LOVE OF MADRID
30 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
This week I installed my Super Size Happy Meal Series at Amor de Barrio, a small shop selling souvenirs of Malasaña, an emblematic neighborhood in Madrid known for its history, alternative culture and creativity.
I show my works in galleries and museums but I find it important to have them present outside of the normal venues too. It's great to find people like Amor de Barrio's Gemma and Violeta, who don't want to decorate their establishment with some pretty art but are thrilled to offer something political and provocative to their clients.
Madrid's art scene has never be welcoming to me and though it's my nearest city, I show my art there very rarely. If you don't count art fairs (my works have been a the past two years at Arco but presented by foreign galleries), the last time my works were visible in in Madrid was four years ago. I love Madrid and I hope she will love me back one day.
26 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
In theory, I think artists should be political but free from any ideologies and political parties. I used to say metaphorically that artists must shoot to all directions. My reality changed three years ago in Damascus when I was installing my show and there were firing and bombing to all compass points. It is easy to be against injustice but you need more balls to stand for something. I chose my side and defended the Syrian people, secular society and government.
After the martial experience it was a logical step to be open with my ideas at home too and join the Communist Party of Spain. The party affiliation was something conceptual, I barely have participated in any political activity. Two weeks ago I got a phone call from the regional headquarters of the PCE, the party cadres asked me to be in the list of candidates for the legislature of Castile-La Mancha, our autonomous community. I needed one hour to think before I said yes. I admit, that maybe one of the reasons, was very personal - I felt that I had reached the level of real integration in the Spanish society.
However, I'm the number three in the provincial joint list of the United Left and the Greens but there is no any realistic chance that I win a seat in the parliament. For me being artist is the perfect position to change the world.
FAST-FOOD RESTAURANTS IN DIFFERENT REGIMES
21 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
Burger Big Brother, Burger Brotherly Leader, BurgerCaliph, BurgerCaptain Regent, Burger Caudillo, Burger Chairman, Burger Chieftain, Burger Conducator, Burger Dictator, BurgerDoge, Burger Duce, Burger Emir, Burger Emperor, Burger Eternal President, Burger Federal Council, Burger Federal President, Burger First Consul, Burger First Secretary, Burger Burger Führer, Burger High King, Burger Junta, Burger Kaiser, Burger Khan, Burger King, Burger King of Kings, Burger Maharaja, Burger Maximum Leader, Burger Military Governor, Burger Military Leader, Burger Paramount Ruler, Burger Poglavnik, Burger Pope, Burger President, Burger Queen, Burger Reigning Prince, Burger Son of Heaven, Burger Sovereign Prince, Burger Sultan, Burger Supreme Leader, Burger Tsar.
DOWN WITH THE BURGER KING OF SPAIN
15 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
I've done many political projects in art but yesterday I did for the first time an artistic project in politics. It was the first result of my ideas about creative propaganda for the Talavera de la Reina cell of the Communist Party of Spain. To commemorate the anniversary of the Second Spanish Republic declared on 14th April 1931, we organized a seemingly normal anti-monarchy demonstration but the location was surprising - we were positioned in the front of Burger King fast-food restaurant yelling down with the king, abajo el rey. The climax of the event was the act of burning BK paper crowns they give to kids in birthday celebrations.
I had promised to the party that culture jamming will provide us more press visibility than conventional political events. Unfortunately I was wrong. Though I went personally to all headquarters of the local press and radio stations, no journalists were witnessing our performance. I must admit that we need to invent more amazing things, the context of politics is much harder than the art world.
DEMOCRACY IS A CHEAP DRUNK
10 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
I don't like capitalist democracy but voting is fun. Participating in the Finnish elections is for me a big event that takes a whole day because I have to travel to the embassy in Madrid. Yesterday, I met my Finnish friends Rami and Sami in a bar near the embassy. We had Swedish vodka because they didn't have Finlandia. I voted JP Väisänen, the leader of the Communist Party of Finland. Then we went to another bar that had only Polish vodka. The third bar served us Russian vodka. Finally we had lunch in a pink gay sushi place. We finished off the afternoon with a coffee and rum in a Chinese bar. Democracy is a cheap drunk.
POST HOLY WEEK TO DO LIST
07 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
Pack and send works to Simeon for a show in May in Austria. Send an image to Ville for a sticker show in June in Finland. Go to Madrid to vote in the Finnish embassy. Buy painting materials in Madrid. Fix the last part of the damaged work 57 Varieties. Prepare a lecture on creative propaganda for the Spanish Communist Party. Paint the final layer on the black monochromes. Send invoices. Freeze Strawberries. Finish the kitchen design for the new house. Go to Ikea.
PLASTIC TOYS IN THE TOMB OF JESUS
01 April 2015, Cervera de los Montes
In the feudal Russia the 1% - or maybe back then the 0.1% - had the Easter eggs covered with real gold. There was nothing inside symbolizing the empty tomb of Jesus - and the lack of any justice and equality in the society. In our democratic capitalism Kinder brand or any generic surprise eggs are available to the working class too. They are coated with cheap chocolate and inside the kids find a useless plastic toy made in the People’s Republic of China. The tomb is not anymore empty but there’s an outlet mall. The injustice can take all forms and colors but it will never offer any real content to the oppressed.