A friend asked me to do some drawings of Kamasutra positions. It was an idea she had for some posters. I couldn't do them as straight drawings, and I really tried; like the ones you see on temple reliefs or images out there. Instead, the result was Mickey and Pluto doing their own Kamasutra thing -- really more a porn image-- well, Kamasutra. If I can't twist it and give it a personal spin it means nothing to me. My friend was pretty miffed that she didn't get her drawings and basically hasn't had much to do with me since. Oh well.
When I moved to NY in 1997 I decided to change my work. Since I had decided to change my life, the change in my painting seemed logical. The move was quite radical and I started from zero in NY. I was quite well set-up in Barcelona and very comfortable there when I left. NY was necessary to start fresh and leave the pop images behind and just concentrate on painting what I loved, which was abstraction. That work culminated in a show in Barcelona at Galeria Victor Saavedra in 2000, where I showed these and other works.
I used to go to this junk store around the corner from my studio in the Raval, which was called the Barrio Chino, but now they (El Ayuntamiento, ie. City Hall) have sanitized both name and hood after tearing-down the worst parts of the neighborhood and eliminating a lot of the marginal activities like prostitution, drug dealing and whatever else. That still goes on, but it is nothing like it was. Anyways, I'd go to this junk shop when I was stuck in the studio and find curious stuff, like old photos, figurines, etc. I found this cheesy cast figure of an angel with a movable head that I painted and these are the outcome. The painting with the male figure is Brains from the Thunderbirds, which was another series of paintings I did but fits with this theme. All these paintings are 230 x 170cm. I believe one of these paintings was shown at Galeria Tomas Carsten in Barcelona in 1995 -- the angel with the turquoise back ground. The three works are in private collections: Javier Herrero, Barcelona and Juan Redon, Barcelona.
When I moved to Barcelona in 1988, the city was a very out-of-the-way-place. An alternative, unknown quantity, very authentic, and for me quite exotic in its authenticity. I knew instinctively even before coming here that there was nothing going on as far as visual art. Well, there were things going on but they definitely weren't very interesting as far as painting, seeing paintings, good galleries were concerned. That was fine for me. Sailor bars, junkies, and locals. Real stuff in your face. That was inspiring if not disturbing. I needed to develop my work and isolate myself from my surroundings. One of the things that grabbed my eye was the comic book "Mortadelo and Filemon", quintessentially Spanish, and very interesting visually to look at. I wandered around my neighborhood, looking at stuff. It wasn't the comic parse that I liked, but the covers, which were well displayed in the kiosks on the Ramblas That was a continuous presence and something very native and pop. There was some good painting coming through town. Bits and bobs at the Caixa Forum. Some great shows. I liked the frenetic warped surreal scenes and the bright, garish colors. I ended-up painting Mortadelo and Filemon. Well, just Mortadelo --230 x 170cm size in oil. The two paintings in the photo are installation shots from the show I did at Carles Poy Gallery in 1993, in Barcelona.
The bunny portraits are installation shots shots from the expo I did at Carles Poy Gallery, Barcelona in 1993.
The two painting below are 230 x 175 cm of the cosmic bunnies series that I did. I showed the one with the bluish ground at Kiku Mistu Centro del Arte, Barcelona in 1996, and subsequently sold both of them privately.
Rory Macbeth. Was once a Street Painter who I met in Barcelona in 1988. Phenomenal painter, phenomenally talented. Now he shows all over the place aside from being one of the organizers of Pilot, in London, an archive and showcase of unrepresented artists. This image is of one of his amazing paintings. And it is a painting, not a piece of sterling board, although you wouldn't know it. A real challenge to our notion of reality as it is perceived, and to our expectations of how things really are and not how they just appear to be.
This is the first poster in a series of 3 street posters, dina 2 size, that I did and were pasted-up in the autumn of '95 in Barcelona. It depicts a woman in leathers (S+M) painting a felation. It says: "Being an Artist is Easy...Intensive 3 week courses....Pastiching....all graduates will show in the most prestigious galleries... collectors to buy your work...learn to paint like Tapies, Picasso....Salon Autonimo of Barcelona, Riereta 10 (which was the actual address of my studio) and there were people actually coming by inquiring about taking the classes! Which astounded me. Part of the motivation for doing this project was a bad experience I had with a gallery that had shown my work that summer and closed the gallery permanently, in the middle of my show, with all my work hanging there and a FOR RENT sign on the gallery. He (won't mention names... Galeria Tomas Carstens, oops) didn't fill me in on the change of plans for the gallery and for me it was a complete disaster if not a big slap in the face. So I did these posters as I was quite fed-up with Barcelona art scene. I moved two years latter to New York.
This is the 2nd street poster A2 size (40 x 58 cm) 16 x 23" that went up onto the streets of Barcelona in the autumn of '95. It says "You are a Wanker, and you aren't alone either -- yes yes.....Salon Autonimo of Barcelona". Depicting Dopey of the 7 Dwarves jerking off onto what looks like a Tapies painting. I think the message is pretty clear.
3rd installment which never got printed. It depicts the folkloric "caganet", the crapping man, the Belen figure which Catalans like to adorn their Christmas Nativity Scenes with. So I made him crapping a painting as if it was a production like. Fecundity is creation. It says "I don't paint my painting anymore. I crap them out -- that way I can produce more art and produce it faster -- Barcelona Autonomous Salon " At that time the media and government institutions were referring to "artists" as young creators. This was a way to deflect the "art" debate by changing its name in an attempt to create an art scene. There was a huge concern in general that local artists weren't getting any attention. Neither by collectors in Barcelona, museums, or internationally. But no one seemed to ask the question if they the artists, whoever they were, that nefarious group of creators, deserved any attention at all, which they probably didn't. Whining and no one caring anyways. The other side of the coin is if the people who were worried about artist activity had any idea of what they were talking about, which they didn't then maybe they'd realize that what creates an art scene is money not talk.