January 30, 2011

Films (January '11) / Películas (enero)

Someone has accused me of being too exquisite when it comes to films. Perhaps it might be so, but then again instead of a defect this would be a most paramount virtue. Nonetheless, I intend to prove that my tastes can be rather eclectic. What did I pay attention to in this, the first month of 2011?

I saw Douglas Trumbull’s “Brainstorm” (1983), a production that proposes a technology able to record people’s life experience so that others might experience them through a combination of virtual technology and other technological stimuli. The hereafter is analyzed through a scientific perspective which is always something interesting to see.

Dito Montiel’s “A Guide to Recognizing your Saints” (2006) is a heartfelt autobiographical story that revolves around a group of kids growing up in a most underprivileged area. Crime and poverty take a toll on the lives of these youngsters, and while some of the male teens find refuge in drugs, others are prone to delinquency. What matters the most, though, is the life of the protagonist, an intelligent boy that is bedazzled by an Irish lad he meets in high school and starts realizing that there is a world outside his neighborhood, that there can be other alternatives besides misery. In streets ruled by gangs, the dynamics are almost medieval, the protagonists are white, so that means they can’t go to the street ruled by Japanese gangs or the street ruled by Latino gangs and so on. What’s most amazing, perhaps (and this is a story based on true facts) is that even though they live only a few minutes away from New York City, they’ve never been to the city. They live in the world they know, and that means adapting to human misery.

Dennis Iliadis “The Last House on the Left” (2009) keeps the spectators at the edge of their seats. The director skillfully creates suspense and delivers shocking moments that no one could foresee. When I first saw it, for some reason, I didn’t catch the producer’s name (Wes Craven), but since the very beginning I found the story interesting. But then, when I saw Spencer Treat Clark (actor in Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable” or Eastwood’s “Mystic River”) I knew this wasn’t just a regular movie. This young actor has always worked for good filmmakers, and this case is no exception. For any horror or suspense fan “The Last House on the Left” is highly recommendable.

John Hughes “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) is a hilarious take on teenage idleness taken to the extreme. Hughes presents the viewer with a charismatic teenage boy that everyone loves. He ditches classes constantly, he lies to everyone, he makes his parents believe he is the perfect boy and he always gets away with it all. Not only that, he is such a resourceful young man that he can intervene his high school computer to delete his absence records or create an ingenious replica of his body so that his mother will think he is in bed. As he takes his girlfriend and his best friend on a journey to the city (stealing the Ferrari of his friend’s father), he makes them discover that fun is all that matters in the end. But more importantly, because of a series of accidents, he forces his best friend to break out of his shelf and face his greatest fears, namely the unhealthy relationship with fatherly figures. A very funny story with quite emotive moments. John Hughes was truly a master of teen movies.

Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” (2010) shows the lives of several characters that have been, in one way or another, affected by death. A French journalist barely survives a flooding in Indonesia, and as a result becomes more in contact with the world of the souls. A man in San Francisco refuses to become a medium, but he is well sought after since he can actually communicate with the dead. Twin brothers in England deal with their mother’s rampant drug addiction and when one of them abruptly dies all hell breaks loose. Eastwood talent is made evident in each of these seemingly unrelated stories, all of these characters are fascinating and can easily move the viewer.

Robert Schwentke’s “Red” (2010) based on the comic book miniseries by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer suggests the possibility of a retired CIA agent coming to grips with his life as a pensioner. Of course, CIA agents never die peacefully, or do they? When a wetworks operative tries to put an end to his life, he will have no other choice but to go to his old friends and plan a counterattack to CIA headquarters. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Brian Cox can easily guarantee a fun ride. But the script is also surprisingly entertaining. There will be a sequel, that’s for sure.

François Truffaut’s “L’Histoire d’Adele H” (1975) is an intense depiction of obsession. When a woman falls in love with a British lieutenant she decides to follow him even if that means turning her back on family and the life she knew. One cannot avoid feeling sympathetic towards Adele, the level of obsession is at first portrayed as something we might identify with (after all, who hasn’t been romantically invested with the wrong person?). However, as the story progresses degradation ensues. How much humiliation can she take? How long can she survive as a lonely woman in search of a man who barely pays attention to her? A masterwork worth revisiting.

