16 March 2020, Pepino
I'm at home drawing corona virus. Last week I had to travel to Helsinki to meet some clients, I hope that they would have canceled the event but they didn't - until I arrived in Finland. The gallery booked me a new return ticket for Friday, I was afraid that on Sunday the borders could have been closed.
I'm very very lucky, the virus hit the last week of my show at Galerie Forsblom. We had lots of visitors and the sales were great. When the crisis is over, I begin to design my new studio.
THE DICTATORSHIP OF FAME
09 March 2020, Pepino
The authorities say that we should keep at least one meter distance to the other people for the coronavirus infection risk. It’s difficult when you are famous, some fans want to take selfies with me in the street.
Arco Madrid art fair gave me once again 20 minutes of fame. I was in the TV news in every Spanish channel, TV entertainment shows, newspapers, radio, blogs, memes, everything you can imagine. Last year my portrait of the king got lot of attention at the fair but this year I was the only star and my satirical portrait of Franco titled Franco Wasn’t as Bad as They Say was the Mona Lisa of Madrid. The best moment was when an older man came to hug me (then we weren’t so alarmed of the physical contact yet) and told that he had been a political prisoner during the dictatorship. He thanked me for the work. Not all the people had patience to read the text accompanying the picture of the monster, they hated or loved me for being a fascist, depending of their political views. You can never underestimate enough the audience.
Last week two TV crews came to my studio in Cervera de los Montes. I took them to film signs of Plaza Generalisimo Francisco Franco, just few meters from my studio. The people of the municipal administration tried to stop the journalists. They have illegal fascist street names but they don’t want them to be on TV. An older lady yelled me insults, the mayor tried to convince us that we should’t show their love for the dictator. It was on the TV. Maybe now they change finally the signs.
Last week I was the most famous artist in Spain, I did what’s my job - participate in the political discourse. However, this doesn’t mean that I would become a Spanish artist. Nobody in Madrid is interested in showing my work (I was at the fair with my Finnish gallery). I was in every newspaper but the art critics ignore me. Maybe I’m just a jester, not a serious artist.