30 January 2008, Stockholm
The Finnish speaking news of the Swedish national TV interviewd me and I said that the Swedish government should issue its formal apology to the people of Finland for the colonialism and oppression during many centuries. I hope that somebody gets provocated. The exhibition - titled "I wouldn't Hate Sweden but I Don't Dare to Hate Russia" is now installed, the opening is is today. It was an easy job, no painted walls - juts some drawings and objects in a modwernist manner. For my next show I want to do again something more elaborate.
FINES AND FARES
28 January 2008, Stockholm
The voyage to Stockholm started badly. I had driven 30 km towards Madrid airport when I realized that I had left my suit home. I turned back and speeded 160 km/h to a police radar. Finally at the airport, the check-in guy made me pay more for the baggage over weight than I had paid for the airfare. I got angry, though the Finnish Cultural Institute, where I have my show, pays it. Then we found out that I'm an artist and this airport guy is an art lover. He told me to phone him next time I fly with Iberia and have extra heavy baggage. If he also upgrades me to the business class, I could give him a nice small drawing.
THE PACKING LIST FOR STOCKHOLM
26 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I’m going to Stockholm tomorrow. This is my packing list: Leatherman Multitool, a laser line level, two pairs of Levi’s 501 blue jeans, T-shirts, a black suit, the Colon(ialism) soap box, Japanese bath salt (I don’t have a bathtub, so I have to bath always in hotels), a bottle of Scotch for the lonely nights in the hotel room (I think spirits are expensive in Sweden), Gauloises Blondes cigarettes (also expensive or impossible to find in Stockholm), soft pencils, Eau de Issey Miyake, Nivea for Men Hidratante Extra Sensitive, Fisherman’s Friends, a chorizo (it’s nice to try exotic food but eating Swedish during one week might be too much), Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs and Steel – The Fates of Human Societies, a selection of 30 drawings (prostitution, globalisation and hotel drawings) and 30 wooden frames, 20 Domestic Terrorism milk bottles and €1450 cash (a travel grant from the Nordic Culture point).
BESITOS DE FRESA SIN GOMA
25 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Besitos de fresa - strawberry kisses - are Spanish caramelos de goma, winegum, gumdrops or something like that. Goma, gum, means colloquially condom. In the painting the caramelo is served sin, without, goma. Actually, I don’t know if Carmela practices unsafe sex with her clients. I hope she doesn’t. The rest of the information is genuine and the telephone number I real. I found Carmela’s advertisement at both Hot Divas adult entertainment guide and Cityvibe escort listing's Miami section. I think she's really attractive. I hope that in the future I work with an important gallery which participates in Art Basel Miami Beach and I could give a ring to Carmela.
I’ve been working with this painting since November. I tried to paint a waffle background but it was too difficult and slow and I painted over it with pink enamel mixed with red pigment powder. I need a skilfull assistant to paint funny food patterns! The painting was almost finished but then my wife came to see it and lectured about the anatomy of strawberry call girls. I think I must do still some changes.
24 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Carmela is a beautiful 21 years old Venezuelan hottie, who can really play the maracas! Her measurements are 32C 22 32, she weights 115 lbs. and is 5'3 tall.
Carmela is not looking for a boyfriend but you never know... Are you up for a sexy Latin lady ready to blow your socks off? She loves to meet new people and see new exciting things. Phone: 305 653 7456 (Miami).
HELLO KITTY FIREARMS
23 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I try do art that is provocative, exaggerating, ridiculous, iconoclast and blasphemous, but from time to time, I find out that the reality is impossible to surpass - Hello Kitty firearms are a great example of that. Even I couldn't invent anything equally preposterous.
Hello Kitty, kitten/girl figure without a mouth, is supposed to be the cutest thing in the world, and the AR-15 is a lightweight, air-cooled, magazine fed, autoloading, centerfire shoulder-fired rifle.
If you like both, you can have a pink AR-15 decorated with flowers and Hello Kitty figure holding a gun. And if you don't like AR-15, which is mainly used by American civilians to protect their homes, don't worry, more serious Hello Kitty AK-47 Kalashnikovs are available, too. A perfect gift for an African child soldier or a young wannabe Ulrike Meinhof.
LA BELLE & LA BETE
18 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I had never heard of Carla Bruni before she dated Super Sarko. I really don’t like Sarkozy’s politics but he's cool. I like his aviator sun glasses.
On the other hand, I admire Hugo Chávez democratic revolution in Venezuela but I don’t consider him too sexy. He’s fat and his voice is strange though he thinks that he could be a pop singer. Sarko is more intelligent, he is about to marry a pop singer. Or is Ms. Bruni actress or model? I’m still not sure. Whatever she is, I prefer Mr. Chávez new girl friend Naomi Campbell. When I was young – in the 90s – she was the most beautiful girl in the world. I still like Britpop, YBAs and Naomi – my anglophilic youth. I think Naomi and Hugo make a great couple, they are the beauty and the beast.
