Salon de Peinture Grand-Popo ranks the number one as an attempt to make a difference. During my residency in Grand-Popo, Benin, West Africa, I set up a portrait painting business with Gustavo, who started working as my fixer but became a partner. We employed Louis who is a professional commercial sign painter and delivered over ten commissioned portraits to clients in Europe and the Middle East. Unfortunately we lacked an effective sales structure and orders dried up but at least we proposed a model how to find new export products for a poverty-stricken village. Thanks, Gustavo and Louis!
The number two must be my operation that enabled my body to be operational in the future too. I went through a neurosurgical discectomy, a replacement of three herniated discs that pressed my spinal cord. Without the surgery I could have lost soon my ability to draw and paint. Thank you, Dr. Alvarez!
The third place is for The Best of All Possible Worlds - a dream book made true in Austria. The book is a deluxe volume of my A4 size drawings and comes with an original drawing. I make many exhibitions every year but this kind of a book probably once in the life time. Still available! Thanks, Simeon!
As the fourth thing I list Bad Hair Day Leaders, another project made in Benin collaborating with Louis. It’s a set of portraits of the most powerful political leaders of the the world. I showed the works in the street front of La Légende in Grand-Popo but surprisingly nobody has proposed to exhibit this extraordinary work in the art world. However, the visibility was huge when the series was featured in the cover story of Austrian newspaper Die Presse’s monthly supplement. I hope it will be shown in a gallery or a museum when the portrayed people are still in power. Merci again, Louis! Thanks, Juliette and Lauri!
The number five is Riiko Sakkinen’s Drawing room, my show at Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, where I was drawing under the eye of the gallery visitors for two weeks and half. It was a tiring but enjoyable experience and emphasized the importance of the small drawings in my ouevre - with the freshly published drawing book. Thanks to the Galerie Forsblom team!
The number six goes for Capitalist Color Theory, a solo show at Galería Kernel in Cáceres, Spain. Kernel works with abstract art and it was curious to place my works in that context. I exhibited investigations about the color and the art history’s first totally abstract painting. Gracias, Julián and María!
In the seventh position I place Late Night Capitalism, a solo show at Makasiini Contemporary, Turku, Finland. It was just a basic RS show with paintings, drawings and objects but including some of my best works, both recent and older. Thanks, Frej and his crew!
The number eight is for the all the group shows and art fairs during the year in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the United States. Thanks, Raúl, Abir, Antonio, Andrea, Florian and everybody else!
The ninth place belongs to my studio, Turborealist Headquarters. It’s lonely work there but some great people help me when I need it. Gracias, Luis, Toni and Javier!
The last thing in the list is the most meaningful. The greatest pleasure in my life is to watch my kids grow. Thanks, wife, daughter and son!