30 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
Sociologist George Rizer has warned us of McDonaldization. He says that the society takes on the characteristics of a fast food restaurant: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control.
McDonald's is present in 120 countries around the world but you can't find a Happy Meal in the most of the parts of the Middle East. In Iraq, there are Burger Kings that feed the U.S. soldiers. The civilians can't have genuine American burgers but they can eat at MaDonal, a McDonald's counterfeit. It's ran by an ex-Kurdish resistance fighter. Now he fights for the right to establish a real McDonald's franchise.
I think that MaDonaldization is the future - not McDonaldization (which sounds too Modern). Few years ago, I had a great meal at Hamby King - a fake Burger King - in Sarajevo. Everything was like in a Burger King restaurant but the food was much better than a Whopper: delicious ćevapčići and burek.
MONUMENTAL STUFF NEEDED
28 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
I've done A4 size drawings since I studied in the Academy. I was traveling all the time between Spain and Finland and for the drawings I didn't need studio facilities. An important gallerist gave a lecture at the Academy and stated that if you want to be a famous artist you must do monumental work. Without seeing my stuff he laughed at artists doing small drawings. Of course, he was right.
I should do big paintings and I try once in a while. It never really works out and I give up but try always again. The only viable solution is to sell first enough drawings and then hire a good assistant to do the paintings. I can't have my paintings done in the Painting Village in Shenzhen (where the kitsch art for the Western market is made) but I need a great assistant who knows to do good bad painting
. My wife says that that person doesn't exist.
By the way, the monumental gallerist is now bankrupted.
PARTIES BUT NO FUN
25 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
We have municipal elections in Spain on Sunday. I have right to vote, because I’m a citizen of an European Union country. In our tiny village, there is a biparty system of the conservative Partido Popular, People’s Party, and the liberal Partido Socialista Obrero Español, Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, which is in power both in Spain and our municipality.
On the village level the initials don’t really matter but the honesty and ambition of the candidates. We have many things wrong in the village and I’ve been tempted to vote the PP in opposition (Actually, I’m sympathizer of Izquierda Unida, United Left, which doesn’t present a list in the bipartite village) which has a smart program and wants to change things.
Now, the former prime minister, PP’s José María Aznar, said that these elections are not about local administration but terrorism. According to him, every vote to other parties than his goes to ETA, the Basque terrorist organization. PP is going to get what they want: I’ll use my suffrage against against PP’s disgusting campaign and vote PSOE, though nothing is then going to change in our beloved village.
In the future elections, I should run for mayor in my own list but maybe a true artist must be 100% free and not involved directly in politics.
TOP 10 QUIZ
24 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
Question: What are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Raytheon, General Dynamics, EADS, L-3 Communications, Thales and Halliburton?
Answer: They are the top 10 worldwide defense companies.
I've heard that the biggest businesses in the world are armament, (illegal) drugs and prostitution but I don't believe it. I know people who don't have a gun and don't smoke pot . I even have met somebody who doesn't like sex but I think everybody eats and almost everybody has to buy at least a part of their food. That's why my drawings have so much foodstuff.
UNTITLED (PUBLIC OPINION)
20 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
We had in a small plastic container on a shelf next to some other art works few pieces of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Untitled (Public Opinion), which is a continually replenished (endless supply) 300kg spill of cellophane-wrapped liquorice rod candy. We got the candy some years ago from Guggenheim New York. I said to my wife that the container was full before but now it seemed half empty. She said that I was wrong but for some reason mentioned it to our cleaning lady. She confessed having eaten them when she had been hungry.
NO DRINKS BUT MONUMENTS
18 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
I stopped drinking, it was my doctor's order to my liver. My wife eats antidepressants and I always recommend her to take less them and drink more wine. I think wine makes you happy. Now I can't drink anymore wine, so maybe I have to begin to eat dopamine reuptake inhibitors.
In spite of the danger, I think I’m going to drink few glasses when I go to Mänttä in the beginning of June. Mänttä is a Finnish village where they do the most important annual exhibition in the country. The opening is at the same time with the Venice, so it’s like playing in the 3rd regional division but it will be fun because all my friends will be there - they are not famous biennial artists. And Jani, my best friend, is the curator of the show.
In Mänttä, I’m collaborating with my idol, the late Martin Kippenberger. They are doing our wall painting now and then we hang there some drawings. The text on the wall reads (in Finnish) Monument for Finland and Germany’s brotherhood in arms. Martin is a drunkard and I think he’ll make me drink a lot. But I’m not going to tell my wife and doctor.
VICTORIES, DEFEATS AND HANGOVERS
14 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
The Finnish Ice Hockey team lost the World Cup final against Canada but the semifinal victory over Russia was celebrated in Helsinki as a revenge of the World War II. Finland did badly also in the Eurovision Song Contest which was oranised in Helsinki, the only positive thing was to win the other colonial master - Sweden.
But I couldn't care less. Real Madrid's epic victory over Espanyol had a great value: we are now back on the top of the Spanish League. It was good to come back just before the Finnish hangover. By the way, I'm saying good bye to the hangovers, my doctor has prohibited my liver and me to drink.
09 May 2007, Helsinki
My installation at Anhava is finished. Jani helped me to paint the wall and Ilona and Kari installed the drawings with me. The opening is tomorrow. This is playing in the Champions League. I hope to have future in this team, we'll see if I can get some more playing time. Ilona Anhava is cool like Liverpool´s manager Rafa Benitez. And I want to be Xabi Alonso. Actually, I got the new Manic Street Preachers album Send Away the Tigers and today I feel like wanting to be a rock'n'roll supernova - not a football star. Nobody can stop my air guitar.
EUROVISION, ANIMAL RIGHTS AND SAUNA
07 May 2007, Helsinki
I´m in Finland. Here the people are crazy for the Eurovision Song Contest they organise in the city during this week. The participating Spanish gay band was in the same flight with me, they traveled, of course, with style in the business class and I was in the third class, but we spoke while waiting the baggage. I have an aluminum Rimowa suitcase, which my mother gave me for my birthday last year, they had some awful plastic things. Today, I began my wallpainting "Animal Rights Damage Our Economy" at Galerie Anhava and then had sauna with Esa and Jani. Sauna is the only thing I miss from Finland when I´m home in Spain.
BUNNY PAINTING RABBIT LUNCH
03 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
Now I'm doing a masterpiece painting. I think it will my best work ever. Finally, I've learnt to paint! The text says cold war was cool and there is a super kawaii (japanese: cute) bunny biking. And today, my wife cooked delicious rabbit for lunch. And tonight, I give an interview for a New York food magazine Swallow. The same bunny will be in my wall painting at Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, next week. But there I'll eat BigMacs, Finnish food is rather disgusting.
GLOBAL WARMING IS COOL
01 May 2007, Cervera de los Montes
Dirk sent me an ironic message saying that the global warming is cooler than the cold war. They are having a nice and warm spring in Belgium.
My mother, who lives in Finland, told me that her fellow workers in an international software developing company are happy for the global warming. They think that it's great to have less snow in the winter and that the only chilled thing in the summer is beer. They believe that the greenhouse effect makes Finland to be like a beautiful botanical gardens.
The only good thing in this kind of thinking is that these people stop flying to Costa del Sol because now they have sun in Finland (coast there have been always enough). Less flying, less global warming. But maybe then it's too late. My mother says that I should do art about this. Maybe my next big painting, after Cold War Was Cool, will be Global Warming Is Cool.
Today it's the 1st of May: Workers of the world, unite! But, of course, I'm not a worker. I hope they wouldn't execute artists.