WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU THINK
30 June 2015, Cervera de los Montes
It's the 100th anniversary of Kazimir Malevich's Black Square. I wasn't aware of this when I started my black monochrome project last fall but realized it this spring when I was finishing the series.I got anxious that I need to show it this year but I though that it was going to be impossible.
Now I have good news - the work that used to be titled 50 Shades of Black - is going to be shown in a premium venue in Stockholm next fall. The curator praised the work but suggested me to change the title. Now it's 50 States of Black.
Black monochrome paintings are the summum of art, painting and modernism. The first black monochrome was painted 100 years ago. After Malevich several artists have painted it black, probably the most notable being Ad Reinhardt’s works that have been seen icons of contemplative meditation. My 50 States of Black are neither meditative nor pure, neither mystical nor occult - but the contrary. The color is a symbol that produces inevitable connotations to the world and the culture. My black squares come with a strip of text with references from consumer culture to nature and from politics to food. What you see is what you think.
HOT STUDIO HEGEMONY
21 June 2015, Cervera de los Montes
Every year when the summer begins, Spaniards start complaining of the high temperature, which can reach easily 40 Celsius here in the province of Toledo. I'm a hot artist and I like the heat in my studio though it's like a Russian sauna (they are hotter in the super power than in Finland).
In summer I do hot things. I finished Mexican chili flavored narco-war painting and now I'm working with a piece featuring Viennese Actionism and Frankfurt School with hegemonic spicy sauces.
Wiener Aktionismus' Günter Brus and Otto Mühl worote in 1968 that (...) our assimilatory democracy maintains art as a safety valve for enemies of the state (...) the consumer state drives a wave of "art" before itself; it attempts to bribe the "artist" and thus to rehabilitate his revolutionising "art" as an art that supports the state. But "art" is not art. "Art" is politics that has created new styles of communication.
TURBO PORTRAIT PAINTER
14 June 2015, Cervera de los Montes
I can't stop drawing faces with lists or other texts. Now I have in my portfolio Angela Merkel, Mia Khalifa, Bradley Manning, Warren Buffet, Ronald Reagan & Ronald McDonald, Naomi Campbell, Vladimir Putin, Kim Karhashian, Kim Jong-un, three ministers of the cabinet of Finland, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Virgin Mary, Josif Stalin, George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, DSK, Adolf Hitler, Muhammad Ali, Osama Bin Laden, C.G.E. Mannerheim, Leonid Brezhnev & Erich Honecker. On top of that, I've done two portraits of my collectors. I'm really excited of this new commercial idea of being a portrait painter by commission. I think I'm losing all my principles and betraying all my dogmas. It doesn't bother me because I'm free.
SUPER POP ART
06 June 2015, Cervera de los Montes
I'm drawing super pop. Super pop = Campbell's soup + Andy Warhol + Naomi Campbell. Super pop = consumer culture + pop art star + super model. Warhol's dinosaur 60's soup cans are really boring - tomato, vegetable, beef and consomme. The current Campbell's catalog is much more hilarious and pop.
MY FAVORITE CAMPBELL'S SOUPS
98% Fat Free Broccoli Cheese Soup, Avengers™ Fun Shaped Pasta Soup
Beer-n-Cheese with Beef & Bacon Soup
Chicken & Stars Soup
Chicken NoodleO's® Soup
Creamy Poblano and Queso Soup
Disney/Pixar Cars™ Soup
Disney® Princess™ Soup
Double Noodle® Soup
Fajita Chicken with Rice and Beans Soup
Fiesta Chicken Lime Tortilla Soup with White Meat Chicken
Goldfish® Pasta Soup
Healthy Request® Mexican-Style Chicken Tortilla Soup
Hearty Cheeseburger Soup
Hearty Pizza with Sausage & Pepperoni Soup
Italian Style Wedding Soup
Jammin' Jerk Chicken with Rice & Beans Soup
Loaded Baked Potato with Applewood Bacon Soup
Mega Noodle Soup
Moroccoan Style Chicken with Chickpeas Soup
Phineas and Ferb™ Soup
Pub Style Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Santa Fe-Style Chicken Enchilada Soup
Texas Style Angus Beef Chili with Black Beans Soup
03 June 2015, Cervera de los Montes
I've been dogmatically avoiding living and currently active people in my art works. My idea has been that an art work must be more durable than an editorial cartoon. Sometimes it takes several years in between completing a work and exhibiting it in public.
One exception was a Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah I drew two years ago in Beirut (the work has never been showcased). Then I showed Kim Jong-un in my solo exbibition at Galerie Forsblom this year. The work was acquired by the Saastamoinen Foundation and appeared to be hugely popular. During the spring I did two commissions - Steve Jobs and DSK - and exhibited Kim Kardashian in New York and Vladimir Putin in Austria. Finally this week, I did a three piece series of the new cabinet of Finland featuring its key ministers. Probably those drawings never end up in a gallery but the social media is their perfect and exclusive platform.
The best thing in artist's job is that you don't have to follow your own rules but you can change them every day.
THIS WEEK'S TO DO LIST
01 June 2015, Cervera de los Montes
Cook seven lunches and seven dinners. Doctor’s appointment. Dentist’s appointment. Read Caligula’s biography. Try to be at home when FedEx brings books. Prepare new canvases. E-mail to Sweden again. Take the kids to ballet, music, horse back riding and football. Write about Impossibilism. Remember to water the plants. Buy ice-cream.
Studio: Mexican drug war, nachos, chill sauce, alcohol (banned by my doctor), Warren Buffet, ISIS detergent, Timo Soini, Ronald McDonald, Nesquick, Russian double eagle, kleptocracy, Kinder chocolate with Slavoj Zizek, Elon Musk, robots, wienersnichtel (spelling?).