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.