered on it. Officers who are late, park in the wrong place or commit other minor transgressions have to wear it for several days what is supposed to make them feel guilt and shame. I can't imagine this kind of punishment in Europe where cuteness is reserved exclusively for young girls and neither in Japan, which is the mecca of Cuteness. There even a tough police officer can proudly carry a Hello Kitty cell phone or Minnie Mouse revolver. Hello Kitty's image has been printed in almost every possible product in the world, now including police officers. What is next? Hello Kitty nuclear reactor? Hello Kitty mustard gas? Hello Kitty concentration camps?
THE ONE OF THE 100000 LAKES
17 August 2007, Helsinki
Now the sparkling girl show has been opened and my short summer holiday in Finland can begin. We are going to spend the the weekend in my granparents' place. They live in a small red wooden cottage by a lake. They eat wish they get from the lake and berries they found in the forest. Their lake view sauna is the most relaxing place in the world. Next Tuesday, I have a group show opening at Kerava Art Museum, near Helsinki but now I've given myself the luxury not to install my work. I just go to the opening to see my 16 drawings and have a glass of wine. We are going back home to Spain next Friday, then I'll continue my series of ten large paintings. I don't know where or when they will be shown. Actually, now I don't have any exhibitions scheduled. I don't know if it means that something is seriously wrong.
14 August 2007, Helsinki
My installation is finished. It was a pharaonic work to paint the walls. I had there almost one week my family and friends painting over 500 Louis Vuitton monograms. My next show will be paintings on a white wall. Modernist stuff. Most of the artist do that always and never question it. Maybe I could do it once in a while too. Today, I was hanging the drawings on the painted wall with my wife. That's the best and the most creative part of intstalling a show but I had there a TV crew filming me and I was nervous thinking that my screwing looks clumsy.
FAULTS AND FRIENDS
09 August 2007, Helsinki
My wife and me were drawing all day Louis Vuitton monograms on the purple walls at Korjaamo. It was slower than I had thought. I hate Louis Vuitton. Why couldn't he design something simpler? Jani came to say hello but he said that we should have used a projection, not stencils. He wasn't very supportive but he promised to borrow me his assistant tomorrow. That's sweet. Jani also said that maybe it wasn't Julie's fault but his own fault that I couldn't have the Kippenberger drawings in my installation in Mänttä earlier this summer. I must apologize Julie, I was so angry that I called her asshole. I'm so sorry. And now I'm kind of angry at Jani though I can't - I owe him some money and he gives me his assistant for free. And after all, his my best friend.
HEAD DOWN, BUM UP
08 August 2007, Helsinki
Today, I began installing my show Let's Happy Life - Sparkiling Girl Brings about a Revolution at Korjaamo but I think my working looked bizarre. I had a professional painter painting the gallery walls light purple and my wife was cutting stencils to paint on the color white Louis Vuitton monogram patterns. She does that kind of things much better that I could. I was drinking coffee, reading life style magazines and giving some interviews.
05 August 2007, Helsinki
Being on holiday is tiring. I've been in a boat sightseeing, a tram sightseeing, department stores, churches, market places, islands, lakes and all the other places where the decent tourists go. I'm a bit exhausted but it's a great honour to show my old hometown to my parents-in-law. They seem to like things in Finland, even the infamous Finnish food. My favorite restaurant Sea Horse never lets you down.
Next Wednesday, I begin to work with my solo show installation at Korjaamo. I got a good working mood already today, when I got a phone call from a Finnish business newspaper, which will write about my exhibtion. They must think my drawings are a good investment. Buy now! Double your money!