Who is the next politician dating a beautiful and famous woman? Maybe Putin falls in love with Paris Hilton (she lost the heritage and needs a rich man). Or what do you think of a couple formed by subcomandante Marcos of Zapatistas and Britney Spears (she needs long vacations in a jungle)?
16 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I had an opening today in Helsinki - a group show called Dark at Korjaamo. Meanwhile in Talavera de la Reina, I went to the dentist's, travel agency, framing shop, post office, and bought two dark-colored t-shirts in Zara.
Timo, the curator of the show, made my wall painting Kaurapuurö. Kaurapuuro is oatmeal in Finnish. All the Finnish kids eat it every morning. When they grow up, they let their hair grow and listen to heavy metal. Heavy metal bands use umlauts in their names, like Motörhead, whose logo's font is used in my painting. Oatmeal is something very homely and the heavy metal umlaut is slightly sinister.
LV & LV
14 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Before going to Japan a year ago, I had hardly ever heard about Louis Vuitton - the French luxury leather goods brand which sells a half of its production in Japan. In Tokyo, I opened my eyes, there an LV handbag is as common as Carrefour plastic bag elsewhere. I knew much better the cheap no-fragrance Finnish hygiene brand LV. That LV is the total opposite of the other LV.
Now I have a collection of soaps and other LV products in a theme show about cleaning at the Rauma Art Museum. Rauma is a small town in the Western Finland. There it’s definitely impossible to find a Louis Vuitton boutique. Even in Helsinki, there’s no Louis Vuitton. If you live in Finland and want to buy fancy baranded goods, you have to go shopping in Saint Petersburg or Stockholm.
My work is titled LV Hygiene and the cheap supermarket products are displayed in a glass vitrine. I asked the curator to buy the stuff and then I donated it the work to the museum's permanent collection. Easy work.
ABSTRACT SCULPTURE AND PLASTIC SOLDIERS
10 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I went to Madrid to interview Esther Mañas and Arash Moori, who do abstract sound and light sculptures. I don’t really get their work but it doesn’t matter, I always say that I like things I don’t understand. Their stuff is beautiful but somehow uncomfortable. I asked them did they first sleep together and then worked as a team or vice versa. Arash said that they first started working together. I’m not sure if I should believe him.
The interview was videod for Julio, a new digital magazine edited by Ramón, Joseba and Manuela. It’s great to do things in Madrid and be a little bit more connected with its art world. I loved to be in Malasaña, where Esther and Arash’s have their studio. We had lunch at Bar Palentino (gin and tonic €3), where Fernando León filmed Manu Chao’s latest prostitution themed music video Me Llaman Calle (They Call Me Street). For the dessert, Esther and Arash had prepared Epiphany’s typical roscón de reyes (king cake), which normally has a Baby Jesus or some other surprise in it, but they had filled it with an army of plastic soldiers. That was funny and political and kind of easier art than their abstract sculptures.
06 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I’ve been reading Artemiy Troitsky’s blog entries published as a book. Troitsky was a rock music critic in the 80’s Soviet Union, Playboys’s editor in Yeltsin’s Russia and now he’s a political dissident. He writes about everything between the politics and beautiful girls. I like very much his lists of the best and the worst beach resorts, beer brands, sex positions and automobiles.
My favorite cars in an alphabetical order are Alfa Romeo Brera, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi TT, Bentley Brooklands Coupé, BMW X6, Citroën C6, Infiniti FX, Jaguar XJ, Lexus SC, Nissan Murano, Porsche Cayman, Range Rover and Saab 9-7X. I haven’t driven any of these cars and probably I never will. I have a four-years-old Renaul Megane with the smallest diesel engine and it’s heating system is broken.
02 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I got nice mail from a nice girl. It's going to be material for my first drawing this year.
Write to you the woman from Russia. My name Olga to me of 26 years! I to want to find the man for serious the relation in your country.I am ready for creation family and to want it. I cannot find the man in Russia for myself. It is a lot of men in Russia to drink alcohol much. I to want to create family and to live in your country because the government to care of people, I to want to live and be sure in the future. In Russia it is not possible to live easy. I to tell about myself. I live in city Yoshkar-Ola it is 1000 km from capital Russia Moscow. My city small and very beautiful. I to work the seller in shop home appliances.I the cheerful woman to like to go in for sports and do all what to like the usual person. I shall have the visa in 7 days for your country. I to not want to waste time. If you to want I shall speak with me is glad dialogue with you. And it is possible we a meeting in 7 days because I can arrive to you. Please tell to me about itself! About your city! I shall wait your answer.
MY FAVORITE BANKS
01 January 2008, Cervera de los Montes
It's the first morning of the year and the first thing I had in my head (after taking a painkiller), was money. I’d like to have as much money as Vladimir Putin, the wealthiest man in Europe. I’d deposit my money in following banks:
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, HSBC , Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Santander, Unicredito, Intesa Sanpaolo, ABN Amro, The Bank of Tokyo - Mitsubishi, Wells Fargo & Co, BNP Paribas, UBS, BBVA, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse.