AN ARTIST FOR ALL AGES
Ric Polansky ©
Street wisdom dictates that a man can rarely be a prophet in his own land. But, a genius.... that is something else. A true genius is generally recognized by even the less erudite as he simply stands out high above the rest and therefore is easily spotted.
So it is with local Garrucha artist, Felix Clemente Gerez, now an international star with exhibitions throughout the world. And if you have been one of the lucky ones that recognized his talent and watched it sky rocket climb to notoriety and fame, one can appreciate and gloat along with the honored recipient. Simply put, Clemente Gerez is sought after for his style so typical Spanish in theme and so pristine in lyrical and historical conclusion.
Last week I read that the United Nations purchased a few of his works for their permanent collection. It is always fun to read about him because one just does not see him as frequently as years before. And an interview with him should always be taped. He speaks like a poet and during the time of questioning him you are treated to a coure in Art and Humanities concerning his personal perspectives on life and man's existence. He would be a truly engaging personality even if he wasn't a famous Artist.
For nearby Roquetas de Mar July fiestas, they pleaded and convinced Clemente Gerez to do a show in their castle for a month. Crowds kept coming and the show had to be extended three times until mid last month. Felix enjoys interacting with the guests so each weekend he made the trip across the province to explain his works, meet new admirers, and give advice to the many that have art within them and it just needs to be released. Such common and good man. He still paints in his house in Garrucha town but only when the spirit moves him ....... and the he can't stop day or night.
How honored I felt that he would take the time to give me an interview, and he did so by coming to my house as a good and old friend. We laughed and embraced just as if time had stopped decades ago.
I am pleased to show you a photo of this famous man right in front of one of his very first works of art that I was fortunate enough to buy some thirty five years ago. The financial circumstances then were similar to our current crisis in that no one had any money and tourists arrived in Mojacar for just the month of August. I had gone to his garage/studio to retrieve some "For Sale" signs I needed but became enthralled with a work of his. I had no idea that he could paint artistically and begged him to sell me the painting on the promise that he would never do another sign for me but only works of art. The great man(and he was that then also) allowed me to pay in installments. I have been offered 18,000 Euros for it on three different occasions from guests. Not bad for a 600 Euro investment.
His current Tokyo exhibition keeps a lot of his paintings out of the area, but early next week he has promised me a few paintings to show to friends which I will be doing probably around Christmas time using the Mojacar art gallery of Miguel Angel. Watch this column for more info and a chance to meet the great man.