Torsten C. Fischer’s “Guter Junge” (2008) is a harsh story about pedophilia. However, the protagonist is not an old predator, but rather a 17-year-old that is constantly hanging out with 11-year-olds. When he starts filming his young buddies he crosses a boundary, and soon one of these boys will accuse him of an immoral act of such caliber that his life won’t remain the same. This is an extraordinary approach on ordinary life and how much it can change because of the protagonist’s pedophilic tendencies. A very tough but also honest perspective of perhaps one of the most controversial subjects one could think of. For a more in depth review feel free to read my IMDB entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1205492/usercomments

Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” (2010) is an eerie story of complots and hidden agendas that involve the CIA and England’s Primer Minister. Here, Ewan McGregor is an anonymous writer that has a task at hand: writing the biography of a character that is an obvious reference to Tony Blair, interpreted by Pierce Brosnan. How the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and how the characters interact with each other is interesting enough, but my favorite part is the suspense and the impending sensation of doom that permeates the activities of the writer. It has been said before, getting close to the truth might be dangerous. Perhaps too dangerous.

Donald P. Borchers’ “Children of the Corn” (2009) is based on a Stephen King story (who also writes the screenplay). The first scene takes us to an isolated rural town in the US, where a group of children intend to ritually sacrifice a pig in order to clean the town of the adults sins. They will soon realize that if all adults are sinners, then to eliminate them will also mean to get rid of sin. Such an uncanny idea, a town governed and inhabited only by children. It is in this scenario that a Vietnam veteran and his Afro-American wife are unlucky enough to stop by. And once they get in touch with a horrific reality they will have no choice but to fight for survival. By the way, this is a remake and I feel now compelled to see the original version.

“Dressed to Kill” (1980) is a classic Brian De Palma’s film. A transvestite killer chases the only witness of his crimes, and as a consequence we have a frenzy search of suspects. Characters include a prestigious British shrink marvelously played by Michael Cain, a high-class whore, a boy of unlimited scientific skills, a rough-edged police officer. For a more in depth review feel free to read my IMDB entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080661/usercomments?start=30

Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau’s “Crustacés et Coquilages” (2005) is a story about two boys, one of them straight and the other one gay, trying to find their place in the world. As any teenager, confusing feelings and constant horniness will lead them to places which might change everything, and also they will discover certain hidden secrets about the adults surrounding them during that journey. For a more in depth review feel free to read my IMDB entry.

Finally, I watched several short-films included in “Boxer Shorts”: in “Tom Clay Jesus” two men have sex, while the first one wants a relationship the second one only wants to find the next hot body. “Boychick”, is about a gay Jew trying to overcome his shyness. “Caught” analyzes the mechanisms of gay infidelity and the nature of desire. In “Audit” a couple of actors face an Internal Revenue audit, and when they realize the lesbian and gay IRS agents are interested in them, how far will they go to avoid paying taxes? “Prom Queen” a transvestite teenager insists in going to the prom night as a drag queen while trying to get the acceptance of the most popular high school boy. For a more in depth review feel free to read my IMDB entries:


As usual, if you find the review useful vote for it!
El otro día alguien me acusaba de tener un gusto demasiado exquisito a la hora de elegir películas, quizá sea cierto, pero si es así, lejos de ser un defecto se trataría de una virtud. En todo caso, quisiera demostrar que mis gustos son un poco más eclécticos de lo que podría parecer a simple vista. ¿Qué vi en este primer mes del año?

Vi “Brainstorm” (1983) de Douglas Trumbull, una película que sugiere una tecnología capaz de grabar las experiencias vitales de la gente para que otros puedan experimentarlas a través de una combinación de tecnología virtual y otros estímulos tecnológicos.

“A Guide to Recognizing your Saints” (2006) de Dito Montiel es una triste historia autobiográfica sobre un grupo de chicos que viven en un distrito caótico y pobre. El crimen marca la vida de estos jóvenes, algunos de ellos encuentran un refugio en las drogas o en la delincuencia. Hasta que el más inteligente del grupo queda cautivado por un carismático irlandés que le hace descubrir que existe un mundo más allá de la miseria de su vecindario.

