SWALLOWING THE LIZARD
I am continuing to share the secret stories -not without effort and a certain embarrassment- behind the works of my retrospective exhibition Imaginarium, on October 21st in Seattle.
It was the spring of 1988. I was 20 and had just fallen in love with a girl. What they call “love at first sight” while I was watching her eating an apple. She was selling clothes that she had designed, in a stall at a craft market in Madrid. A mutual friend introduced us. I will keep her name secret for privacy reasons. She lived near me. That night, I drove her home in my Seat 600 car.
A few weeks later, we traveled separately to a Rainbow gathering in the mountains of Leon, Spain. There, we spent two weeks, in a gorgeous valley, where we watched three rainbows on a rainy afternoon. In between the rhythm of the drums and the smell of chapati, she fell in love with another young man, a blond and good-looking guy.
On their return to Madrid, they separated temporarily. During the following weeks of that hot summer, I spent as much time as possible with her. We were like two peas in a pod, I believe. It was a magical time. I felt the mirage of having really found the “love of my life”. However, I knew my days were numbered: in August she would leave with her beloved and a group of friends on a van road trip through Europe, which would end in India. And so it was.
She invited me to join the troupe. I refused to witness a love story that was not mine. It seemed very cruel to me. However, within a few weeks after she left, I couldn’t fight the feeling of abandonment and loneliness. Spontaneously, I made up a backpack: a sleeping bag, a sketchpad and an out of tune kalimba. I went on a trip to the north of Spain to follow her trail. For two weeks, I slept in caves, forests, parks, beaches, abandoned buildings and train stations. I was really close to finding her. But it was too late and I had already lost.
On my return to Madrid, I entered one of the most intense creative periods of my life. I painted and wrote poems and songs like I had never done before. Some of these works can be seen for the first time in my IMAGINARIUM exhibition. Many of them helped me go through the pain and loneliness. Today, fortunately, all that has been left in the past. I can only feel compassion for the lonely young man I once was. And send my best wishes to the woman I loved so much, who by the way ended her days in Japan with a different man and had some precious children.
“The Word Precing the Last Storm”. For the first time I will reveal the secrets of this work:
- She is led by in a road, mounted on a hoop that supports her sex.
- She is blind.
- He is a pretty boy but he has no iris in his eyes. He is empty.
- As he plays with her, he pulls out his prick and pisses the way where he leads her. I saw a mandrill at the zoo of Madrid doing this to mark the food that was thrown to him and keep it from the females.
- She holds a windmill in her hand. But he doesn’t notice that the storm is brewing and is about to explode.
- In the foreground, I, the artist, watch the sequence. My body disappears as if part of me had gone with her. I feel fear and pain.
- At that time, I had a series of recurring dreams. A shaman would tell me: “Koldo, swallow the lizard.” The lizard is an animal of power for many ancestral cultures and is linked to my zodiacal sign. At the time I painted this work, I had no knowledge of it. I always had a very strong relationship with lizards since I was a child. Swallowing the lizard meant to reach the darkest part of me and cross my deepest fears, to reach out the light.
The word preceding the last storm is “jealousy.” This work, today I confess, is simply titled “JEALOUSY”.
“The Word Preceding the Last Storm” can be seen in my forthcoming retrospective exhibition.
IMAGINARIUM / Visions of Sounds
Saturday 21st October, 5 -9 PM
Sunday 22nd October, 11 -1 PM
843 Hiawatha Artspace Lofts
Seattle, Central District