Martín Chirino’s last wish

The work, which belongs to the Cabezas series. Chronicle of the 20th century and which has a pedestal made with unpolished Arucas Rosa Silva blue stone, it was reproduced on a large scale by his assistant Rafael Monagas and by Daniel Pop, in his workshop in Romania, with the addition of a tau cross. But yesterday, finally, after more than two years since the death of the artist on March 11, 2019, and a month after his ashes were deposited in the Vegueta Cemetery, the work is already part of the tombstone located in the pantheon of Illustrious Gran Canaria with Alfredo Kraus.

The sculptor’s daughter, Marta Chirino, read some memorabilia notes in which she stressed the importance of fulfilling “my father’s illusion of being in this place in the cemetery and in this way.” Marta Chirino pointed out that “it was a wish of my father to be able to rest with his friend Alfredo Kraus, of whom just yesterday was the twenty-second anniversary of his departure.” And he recalled that Jano was reproduced in the Faurar art workshops, starting from Baia Mare to Madrid and then reaching Las Palmas. The daughter also read one of the artist’s first texts entitled La reja y el arado and published in Papeles de Son Armadans, in 1959, a creation from when the sculptor was young and about which Marta Chirino pointed out that “although it was written in the In the context of the Franco regime, in some way it predicts in some things how his artistic career is going to be later, ”he commented.

Marta Chirino read one of the first texts by the sculptor from 1959 entitled ‘The fence and the plow’


The family chose these letters because they represent “that return to the origin” and a text, in turn “very significant in its creative and also psychological facet.” Before and after the intervention of Marta Chirino, maestro Ángel Luis Quintana performed two works by Bach, one of the composers admired by the sculptor, on the cello. Quintana, who is a soloist in the National Orchestra, began with a Sarabanda from the First suite and concluded with the Prelude to suite number 1 in G Major.

The event was attended by the Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Augusto Hidalgo; the Councilor for Culture, Encarna Galván; the municipal spokeswoman for the PP, Pepa Luzardo; the Councilor for Cemeteries, Luis Zamorano; the Gran Canaria Minister of Culture, Guacimara Medina, the chronicler of Las Palmas, Juan José Laforet, as well as the director of the Martín Chirino Foundation, Jesús Castaño, the sculptor Rafael Monagas, friends, family, artists and members of the board of trustees that bears the name of the artist.


Shortly after, Marta Chirino, who came accompanied by her husband Eduardo Rodríguez, and the artist’s granddaughter Inés Rodríguez Chirino, made a wreath with her on the artist’s tombstone on which reads the inscription Here rests the great fabler blacksmith, smith of symbols. From the origin to the universe. Words that represent one of the maxims that Chirino maintained.

Jesús Castaño later indicated that Jano is a two-sided head with a small cross on the back, and that it is part of that series of works by Chirino in which the heads appear in the form of reflection. “The casting was done in trusted workshops where I had worked in recent years.” The director of the Foundation added that a kind of columbarium has been made where the ashes are deposited under the tombstone that “bears an epitaph that was one of the maxims that he carried around the world.” In this way, according to Castaño, the artist «returns to the land from which he started, as Ulises returned to Ithaca and the spiral that he began to forge closes, which turned him into a universal ambassador whose only wish was to be back in his land ».

The work, which has a pedestal with blue stone, is part of the series’ Cabezas. Chronicles of the 20th century ‘


It was also very important to collect the impressions of his assistant for more than forty years, Rafael Monagas, who described this Juno as a sculpture that copies the original iron model, made in 2002, as one of its many heads, but which To put it outdoors, it is made of larger bronze. “Martín asked me to put a cross behind him because he was very believing,” he said. “And for me it was very complicated”, but “he had made the procession of crosses in Burgos and I noticed one that was a tau and I tried to make it as simple as possible.” Monagas stressed that “the large copy was made by Daniel Pop, who has a foundry in Romania that was in charge of carrying out the processes in gilding with German gold.” The sculptor also recalled how he met Chirino. “I was leaving after finishing Fine Arts and I accompanied him on a trip to Rome in 1976 in which we worked very well,” he recalls. Later, “in a pro-amnesty demonstration, we sold all the drawings he had.” Later “I accompanied him in the workshop and, although I only knew carpentry, Martín liked the way I work, he told me I had a trade.”


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