“The Last House on the Left” (2009) de Dennis Iliadis mantiene el suspenso de principio a fin. Por algún motivo, cuando empecé a ver la película no me di cuenta que era producida por Wes Craven (cineasta al que siempre sigo), pero las primeras escenas me mantuvieron en vilo. Y cuando vi a Spencer Treat Clark me di cuenta que esta no podía ser una peliculilla cualquiera, y es que este joven actor siempre ha elegido bien sus proyectos (ha trabajado bajo la dirección de Ridley Scott, M. Knight Shyamalan y Clint Eastwood). Una película recomendada para todos los fans del cine de suspenso y terror.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) de John Hughes es una hilarante historia sobre la ociosidad adolescente llevada al límite. El protagonista es un carismático chiquillo que hará todo lo posible para faltar a clases y no hacer tareas, y siempre se saldrá con la suya. En la secundaria todos lo adoran, y en su casa sus padres lo consideran el hijo perfecto. En una de sus escapadas decide incluir a su enamorada y a su mejor amigo. En un día lleno de aventuras y enredos, el mejor amigo descubrirá que no puede vivir su vida lleno de miedo, y decidirá enfrentar a quien más lo ha relegado: su propio padre. Si bien el humor está siempre presente, también hay momentos de gran emotividad.

“Hereafter” (2010) de Clint Eastwood es un recorrido por las vidas de varios personajes: una periodista francesa que está a punto de perder su visa en la inundación de Indonesia, un hombre en San Francisco condenado a comunicarse con el mundo de los muertos y que desea escapar a su pasado como médium, y dos hermanos gemelos que deben lidiar con la drogadicción de su madre, hasta que uno de ellos muere en un accidente y todas las desgracias se desencadenan.

“Red” (2010) de Robert Schwentke está basado en el cómic de Warren Ellis y Cully Hammer. Cuando un agente de la CIA jubilado está a punto de ser ejecutado, recurre a sus viejos camaradas espías. Nombres como Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren y Brian Cox garantizan un espectáculo digno de verse, pero además un guión sorprendentemente entretenido eleva el nivel de la película. Habrá una secuela, desde luego.

“L’Histoire d’Adele H” (1975) de François Truffaut es un retrato de la obsesión. Cuando una mujer se enamora de un oficial del ejército británico, decide abandonar su tierra y su familia. Pero ¿qué ocurre cuando el oficial no le presta atención? ¿Hasta qué punto permitirá ser humillada? La obsesión lleva a la degradación absoluta en esta obra maestra de Truffaut.

Guter Junge (2008) de Torsten C. Fischer es una película intensa que aborda uno de los temas más controversiales: la pedofilia. No obstante, el protagonista es tan sólo un chico de 17 años que prefiere como víctimas a niños de 11 años. El director no se concentra en el morbo visual, sino en las catastróficas consecuencias que experimenta el protagonista cuando uno de los jóvenes abusados lo denuncia. Para los que quieran leer un comentario más detallado consultar mi reseña en IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1205492/usercomments  

“The Ghost Writer” (2010) de Roman Polanski realiza un paralelo con Tony Blair. En este caso, se trata de un primer ministro británico que debe trabajar con un escritor anónimo para publicar su biografía. No obstante, extrañas intrigas y conspiraciones empezarán a salir a la luz. Lo más llamativo: el terror que invade al escritor cuando se acerca demasiado a la verdad.

“Children of the Corn” (2009) de Donald P. Borchers, basada en una historia de Stephen King, empieza con un conciliábulo de niños que deciden sacrificar a un cerdo en un ritual que pretende contrarrestar los pecados de los adultos. Pronto descubren que la mejor forma de eliminar el pecado es asesinando a todos los adultos del aislado pueblo en el que viven. En una sociedad formada enteramente por niños fanáticos religiosos, todo es posible. Pero el verdadero horror lo experimentarán un veterano de Vietnam y su mujer afroamericana que tienen la mala suerte de pasar por esta región rural.

“Dressed to Kill” (1980) de Brian De Palma presenta a un asesino de travestis que mata a una mujer, mientras una prostituta de lujo es testigo del acto. Los sospechosos serán varios: un prestigioso psiquiatra británico genialmente interpretado por Michael Cain, la mencionada prostituta, un paciente travesti del doctor, entre otros. Para los que quieran leer un comentario más detallado consultar mi reseña en IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080661/usercomments?start=30  

“Crustacés et Coquilages” (2006) de Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau narra los encuentros y desencuentros de dos jóvenes amigos, uno de ellos gay y el otro no, que en la confusión típica de la adolescencia serán incapaces de discernir los límites entre la amistad y la naturaleza del deseo. Para los que quieran leer un comentario más detallado consultar mi reseña en IMDB.

Finalmente, he visto diversos cortometrajes incluidos en “Boxer Shorts”: “Tom Clay Jesus” aborda la naturaleza del deseo. “Boychick”, la historia de un chico judío gay que debe superar su timidez. “Caught” analiza los mecanismos de la infidelidad en una pareja gay. En “Audit” una pareja de actores hará todo lo posible para no pagar impuestos, aunque eso significa darles algo a cambio a los agentes del fisco (una lesbiana y un gay que demuestran gran interés en ellos). “Prom Queen” muestra a un adolescente travesti que insiste en ir al baile de promoción vestido como una chica. Para los que quieran leer un comentario más detallado sobre “Tom Clay Jesus”, “Boychick” y “Prom Queen” consultar mis reseñas en IMDB:

Como siempre, si la reseña les parece apropiada ¡voten por ella!

January 23, 2011


“There’s only one joke worth laughing at and it’s the joke of existence”. Too existentialist for you? Well, if it is, I strongly advise you to take a few classes of contemporary philosophy and come back to Grant Morrison’s KID ETERNITY. This is not your average retcon or your regular miniseries about an obscure character of the DC Universe. This is a metaphysical adventure that involves super-powered beings, hereafter metaphors and even hell itself, albeit a hell so chaotically ferocious only Mr. Morrison could have come up with.

Kid Eternity was one of those characters that wouldn’t have escaped oblivion if not for Morrison’s attempt of bringing it back for a more postmodern audience. But what does postmodernism has to do with it? Well, our era has strengthened the exscinded subject. We live in more schizophrenic times than, say, a century ago. Kid Eternity is the battlefield in which the never ending struggle of unconscious versus “conscientious I” carries on. I’m not suggesting that this work is less complex than others, but certainly at first glance it might look a bit more complicated, which is why I think psychoanalytic theory can come in handy, specially Lacanian theory. Jacques Lacan stated that there is no ‘I’ in the subject. The ‘I’ is the ego, and as such can remain pretty much consistent throughout time. The subject, on the other hand, as the very words implies, clearly derives from subjectivity and it’s prone to alteration and constant modification. Kid Eternity is both: ‘I’ and ‘subject’. However at the beginning of the story there is no divisiveness, the kid is still whole. As the story moves on changes are put into place and the reader discovers along with Kid Eternity that identity relies heavily on the gaze of the other. After all, the only question that matters is “what am I in the eyes of the other?”.

Much has been said about deconstruction; nonetheless Morrison takes upon a rather different approach which I could denominate de-configuration: the fragmented narrative lines, the seemingly chaotic order, the focus on multiple unrelated moments have but one goal which obeys a carefully orchestrated tapestry displaying different characters experiences and interpretations of what’s going on. In the end nothing is random: Kid Eternity, Jerry, the Priest and the Woman will each play a fundamental role in chapter three; for the readers, though, this grand design might make little sense in the first pages. The Scottish writer’s work in this case is more akin to such films as David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive which requires a much larger amount of work and concentration; these authors will not spoon-feed the public, quite the opposite indeed. De-configuration then is the key to understand what Morrison is trying to do in this miniseries.

