Juan Avellanosa

Drawings, painting and prints

Exhibition from 16 October to 8 November 2019

Vernissage: Wednesday, 16 October, 7 p.m.
Finissage: Friday, 8 November, 7 p.m.

Opening hours:
Tuesday 1 – 5 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday 4 – 8 p.m.
and by arrangement

Talk with the artist

Juan Avellanosa Peña
born in Madrid, 15.05.1979

Tell me about your childhood, how was the social and cultural life? Where did you live? Who are your parents and what do they do? Do you have brothers or sisters?

I spent my childhood in Madrid, close to Retiro Park with my parents, my sister and a group of more or less likeminded families. I asked my parents once if we had money, because someone had posed me this question at school and I wanted to give an informed answer or at least have one; they said we didn’t. Little by little I came to discover that my family was middle class. My mother was a theater and film actress and she devoted her working life to speech-language and logotherapy after my birth. When she died I learned in the newspaper that she had been “the muse of the Escuela Oficial de Cine”, the Official Cinema School. My father was a child and adolescent psychiatrist; according to him, I’m the son of an artist (her) and an athlete (him). In my late youth I came to accept that my parents were intellectuals even though I never was one. I should note that the most important aspects of my family members, the essential ones, I obviously ignore and I am unwilling to tear off such veils, if they are veils.

When were you aware that you liked art? Did you have any artistic influence in your surroundings that fueled that calling?

An early memory and probably the most meaningful of those I can recall has my mother in the leading role, sitting to my right on a bench in the kitchen, drawing on a piece of paper a scene that contained a house, a tree and a car. Something very simple that I asked her to draw for me time and again. I remember the attraction the rounded forms exerted on me as they appeared on the paper and that I found ‘perfect’. I remember a schoolmate, Sergio, who sang songs of Miguel Bosé to me, alone the two of us in a situation which would have been a perfect homophilic scene had it appeared in a spanish movie of the times. The quadruple album of the Beach Boys given to me by another classmate, Daniel, for my birthday, when we were eleven and which is, in retrospect, the best present I have ever received. The albums my father played at home, predominantly singer-songwriters, the films I saw with my sister, of any genre, being very small, in the cinema where my grandmother worked. I never rationalize such activities and conclude, later, that I liked art. Neither was I conscious of a love for art which would drive me to look for it in one or other person, event or product. I simply have liked certain music, certain pictures, certain ways of writing or certain contents, certain ways of speaking or of moving, like anybody else, I guess. My first admiration, the one I can define as such, is with the work. My understanding of the artist behind the work, if any, is always fragmentary, unlike the message of the work, which can be perfectly satisfying and complete, regardless of the subjective factor of my reception or my knowledge of the artist. A friend and writer, Daniel too, was by agreement or opposition influential in my artistic maturity. But no one has encouraged me, explicitly, to do art. I’ve been more often encouraged to show or sell but haven’t done it much in spite of that.