29 October 2015, Pepino
The thing I like most in my profession is that I can change the direction as often as I want. I tried too many years to have dogmas and ideologies for my work. Now I'm totally empty, out of the box, in a twilight zone. I don't know where I'm going to - and I love the feeling.
I have had it up to my eyeballs with political art. They can whitewash capitalism's crime and corruption with Ai Weiwei and Banksy. What they call political art is in fact politically correct art. I'm moving beyond that bullshit.
I'M A HERO OF PAINTING
23 October 2015, Pepino
I studied in the painting department at the Academy on Fine Arts but I barely painted. I think I made about five paintings in five years. When I was a student I was anxious to find out what art is and I had no time to do it myself. I was already then living between Finland and Spain and the little work I did were small drawings that I could travel with. Krista gave me in her gallery a show the year after my graduation and few months before the opening she demanded me to paint. I tried to resist but finally I obeyed. I rented a studio in Brussels and executed an acceptable series of works. After that it took many years before I returned to painting.
Maybe I'm a very old fashioned artist, I want to see my ouevre in the line of the art history what is basically history of painting. I want to be a painter hero. However, I don't have any talent to paint and it has always been a struggle, suffering. I always loved to draw and hated to paint - but I needed to go beyond my limits and comfort zone. I wanted sweat and tears on canvas.
Many people have asked why I don't paint the way I draw. I've tried that for ten years and, finally, I have find the formula. The trick is to use a raw cotton canvas, it's almost like paper. Whatever you mark there, it stays there, no corrections allowed. This makes the working process faster and more intuitive, like when I'm drawing. The best thing is that I'm loving it. I think I have learned to paint.
HOMELESS IN FOLKHEMMET
18 October 2015, Pepino
Normally I don't travel just to attend opening receptions of the shows where my works are included if I don't install the works myself. This time I had to see my work on the wall of Artipelag near Stockholm. The paintingis the biggest I've ever made, it's formed of fifty parts and I had never seen it finished because it's much larger than my studio walls.
The most interesting observation in Sweden: All beggars sit on blue IKEA bags. How can you be homeless in folkhemmet (people's home, the myth of the Swedish welfare state)? Or is it IKEA's guerilla marketing campaign?
THE TALIBAN FLYING CLUB
14 October 2015, IB3684 Madrid - Stockholm
I'm observing the carpet made of white clouds, digesting my breakfast EggMcMuffiin and bursting into tears reading Timeri N. Murari's novel The Taliban Cricket Club. My life never makes me cry but the literature does. Rukhsana's fictional life in Kabul feels more real than my own existence.
I spent one day the in the Spanish capital city before heading to Scandinavia. I bought canvas, paper and paint in Jer. I like to choose my art materials physically, to touch and smell them. I stayed in Sami's place and painted few colors with the names of his favorite rock bands on his wall. In the afternoon I did my ritual manicure before importatnt opening - painters' nails are usually torn and dirty. I had time to visit some galleries including Rirkrit Tirananija and Tomas Vu's show Green Go Home at NF Galería. The best thing was drinking pacharan in Sami's local Bar Las Nieves. It's just a basic, dirty and cheap Spanish bar but has conserved amazingly well the original 60's interior. A must for anybody visiting the city.
10 October 2015, Pepino
This week automobiles have been in the media spotlight. Journalists are asking where the Toyota Hilux pickup trucks used by the Daesh/Isis terrorists came from. The original Toyota War was the last phase of the conflict between Chad and Libya in 1987. The Chadian forces used Toyota Landcruisers as improvised fighting vehicles.
I think Toyota is a reliable car. It’s a strong brand. If the truck works in the desert battles it must be good quality. Toyota Motor Corporation understands deeply wha branding is. Undoubtedly, the vehicles are shipped directly from Toyota City. Toyota pictures are everywhere and the campaign is cheaper than a traditional publicity campaign of a similar size.
Is it a coincidence that Toyota manufactures currently a model called Isis? Toyota Isis is a is a seven-seat large minivan available in Japan and Singapore. I guess it would be good for car bombing.
Volkswagen has had lately a bit worse publicity, their brand is sinking. If I were the CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, I would send immediately thousands of VW Amarok pickup trucks to terrorists from South American jungles to Mid-East wastelands. I’d fund new arctic terrorists cells to have pictures of the vehicle in icy environments. The good old smell of gunpowder would clean any diesel emission problems away.
06 October 2015, Pepino
Finally we have an internet connection at our new home via KA-SAT satellite. The spacecraft is equipped with four multi-feed deployable antennas with enhanced pointing accuracy and a high efficiency repeater. It is configured with 82 spotbeams, making it the most advanced multi-spot satellite designed in the world to date.
I can walk to the doctor's, library, gym, four bars but I have to communicate through the orbit because the privatized telephone company didn't want to install the five missing telephone poles. The life in capitalism is annoying.
WHAT WOULDN'T YOU DO FOR A FREE SODA
04 October 2015, Pepino
Surprisingly, even some art world people don’t understand the importance an artist gives to his works. I like being generous and present small drawings to people that I work with. Most of the receivers treasure them but, unfortunately, there are different attitudes too. I gave a work to a curator who has backed me a lot many years ago. I'm still very grateful for his support but now I found out that the piece is in the permanent collection of a museum. Of course a museum is the place where I want to have my stuff placed but a gift is something extremely personal, giving it is an act of confidence. I don’t give away something with the idea that it will be sold or donated to somebody else. At least it would be correct to inform me of the movements of the work. I think also the museum could have wrote me that they have received a donation or bought the work from the secondary market. It’s not the first time that a museum forgets that behind a work there’s an artist. My works are not objects but fragments of my oeuvre, attitude and a bigger narrative than a piece of used paper.