Visiting museums as the end of the year approaches has a touch of American film, distills luxury and is very well priced. That's why this morning I went to Prado Museum. The Prado is the place where Madrid becomes Paris, or New York, or London. I walk through the rooms and I realize something unexpected: all the characters that appear in the paintings are dead. Visitors to the museum are alive, but the protagonists of the paintings are only ghosts. Dead and alive, there we are. The living walk through the halls and the dead persevere or prevail on the canvas. Visiting ghosts when New Year's Eve approaches is asking to visit us tomorrow. There is a dead man who almost always appears in the paintings. He is the most famous dead man in this museum. It is Jesus Christ. I get tired of so much Jesus Christ everywhere. Every classical painter painted Jesus Christ. It is the Elvis Presley of the Renaissance and the Baroque. I go to the room dedicated to Bartolomé Bermejo and I see that he also painted Jesus Christ. I think Bermejo was the Andy Warhol of the fifteenth century. Classical European painting was obsessed with the beauty of Jesus Christ.
I wander through the rooms that celebrate the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Prado Museum. I stop in front of an explanatory video of the ephemeris, dedicated to illustrious visitors of the 20th century. Third World rulers leave. Francisco Franco comes out with baggy pants. Eva Perón leaves. Madrid then was just a big town. It is the political-moral underdevelopment of our recent past that this video proclaims. That is why I return to Bermejo, because the fifteenth century in Spain was more universal than the twentieth century. Why did not I know Bermejo's painting? Why did not they tell me about Bermejo and yes about Velázquez, El Greco and Goya? In the history of Spain, they always forget the best. I stand before the face of a bloody and consumed Jesus Christ, painted by Bermejo. It looks like David Bowie. I tell the young lady who watches the room. "It's David David Bowie." I do not laugh at the grace. I feel stupid, but when I leave he comes up to me and says in my ear "he is nailed to Marlon Brando". The end of the year sneaks in all the rooms of the museum. I want to buy the Bermejo catalog. Bermejo cups, Bermejo notebooks, this transit from 2018 to 2019 is from Bermejo.
The Prado had three million visitors last year, but the Louvre exceeded seven million. The most important thing a country can offer the world are painters and artists. I think I would have called Bartolomé Bermejo at Barajas airport and Gaudí at Barcelona airport. When I came to live in Madrid, the first thing I thought was going to the Prado every day and that could save my life. The great museums save lives. Bermejo painted the sexuality of Jesus Christ. The year 19 is coming. I had never seen God's sex painted.