A PORTRAIT OF THE DICTATOR16 June 2019, Pepino
I painted Franco´s portrait. My studio is in a village where the plaza is called Plaza de Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Actually the painting is not about the tyrant or the dictatorship but the ignorance of the nostalgic Spaniards who believe Franco’s time was glorious and now vote the new far right party Vox.
My wife said that the portrait is not a good idea. She thinks I’m laughing at her family. I sent the photo to a couple of Spanish artist friends and they agreed with her but were unable to formulate clearly why. I don’t think that Franco is a taboo. Is it because I’m an immigrant? How long an immigrant must live in a country before he has the right to criticize it? I’ve been here permanently here over fifteen years. Would 50 years be enough? 100? The second generation? The third one?
I decided to send the photo to my carpenter too. He didn’t go to the university and is a card-carrying communist. He thought that the painting is great. This time I trust more in proles’ taste than the opinions of my wife and other friends with a PhD in fine arts.
My portrait of the king got a huge media visibility this year at Arco Madrid art fair. I hope I can show Franco next year in the same event. Then I’m going to be the most famous artist in Spain.