KING OF ART IN THE ARSE END OF NOWHERE
26 January 2017, Mänttä
Mänttä is a dark and cold arse end of nowhere but the best museum of Finland is located in the town. Serlachius Museums is my biggest collector - without them I wouldn't have a middle-class life style. Being here is like being home or maybe even better, they treat me like the king of art.
However, the weekend here would drive me insane. Tomorrow I catch a train to Helsinki and spend the weekend in the city before finishing the exhibition next week. Closing borders opens soon!
LOVE AND HATE BLUES
15 January 2017, Pepino
I'm back home exhausted but happy. White Trash Blues looks amazingly good at Galerie Forsblom beautiful space. Several museums have acquired or reserved works. I know that I can pay the mortgage this year, so I feel relaxed. Visitors have liked the show a lot, including Finland's conservative minister of culture. Should I be worried? I've always said that I wanted to be hated but maybe I enjoy sometimes positive feelings too.
I try to rest during this week and next Sunday I'm off to Finland again, this time it's Serlachius Museums in Mänttä and my Closing Borders exhibition.
A SURPRISE IN A CAKE
06 January 2017, Pepino
After opening the presents delivered by the Three Magi during the night, I drove to the pastelería to get a roscón de reyes, kings' cake, a toroid formed bun filled with whipped cream eaten in Spain in Epiphany. Then I decided to pass by the studio to collect my mail which included two invitations to my solo shows. That can be a unique moment in my career but probably it's exaggerating to consider it an epiphany (described as "an illuminating realization or discovery, often resulting in a personal feeling of elation, awe, or wonder").
We'll see if I get the plastic toy surprise hidden inside the roscón, it brings luck and but also responsibility - the lucky person pays the cake too.
THE ARCHIPELAGO OF REFUGEE CAMPS
02 January 2017, Pepino
The Balkanroute is closed as we witnessed in our field trip from Lesbos to London last fall.
My prognostication is that most of the migrants arrive this year to Europe through Spain. This path has been closed ten years by the Euro-Moroccan treaties and the deep economic crisis of Spain but now it will be again the most viable gateway to Europe.
Syrian Arab Army expulses terrorists from the Levantine soil. The islamist make Libya their stronghold. NATO bombs Libya. The full scale war detours the migration from Libya to Morocco.
The first day of the year over one thousand men tried to climb the concertina trimmed fences to Ceuta, a man packed in a suitcase was detected at the same border and hundreds of people stranded to Andalucian beaches.
The routes can change but Europe will be an archipelago of refugee camps if the absence of peace and prosperity continues in Africa and Western Asia. We must fight for a world where nobody has a need to leave his home involuntarily. Happy New Year!