It’s up to you, the one holding the book, to come up with the answers. All necessary hints are provided within the 144 pages lavishly illustrated by Duncan Fegredo, an amazing artist that creates remarkable images. Why is it that “Kid Eternity” goes very much unnoticed by most Morrison fans? If only for the art alone this is a miniseries deserving of praise. Perhaps it is the complexity of underlying themes, from Saussure’s linguistics (signifier versus signified): “there is no meaning, the sound is the meaning” to the apparently inconsistent nature of Kid Eternity. It is then necessary to understand that consistency has no place in this tale, because as the kid learns while facing the Unnamed Five, reality can dissolve and reconfigure very easily. The audience with the Five, arcane creatures of uncanny power, reveals a number of things: first of all, Kid Eternity has spent years fighting for forces he did not know at all, he will then be shocked as he understands who has he been secretly serving all this time; but it’s not just a dramatic anagnorisis, this information changes everything about him. Thus the ‘I’ and the ‘subject’ become exscinded as required by postmodernist guidelines. In the same way Kid Eternity’s subject has been built upon safety blankets, id est, repressing the traumatic memories of his childhood (he had been sexually abused by a pedophile captain), his identity had also been built upon false pretenses, thus the impact of the truth threatens to destroy the very ‘self’ of the character. Rather than deconstruction I’d like to think of this as a much needed de-configuration of a character that otherwise would have remained forever forgotten.


"La única broma de la que vale la pena reírse es la broma de la existencia". KID ETERNITY de Grant Morrison es una aventura metafísica que apela a diversas corrientes intelectuales y que involucra personajes del Universo DC, seres sobrenaturales y un infierno tan caóticamente desquiciado que solamente Morrison podría haber inventado.

¿Quién es Kid Eternity? Bueno, es uno de esos tantos personajes de DC que podrían haber permanecido para siempre en el olvido si no fuera por Morrison. Se trata de un sujeto escindido, es decir, un sujeto típicamente postmoderno (recordemos que la postmodernidad está más vinculada a dinámicas esquizofrénicas de lo que podríamos adivinar a simple vista). Lo interesante es que la diferencia que establece el psicoanálisis lacaniano entre el yo y el sujeto está claramente presentada en la personalidad de Kid Eternity. El yo vendría a ser el ego, mientras que el sujeto estaría supeditado al super-ego y al mismo tiempo sería vulnerable a alteraciones y constantes modificaciones. Cuando Kid Eternity descubre que todo lo que ha hecho en los últimos años ha sido en beneficio de fuerzas siniestras empieza la crisis. Porque, al fin y al cabo, si lo vital es la respuesta a la clásica pregunta "¿qué soy yo en los ojos del otro?", entonces Kid Eternity se preguntará qué es él ante el mundo. Si su vida ha consistido en servir a las fuerzas equivocadas y en reprimir las verdades traumáticas (entre ellas, el abuso sexual que sufrió a los once años a manos de un capitán pedófilo), ¿cómo evitar la escisión final y el desmoronamiento de la identidad?

January 20, 2011

Hot Paintings - Antica Trattoria (L’Anfiteatro)

El último fin de semana fue un tanto decepcionante. Dos amigos, dos amigas y yo partimos de Lima rumbo a Cocoa, Asia, el viernes en la tarde. Era la semana del chilcano y yo estaba absolutamente seguro de encontrar todo tipo de ofertas fabulosas y descuentos magnánimos en el Wong de Asia. Grande fue mi decepción al descubrir que esta fecha emblemática era absolutamente ignorada en el Bulevar. Bueno, ya será para el día del pisco sour (ahí sí el Wong de Asia se pone las pilas todos los años). En todo caso, aproveché para tomar una botella de Châsse (un merlot francés que descubrimos ese fin), un par de pisco sours y, lo más importante de todo, pude tomar algunas fotos.

El jueves de la semana pasada asistí a la inauguración de la muestra colectiva Hot Paintings en L’Anfiteatro de Antica Trattoria. 

También incluyo un adelanto de las dos páginas que dibujé para Joe Kalicki. A continuación la primera página:

January 17, 2011


Batman and Robin are the ultimate gay fantasy said a whacky shrink a few decades ago. And with those few words he became probably the most well-known psychiatrist in 1950s America. And thus the censorship era begun, and comic book publishers had to comply with a set of guidelines not very different from the Hays Code that ruled cinematographic productions.

