30 March 2010, Malaga
I drove almost 600 km to Malaga and changed the timid spring of Castile to the warm breeze of the Mediterranean. I decided it was the safest way to take my big drawings to the gallery for framing and photographing - and I wanted to do the first big voyage in my new golden Chevy Cruze. Hitting the road was relaxing as I set the cruise control in 140km per hour and let Carmen of the GPS guide me and Charlotte Gainsbourg sing me something like this:
And these paintings that we paint
do they mean anything
to the people we're painting them to
tonight they do
When I arrived to the Costa del Sol, I had lunch with Antonella and Cecilio in a white canopy bed of a hip beach restaurant. Then we went to look for materials for the DIY Molotov cocktail multiple we are preparing for the limited edition luxury version of the exhibition catalog and we also had a studio photo session for my catalog portrait and then we planned the installation, the neon sign, the Santa action and other stuff.
The night caught me by surprise because nobody had warned me that the Holy Monday was such a big thing in Malaga. We tried to go the center by Cecilio's BMW Z3 but couldn't park it anywhere and we had to return to his place and cab back to the packed city. We had better luck with the dinner and ate some huevos rotos con bacalao with a perfect view to the processing gold-covered Virgins. The Catholic church uses its gold to impress people, but when I saw the Christians peeing in the corner, I thought that Lenin had a better idea for the gold - he wanted to use it for the purpose of building public lavatories.
AL-QAEDA SEX BOMB
26 March 2010, Cervera de los Montes
Aim gonna fire shoot me right
I'm gonna like the way you fight
So I can't deny or lie cause you're
the only one to make me fly
Sexbomb Sexbomb you're a Sexbomb
And baby you can turn me on
I'm reading that Al-Qaeda has invented a boob bomb. Female homicide bombers are being fitted with exploding breast implants that are almost impossible to detect. The new Al Qaeda tactic involves the insertion of explosives in women's breasts during plastic surgery - making them virtually impossible to detect by the airport scanning machines.
I don't know if this is true or a hoax but I would have wanted to invent this for a drawing. Sadly, I believe that the guys working for Al-Qaeda are much more creative and innovative than me or maybe even any other artist.
Without breasts there is no paradise.
POISON THE ENEMY'S CANDY
25 March 2010, Cervera de los Montes
I finished the large scale drawing Poison the Enemy's Candy. Poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism.
The image is from Haribo Cream Kiss confectionery. I don't know if it's poisonous but it looks like it or at least nobody would notice if a terrorist would poison it. I buy lots of candy because I need the wrappings for my material but I try to hide the things that come inside - I woudn't like to give them to my daughter. But would I give them to my enemy's kids?
THE ESSENCE OF MY ART IN WORDS
22 March 2010, Cervera de los Montes
Naturally, most of the people end up on my website when they want to know about my art but there are many visitors who are interested in some of the themes or materials that I've used. These are the most popular words they type in a search engine before clicking their way to the site:
Office lady, Somali pirates, used panties, cute ice cream, hypermarket in Malaysia, teens from Tokyo, Molotov cocktail, Flavor aid, Kool-aid, partido neoliberal, shanty house, Hogugy, celebrity with braces, Hitler & Mannerheim, Brezhnev & Nixon, lower middle class, Toddynho, Japanese image club, milk bottles, Miss Haiti International, Nigerian tomatoes, vagina from China, admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, erotic massage, Becks Hello Kitty, Russian whores, Warhol burger, toca culo, Lee Byung-chull, Eden Club Bangkok, Animallow, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, fizzy porn, Rachmaninoff Vodka, Shanghai call girl.
SMASH THE OLD WORLD, ESTABLISH A NEW WORLD
18 March 2010, Cervera de los Montes
The government of the People's Republic of China has set up a system of internet censorship, intending to block internet users within Mainland China from accessing material deemed undesirable, such as foreign news sites, sites with dissident political content, many Hong Kong and Taiwanese websites, and pornography. One part of the block is to remove some websites from search results on search engine. This is an incomplete list of the censored words and some of them are hilarious or maybe the translation has lost the dangerous content and context.
Armageddon, blocking, bomb, bug, buy corpses, cat abuse, continuing revolution, crime against humanity, communist bandits, democracy, despotism, dictatorship, erotic movies, essence, evil, exile, fallacy, fetus soup, genocide, handmade pistol, heresy, hire a killer to murder one's wife, Hitler, homosexuality, human rights, hunger strike, mascot, naked, nuclear bomb, oppression, orphanage, Paris riots, playboy, political persecution, political successor, red terror, reeducation through labor, right to strike, sexual massage, torture, traitor, tsunami.
DOOMSDAY PROPERTY BUBBLE GUM
15 March 2010, Cervera de los Montes
My four-year-old daughter has been lately asking me about the global economy. She wants to know what the Chinese real estate bubble means, why it could make the economy of the United States collapse, and how that would influence Europe. First, I was amazed that she was interested in economics and I felt uncomfortable because I don't understand these things too well but then I realized that she was just scared of the end of the world and I had to make her feel protected and safe.
When I was kid, I was afraid of the nuclear war. I had nightmares of the United States decapitation strike to Leningrad, just few hundred kilometers from Helsinki where I lived. Then the doomsday was related with the third world war, the battle between two different ideologies, but now the danger have changed. There is no dichotomy between evil and good (Heavenly bastard in the sky, how simple the world of the cold war was!), but just the global capitalism - without any opponent - that must be kept running at any price. The most eminent fear of my daughter's generation is the fall of capitalism and the capitalist way of life.
09 March 2010, Cervera de los Montes
I landed home from Norway and Finland as exhausted as always. It's not how much I party or how many gin and tonics I drink but just the change. I live a double life - one when I'm traveling for the shows around the world, and another when I'm home and spend my time with the family and working in the studio. These two balance each other but changing between them is tough.
The first thing when I came back was to wash and vacuum clean the car, it's something that my wife would never do. My daughter loves to help in that work and because for the washing we were wearing rubber boots, it was easy to go then walking in the forest surrounding the village. Now it's the season to pick wild asparagus but I haven't learned to find them though I've been living here many years.
Today, I was back in the work and Julio Cesár came to the studio. He is writing an essay for my catalog published soon by Galeria Gacma. I showed him my drawings during three hours and then my daughter came home from the school and decided that she wanted to show him her retrospective too. Sometimes I'm not sure that it's a great idea to have the studio and the home in the same house.
05 March 2010, Oslo
Heavenly bastard in the sky, I'm disappointed with Oslo. It's the capital city of the richest oil emirate in the world but I don't see any futuristic skyscrapers or streets paved with gold. It's not like Dubai. Actually, I haven't been to Dubai and probably it's in reality as shabby as Oslo. Whatsoever, I promised to Pauliina and Jan to try to solve the puzzling nature of the hidden wealth of Norway - if I have another project here in the future. And the next time I want to eat famous Norwegian codfish and salmon, though it seems to surprisingly difficult. Yesterday, after the opening reception I was taken to have dinner to a Caribbean restaurant and told that it's difficult to find good fish in the town. If the Norwegians are so rich, why do they have to export to Spain all their seafood? Tomorrow, I'll go to El Corte Inglés and buy the best salmon grown in the Norsk fjords.
Anyways, I have had a good time here hosted by Calle, the super intern of the Finnish Norwegian Cultural Institute, where I'm showing. The most raving detail was that he took me to Holmenkollen to watch ski jumping. I also saw the striking retrospective of Bjarne Melgaard at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.
Now I'm in the airport express train reading Wei Hui's Marrying Buddha and i forget the Scandinavian mysteries and concentrate once again in the East where the future happens.