August 8, 2020

"Conservatism is a measles that happens, like the independence movement" | Culture


"I've lived a lot in that corner. My first kiss with tongue. My first joint … Those houses have been the landscape of my childhood. I have passed hundreds of times below that tree. How big it is, huh, its roots have lifted the asphalt. And at that gas station we put 100 pesetas … " The corner he talks about Xavier Mariscal, 68, is in the Parterre, a garden that opens to the street of La Paz, where the franchises fight to steal your modernist breath. The drawings and paintings of designer They maintain, however, the nobility of one of this emblematic street of Valencia. As they reflect the monumentality of the ficus whose branches almost touch the neoclassical Palace of Justice, where politicians and hustlers filthy with corruptions still parade.

But Mariscal has not returned to Valencia to show that dark part of his hometown, which is associated with his name in the last decade, but to get all its shine. "It's not like he came back either. I have never left. I mean, I went to Barcelona with 20 years, but I have not stopped coming. And it's not that I've had enough of Barcelona. No. They proposed it to me and I have dared to draw the places of my childhood, that sun and shadow that causes light among the trees. And above all the light, and how it burns the facades … These blacks that are never black, they are gray, "explains Mariscal while pointing out one of his recent works drawn with his iPad, with his fingers, manipulating photographs. week and until January 5 on the walls of the Gallery Pepita Lumiere of Valencia.

The euphoria of light and color explodes in all his paintings and cause an effect of contagion, especially in that to which are very recognizable the landscapes drawn and that are not limited to the city of Valencia: there appears a farmhouse of the Albufera, the Michelin's announcement at a gas station on the fateful main road of Castellón, the Helios bar in front of the Dénia sea …

La cerretera del Palmar in Valencia, according to Xavier Mariscal.
La cerretera del Palmar in Valencia, according to Xavier Mariscal.

One of Mariscal's paintings.
One of Mariscal's paintings.

"That road I have traveled a thousand times, we made careers, drunk, to the Hacienda nightclub. Anyway, now we travel with my children and my grandchildren in a very different way. We are a kind of social animals that we need to share those experiences, "he comments on the winding road that links Dénia and Xàbia with the Cape of Sant Antoni, passing through La Plana, on the slopes of Montgó.

Among the drawings, which are sold from 80 euros in copies of cotton paper, a typical house of Formentera is also strained. "In the background, Ibiza and Formentera are Valencia, Menorca is the Catalan Ampurdà and Mallorca is the Tuscany", says the popular designer of Cobi, who inadvertently mixes Catalan and Spanish, and does not abandon the playful tone although he talks about very serious things. Three years ago, he declared himself bankrupt and almost evicted, after setting up one of the most powerful studios in Spain, with clients in half the world. Has your situation improved? "I still do, banks chase me and I do not have a hard one. I have problems with orders but all this sounds like I cry and I can not cry. All my life they have loved me very much, I have very good clients and above all many people to whom I would like to thank them before dying for the great affection I have received, "he says, before apologizing to address a couple who, like Other friends and family have entered the gallery to greet him.

He rejoins the conversation and enters fully into whether he sees light now in the Spanish political scene. "There is much more, people say that the PP and the PSOE are the same, but I have many friends Zapatero changed their lives, now they are not persecuted because they are not heterodox, I mean heterosexuals, I apologize for my dyslexia. I had three abortions and they had to be clandestine, etc. There are differences, that it is not the bomb, that we should go much further, yes but … And the corruption so brazen that there was … "But they are more pacatos, more conservative times than endings of the seventies when it was blinding with Nazario in the Viper and in the eighties, is not it? "It is clear that it is, but it is like a pendulum There is a wonderful person, Yuval Noah Harari, who knows how to look at things with perspective, how We burned nothing in the Plaça de Catalunya to four thieves who had stolen from the Court at that time, there are new generations more prepared Yes, society may be more pacata today, but conservatism is a measles that will pass, just as the independence of Catalonia, which is so unviable ".

New animated film with Trueba

Xavier Mariscal argues that the topics are because they mean something, but you have to twist them like a judo key to make them yours. And speaking of the light of Valencia, the reference of Joaquín Sorolla is inevitable: "You realize its influence, also from Pinazo, but after making the drawings. after. I do not even reach the socks of these teachers … But Sorolla would be great with the iPad. It would do wonders, like Hockney, putting filters. The light of Valencia is very similar, for example, to that of Los Angeles. It is vibrant, bestial. I just made a travel book for Louis Vuitton from Los Angeles. The Valencian landscape throws you into the street. It is an optimistic landscape, like Zapatero ", comments with irony the designer who is preparing another animated film with Fernando Trueba, after Chico and Rita. He only commented that the action is in Brazil, but did not go into more details until all the financing was tied.

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