30 July 2010, Cervera de los Montes
Before moving to Spain, I considered football a vulgar opium for the global masses - but once here, I didn't want to live in my lonely ghetto of immigrant intellectuals and became madridista, supporter of Real Madrid.
It was more by chance than choice. If I had landed in Barcelona, I suppose I'd be now a fan of FC Barcelona, and if I had ended up marrying a girl born to a more liberal family, I'd prefer Atlético de Madrid, the team that is supported by the class-conscious proletariat. Real Madrid represents very different values to those that are mine - it's name is monarchic and it's tradition is fascist. Real Madrid plays in white and they are called los blancos, which sounds to me like the White Army. The radical Ultras Sur wave swastika flags at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
In the turn of the millennium it wasn't actually Real Madrid but Raúl Madrid. Rául González Blanco (he's second surname means white!) was the most shining star of the club. He had entered to the first team before turning 18 and was breaking all the records in the club and in the liga. Maybe his goals weren't the most beautiful and maybe he didn't have Maradona's talent but we loved him every Sunday for his perseverance and obstinacy. And for his goals. Lots of goals. There was no better sound than hearing the radio yell gol, gol, gol, goooooooooooooooooool del Madrid. Gooooooool de Raúl.
Now it's all over. I'm never going to listen to that song again. This week, Raúl left Madrid, and now he is wearing a blue shirt with Gazprom's logo. Seeing Raúl in the German team Schalke's kit makes me feel totally perplex, it's like seeing you wife with another man. But I think I still love him.
LIFE IS A SERIES OF DEFEATS
27 July 2010, Cervera de los Montes
I'm writing a short but definite autobiography. In retrospective catalogs you find biografies of (dead) artist written by art historians. I'm not taking the risk that somebody who doesn't know what I pretended to be writes the story of my life and work - it would be untrue triumphal bullshit. It's better to do it by myself when I'm still alive. George Orwell stated that an autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.
Here is an extract of my sketch for the year 2001:
Lives in Madrid and works first as assistant in a gallery and later in an exhibition installation company. Curates the show First in, First out, First in, First Serve exhibition in Cuenca, where he also participates as extra dancer in La Ribot’s piece. Travels by car from Madrid to Venice to the opening of the Biennale. Doesn’t have an invitation and jumps over the wall of Giardini. Is prepared with a pizza base and cream to pie Harald Szeemann, the curator of the Biennale. During the exhibition Ars 01 at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art works as interpreter of Santiago Sierra.
The September 11 attacks take place in New York and Washington. The United States invades Afganistan. The G8 summit takes place in Genoa and the antiglobalist protest results with one death and thousand of injuries. Slobodan Milošević is arrested. Wikipedia is launched. Takashi Murakami founds Kaikai Kiki. Manu Chao releases Próxima Estación: Esperanza. Jean-Pierre Jeunet premieres Amélie.
MRS. ALLEN FROM MADRID
22 July 2010, Madrid
I gave a day off to my Deadly Viper Painting Squad and came to Madrid. The first stop was the Embassy of Finland at la Castellana. I had thought that my son, who was born three months ago, was not going to have the Finnish citizenship when I found out that we should pay €100 for using the right of blood - but my mother demanded that her grandson must be a true Finn and gave me the money. Naturally I have to do what my mom tells me and at least I was informed in the embassy that men with a double citizenship don't have to do the obligatory military service (Finland has a thousand kilometer border with Russia).
Then I went to Zadie and Benito's studio and traded with Zadie three of my drawings to three of her amazing small paintings. I don't know if they are about art (in this case I'm not supposed to like them) or about life (then I don't understand them but I like things I don't understand). Usually I'm not attracted of finely executed stuff but Zadie does paint like an angel. When I arrived home, my four-year-old daughter said that she doesn't like the works because they are old and she doesn't like old art. I told that they are very recent and then she tried to please and tell me that one of them was good. I had been considering giving her one of them as a birthday present but now she'll have just some Hello Kitty bullshit.
DEADLY VIPER PAINTING SQUAD
18 July 2010, Cervera de los Montes
It's fun to work with Inés, my new studio assistant. Maybe she's not going to take over painting my works but her sprightly presence makes me paint faster and better than ever before. When I'm alone in the studio, I can be sometimes lazy - Now I have to give a good example with my attitude. In July my second floor studio is hot like a Finnish sauna (that 'm dreaming to build here one day) but I can't stop painting and go to the pool where my family spends the blistering summer days. No excuses.
