In a time Eduardo Arroyo stood up -Done today at 81 years old- next to his studio, where Madrid is older, and sang in Italian the hymn of semiotics, friends of the clouds. Dressed always to go out in the ring, elegant at night and day, with his bow tie, his rude altar boy's laugh, he was a man who came down from heaven to the earth giving a blow on the table, to declare his disagreement with almost everything. It was between José Bergamín and Luis Buñuel, always ready to break the mold, to seek in reality the food of his dreams. He was a friend of the clouds, but he did not dwell in them.
In recent times in Spain this attitude against this and that, against the evil and against the policy that considers a mediocre mask, charged even more energy. An operation that affected the larynx left him almost voiceless, but until the end the words were the argument of his global disagreement against what bothered him and the painting was the vehicle of his Buñuelian sarcasm.
He was a total artist, and that's why he was also a poet. His ability to work did not detract from the good life. He named his drinks, those whiskeys in a ball glass that he made famous in their outlines, and he was a fabulous host; Even without a voice, it was the center of conversations. His genius, which pierced all the genres he fed, came down from the clouds with the grace of a humorist and the rage of a wild speaker. He did not leave puppet with head, because he owned a vocabulary, in several languages, that served him to be a front-row memorialist and a risky writer, full of references in those who lived from Voltaire to Bertolt Brecht and James Joyce.
It affected the barbarism, deplored the bad will and sanctified, in its way, language as a vehicle of all its arts. He was not an academic of the language because this institution wanted to lose the opportunity, but his writing is there to be integrated into the best contemporary prose of a Spanish artist. He explained how he paints, with irony and putting sarcasm at the very center of his architecture.
He was born to bohemian, and he was, but his study was that of a full-time worker, laborious as Pablo Picasso and meticulous as Joan Miró. To visit him was to be at the same time with several artists, all of them in full operation. He also had time, meanwhile, to be a bartender and cook. A man for all seasons, even for these seasons of dark clouds that he had to live when the disease became the illusion of knocking him down. He remade himself as the boxer he was, and continued painting and projecting, and explaining. I think it's the artist who I heard the most things explain.
For this he had the concepts. Dreams and concepts Like those linguists of the concept, of which his friend Umberto Eco was patron saint, Arroyo liked clouds, although little he painted them. His subject, and perhaps that's why he was a journalist, was reality, and reality was gaining ground to paint faces, trains, fights of illustrious or invented boxers (he was, like Eduardo Úrculo, impossible ambassador of boxing) and also to intervene in reality, sometimes hitting the clouds.
He lived the reality (and the nightmare) of this country, and although he was a Parisian of adoption, it was Spain, his bulls, wine, the great landscapes he adopted in his life, those green deserts of Laciana, in León, the country that he wanted Exiled from all parts at a certain moment, his country was that stream of his surname, for which he swam in search of a utopia, that of lasting, that he could not fulfill because that dream is never fulfilled that actually remains in those who now lose the opportunity to witness his exceptional figure, elegant, dressed in gallant clothes that could only be his, always ready to give voice or pictures to anyone who asks them. Because he worked for others always, being so private and so his, seldom was someone around so exaggeratedly seen generous as Eduardo Arroyo.
I asked Fernando Savater, his friend, who was in Buenos Aires listening to opera, as he would have liked the one who had just left him in Madrid, if he could say anything about Eduardo. One more of our intimate army is gone, he said, and then he sent me this ticket, to attach it to the writing: "Artist of his life and friendship, as well as of the painting: it was original of gesture and word without need to propose it. He enjoyed living and enjoyed those who treated him: he did not have that spirit of heaviness that sometimes annoys good creators. " Amen.