Plastic Arts BLOG




Until today, this is the hardest text I have had to write, the one I would have never wanted to write, but given the circumstances and how much you valued words, maybe it will be a good way to say see you soon. I remember the first time we ever spoke – we e-mailed each other – it was on July 2011 and I was on the Tate Britain Archive, trying to shape what would later be my PHD thesis. Those first conversations where I seemed to you a “pedantic” kid resulted in others that built, after hours of conversations late at night and some projects together, an amazing friendship.

During those talks and home visits – I loved to dig inside of your study – we would talk about painting, drawing, film, music, the 70s, 80s, 90s…, your adventures in the U.S.A. and even about tennis, which also brought us together, even though I did not even know that you liked. Conversations in the kitchen because, even though I already heard something about it, I confirmed it was true: the best restaurant in Malaga was your home. I hope it still is.

I will never have enough words to thank you for everything I have learnt from you, an important part of my university degree was built on your work. I would like to talk about an special project, the one that the University of Seville did with you in 2018: El clamor de las mosca (the outcry of the flies). You trusted me to organise it in the Centre for Cultural Initiatives of the University of Seville (CICUS), with no previous experience on the field, at least for the level that your work required. From then on, the University of Seville added some of your drawings from the 70s to their collection. Today I really want to see them again, it will be a way to remember you and those days

The exhibition El clamor de las mosca (the outcry of the flies) went to the Universidad de Granada and then to the University of Jaén Universidad de Jaén and it allowed us to do workshops in Seville and Granada, where the students were pleased with the keys and acerbic comments that you were sharing to them about painting and contemporary art in general. Sometimes disguised as the Joker, sometimes as Chema Cobo. I do not know whether you have seen it from somewhere, but many of them contacted me mourning your departure. I knew they would be delighted, I was aware of what it meant to be a student in a workshop of yours. I remember when we concurred in one, you were the teacher and I, a student, in 2012 and, as always, the conversations that went on for hours.

I have been having hypothetical conversations with you for some days – of course it was late at night –, thinking about what you would or would not say to me about these words that I write now, because I know for a fact that you hated corniness. I hope this is not corny to you, but if it is, my friend, you will have to put up with it. I need to write this to you, since you parted without answering my last WhatsApp WhatsApp message and there are pending matters between us.

You and your work inspired me to write multiple texts about your work and your imaginary, I published them in magazines of the University of Malaga, Barcelona, Seville, the Complutense… Thanks to them and to all of the help you have given me, I was able to grow academic and artistically. The Joker, chameleons, maps, the strait, palm trees, swimming pools, ventriloquists, parrots, etc. A rich iconography full of meaning and double meaning-messages that you have used to force the audience to think, driving them to uncomfortable places, far away from today’s painting, which seemed pleasing and merely sensationalist.

While I write this in the balcony I see on the computer flies who fly without a defined route and I think about how these works, whose ideas you told me, excited, that you wanted to do in the next days, would be.

You are the first friend that I lose. Today I feel that a part of my knowledge is left orphaned, I have doubts about how I will solve some issues without your help. I am going to miss you so much, thank you for everything.