We begin to have modules of the huge painting around the studio. This week Inés has painted Kool-Aid, while I finished the Japanese Cola flavored noodle candy and did a double module Sipahh flavoring straws that turn plain milk into flavored milk as it's sipped through the straw. Next week we are going to begin a chocolate flavor pirate. And the best thing is that now I can speak about us in plural without sounding pretentious or ridiculous.
13 July 2010, Cervera de los Montes
It looked amazing that everybody was wearing a red shirt, though I knew that it wasn't a revolution. The Spanish national football team called La Roja, The Red, had just conquered - as Paul the Psychic Octopus has predicted - the World Cup in Johannesburg.
First we bathed in a lion fountain and then we bathed in sparkling cava. Later I was celebrating in Javi's bar and drawing with a permanent marker stars on the chests of the Spanish girls and boys. The world champions have a star above the coat of arms on the jersey (Spain has now the first one, Brazl has five). Some people we singing something like Somos españoles, we are Spanish, but I asked them that do they really want to exclude the immigrants. We live and work in this country and you can be sure that we feel la furia roja just as anybody who was born on this soil.
NEW TRICKS FOR AN OLD HOT DOG
11 July 2010, Cervera de los Montes
I'm painting a huge master piece, at least the size of Picasso's Guernica. Now I've finished three 120x120cm modules for it. My initial idea was to paint like the commercial painters that do advertising stuff in some parts of the world where the labor is cheaper than printing. I remember that some years ago at Madrid's Gran Via the film theaters had enormous hand painted posters but now the multiplex cinemas are in the shopping malls at the M40 orbital highway.
Maybe I don't have patience for projects like this. Maybe it's better just to paint and see what happens. On Monday, a young art student comes to works with me. If the trial day is successful, I'll hire her for the summer to help me. She adores my work and I imagine that she wants to learn from me but I need an assistant who knows to paint better than me and teach me some new tricks.
MY FAVORITE COLORS
06 July 2010, Cervera de los Montes
My daughter often asks me what is my favorite color, so I decided to make a list of some of the colors that I like a lot.
Air force blue, Alizarin, Amaranth cerise, Amber, American rose, Anarchist black, Android green, Anti-flash white, Apple green, Arsenic, Awesome, Azure, Baby blue eyes, Banana mania, Battleship grey, Bittersweet, Black, Bleu de France, Blush, Bondi Blue, Boston University Red, Bourbon white, Brink Pink, British racing green, Bubble gum, Buddha gold, Bulgarian rose, Burger brown, Byzantium, Camouflage green, Candy apple red, Capri, Cardinal, Champagne, Cinnamon, Coca-Cola brown, Communist red, Conservative red, Cosmic latte, Czarist white, Dollar bill, Eggplant, Egyptian blue, Ferrari Red, Fire engine red, Fuzzy wuzzy, Gainsboro, Ghost white, Gold, Han purple, Hezbollah yellow, Honeydew, Hooker's green, Hotpink, Hunter green, Iceberg, Indian red, International Klein Blue, Islamic green, Ivory, Jewish blue, Jungle green, Ketchup red, Liberal Gray, Laser Lemon, Lust, Macaroni and cheese, Magic mint, Mango tango, Mao grey, Mauve taupe, Maya blue, Mayonnaise, Melon, Mulberry, Mussolini black, Mustard gas, Naples yellow, Neon carrot, Non-photo blue, Office lady green, Orange order, Pacifist white, Peach puff, Persian orange, Piggy pink, Pistachio, Pizza red, Prussian blue, Pumpkin, Purple mountain majesty, Radical red, Rainshower, Razzmatazz, Realpolitik blue, Ruby Tuesday, Salmon, Sangria, Sarin, Snow white, Somali pirate black, Spring Bud, Stalin red, Steel blue, Sturmabteilung brown, Sunset, Tangerine, Tea green, Tiffany blue Tickle me pink, Tiger's eye, Tomato, Tractor red, UFO green, United Nations blue, Vanilla, Venetian red, Whte smoke, Wild watermelon, Xanadu