The “Approved by the Comic Code Authority” seal remained well into the first decade of the 21st century, and in many ways will remain if only as a ghostly residue that could withhold creativity. Decades of control, decent guidelines and moral correctness cannot be forgotten overnight. American comic books, for better or for worse, will bear the mark of the code, but unlike branded cattle, this is a mark imprinted heavily upon the minds of creators and readers alike. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all, Jacques Derrida pointed out not too long ago that social structure relies deeply on certain marks, inscriptions or imprints that we can trace back in order to better understand social structures.

But, what happens when the “ultimate gay fantasy” is taken to the limits? What happens when the ambiguous interaction between a caped crusader and a young sidekick is reinterpreted for a more adult audience? The result is Rick Veitch’s shocking Brat Pack. Plagued with references to the comic industry, but moreover with parodies of well-established superheroes, the Brat Pack is a 160 page graphic novel divided into 5 chapters.

Sometimes it’s all about the media. That’s made clear in the first pages, with the host of a popular radio show named Neal Dennis (let’s remember that Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams did one of the most famous runs on Batman) who will be later mirrored by Gay Neilman (an obvious reference to British comic book author Neil Gaiman). Readers can easily identify who is the reference for certain characters. But what’s going on with the media throughout all this? Paraphrasing Jacques Lacan I could point out that the gaze of the other defines us, in many ways, some more literals than others, we “make ourselves seen” to the other because we need to. Talking about celebrities, it all becomes clear, they demand attention and without high ratings (id est, the gaze of the other) they’re nothing. Exactly the same thing happens with the heroes’ sidekicks, their existence is determined by the fierce gaze of the public. That’s why, in another clever homage, the final fate of these sidekicks will be determined by the audience of the radio show, people call in and vote, just like they did in real life to determine if Robin (Jason Todd) would either live or die in the famous Batman saga “Death in the Family”.

In the second chapter the heroes are desperately looking for replacements. New flesh. It’s the Midnight Mink (the caped crusader with a cool car and a big mansion that parodies Batman) who’s especially eager to find a new young boy, “And my Chippy? Did you find the right type? You know what I like” says to the priest who has, for a long time, recruited naïve kids for undisclosed purposes. It’s then that the reader witnesses the lives of three boys and a girl, in a masterfully executed narrative that intercrosses their perspectives while comparing their backgrounds and personalities.

The training of these youngsters takes place in the third chapter. And when the heroes take the kids under their wings, the reader comes close to a different model of super-hero: from the Midnight Mink’s promiscuous attitude and a certain keenness for nudity, to the repulsive and decaying female body behind Moon Mistress’s costume, to the alcoholism and recklessness of King Rad, to the sexual impotence and bigotry of Judge Jury.

In the penultimate chapters, the sidekicks must face menaces no normal hero would even imagine. Chippy is constantly accused of being sodomized by Midnight Mink, Moon Mistress’s ally is about to be raped by a bunch of hooligans, King Rad’s ward falls deeply into alcoholism and Kid Vicious follows the steps of Judge Jury trying to put in practice racial cleansing.

In the final episode, a year has passed by, and the once innocent and pure children are now corrupted souls that have been either physically or mentally abused by their tutors. Just like it was hinted at the beginning, one’s greatest desire is to be the object of desire of the other, and the young sidekicks have been victimized precisely for being so quickly objectified, thus achieving great success in being desired and most coveted by their masters / heroes. But just like in Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic one cannot exist without the other, and the adult heroes cannot survive without the Lacanian gaze of the other, which is why, when the sidekicks risk their lives for good, they get worried. This equation, like any other, can no longer exist if one of the items is untimely removed.

En la década del 50 un psiquiatra norteamericano se hizo famoso al acusar a Batman y Robin de ser el símbolo de las fantasías homosexuales reprimidas. El público, e incluso el senado, concluyó que esas perversas publicaciones conocidas como comic books eran demasiado peligrosas para los niños, y así empezó la Edad de la Censura.

Luego de muchas décadas, Rick Veitch decidió llevar esta fantasía gay al extremo para un público adulto. El resultado fue la extraordinaria serie BRAT PACKS, que explora la relación ambigua entre dos personajes que parodian a Batman y Robin.

