18 July 2014, Cervera de los Montes
Last spring I completed several important projects but I spent very little time concentrated in the basic studio work, painting and drawing, which is the core of my practice. In the end of the day, I'm not a conceptual artist but a modernist who ventures to the borders of art and beyond.
The last couple of weeks, in spite of the Spanish summer heat and vacationing kid, I've been back in the atelier. I finished an Uncle Scrooge painting, which will be a beginning of a bigger series of iconic fictional characters with political slogans.
In the beginning of next week, we do what all the immigrant families do every summer, we go back to where we came from. I'll enjoy the cool Finnish weather but I'm afraid to lose the inspiration (yes, I'm romantic and do have this word in my vocabulary). I find it always difficult to start studio work after a break and this vacation comes in an inopportune moment.
11 July 2014, Cervera de los Montes
Striptease warfare is an erotic or exotic conflict in which the attacker gradually undresses, either partly or completely, the victim, in a seductive manner.
Striptease war involves a slow, sensuous aggression, with the international community urging the attacker to undress more items and destroy more targets. The attacker may prolong the battle with delaying tactics. The emphasis is on the act of undressing along with suggestive operations, rather than the state of being undressed.
Zionist entity’s attacks to Gaza Strip in the past ten years include Operation Rainbow, Operation Days of Penitence, Operation Summer rains, Operation Autumn Clouds Operation Hot Winter, Operation Returning Echo, Operation Pillar of Defence. Operation Protective Edge was launched this week targeting Palestinian civilians.
DEAR THANK YOU YOURS SINCERELY
04 July 2014, Cervera de los Montes
In 2002 I bought Atsuhide Ito's book Dear Thank You Your Sincerely, which is a compilation of real letters - negative responses to his grant applications and project proposals. I found the book in London where I was doing a residency at Camden Arts Centre and lived and worked at the Delfina Studios where I shared lunch table with Turner Price winners and other UK art stars. I had just graduated from the art school, signed my first gallery representation contract, sold works to a museum and earned more money I could spend. I was convinced that I would never be in Ito's situation but the truth is that - 12 years later - I could compose a book just like his and mine would be as thick as War and Peace.
This week I got once again one of those letters. The Finnish Arts Council refused to give me a working grant. I know perfectly that most of the artists must live from their work or other side jobs but being a Finn should make artist's life easier. Hundreds of Finnish artists enjoy monthly working grants from the State or private foundations. I'm not one of them though repeatedly I'm listed by critics as one of the Top 10 artists of the country. Other artists of my generation and with similar achievements have practically permanent salary for just being Finnish artists. The perversion is that these grants are given to artists by other artists sitting in the juries. I always wanted to be the most hated artist of Finland and at least I've achieved that reputation among my colleagues.