January 13, 2011

Urbanismo (Galería Vértice) [] Carnaval toda la vida (Galería Cecilia González)

Photos only. Both inaugurations yesterday had focused on photographers. The first one was Jorge Vera’s Urbanism in Vértice Gallery; and the second one, with works of Zoe Massey, took place in Cecilia González Gallery. There I run into Paola Tejada and artist Marcos Palacios, among other friends.

So after so many photographs it was only natural that I would use some photo-ref for the next drawing.


Todo fue fotos. Las dos inauguraciones de ayer miércoles se enfocaron en la fotografía. La Galería Vértice presentó “Urbanismo, visiones de autoexilio y vida urbana” de Jorge Vera. Me llamó especialmente la atención la foto titulada “Biscayne Boulevard” que, por asociación metonímica, me hizo recordar mi breve periplo laboral en el Ritz Carlton de Key Biscayne (fines del 2006-comienzos del 2007).

En la misma noche, la Galería Cecilia González inauguraba otra muestra fotográfica, con trabajos de Zoe Massey. Una propuesta original y atractiva, unidas a los ingeniosísimos títulos de algunas de las fotos fueron más que suficiente para satisfacerme. Allí me encontré con Paola Tejada y el artista Marcos Palacios, entre otros amigos.

Así es que después de tantas fotos, es comprensible que mi próximo dibujo tomase como referencia una foto del suplemento Q.

January 9, 2011

Ludic Spirits. [] MALI (3) / José Alcalde Espíritus Lúdicos ICPNA. [] MALI (3)

This Thursday, albeit a bit unpunctual, I went to the inauguration of Ludic Spirits. I wasn’t familiar with the work of José Alcalde, but I was happily surprised by his imaginative use of coloring and the displays of lightness and clarity that seemed to suggest extraordinary dimensions to his paintings. I run into a few a friends and I talked with a lot of people in the couple of hours I spent there. However, I found it especially gratifying to meet and talk with famous artist Rhony Alhalel.

The next day I had the chance to stop being an absent figure in the reunions/parties of my Viceversa Consulting colleagues. We were in the historic center of the city, in El Directorio. The only time I had been there before so late at night was during the inauguration of Lima’s Film Festival when the honor guest was Mario Vargas Llosa. I was there because my good friend Joshua Peña invited me, and we arrived one or two minutes before the now famous Nobel Prize winner did.

Finally yesterday I visited the MALI (Art Museum of Lima). Three simultaneous exhibitions were taking place: contemporary art, XIX century artist Luis Montero and pre-Columbian textile works. A must see.

After all of that, I was a bit overwhelmed and all I could come up was a small drawing inspired in Paul Gulacy’s early 80s work. Penciled sketch plus inked version.


El jueves asistí, aunque un tanto impuntualmente, a la inauguración de la muestra Espíritus Lúdicos en el ICPNA. No conocía la obra de José Alcalde pero quedé gratamente sorprendido por el imaginativo uso de los colores y en especial por los juegos de luces y claridad que parecen sugerir dimensiones extraordinarias en sus principales cuadros. Me encontré con algunos amigos y hablé con bastantes personas en las dos horas que estuve allí. Sin embargo, fue especialmente gratificante encontrarme con el artista Rhony Alhalel y conversar con él.

El viernes tuve la oportunidad de reivindicarme con mis compañeros de Viceversa Consulting después de mi ausencia en la reunión/juerga de diciembre. Estuvimos en El Directorio. Como le comentaba a María Fe Celi, hasta ese momento solamente había visitado una vez el centro de Lima tan tarde en la noche: en la inauguración del Festival de Cine de Lima que contó con la asistencia de Mario Vargas Llosa (y por ende con un escrutinio casi policial en la entrada a la hora de revisar las invitaciones y consultar los nombres de los invitados en la lista); en esa ocasión pude ir gracias a que mi amigo Joshua Peña me pasara la voz, y de hecho llegamos uno o dos minutos antes que Vargas Llosa pisara con apremio la alfombra roja y cruzara el umbral, entre innumerables destellos de cámaras fotográficas e iluminaciones varias. Ahora, por supuesto, se trataba de una actividad muy diferente y en un contexto mucho más informal. Éramos casi una docena de personas dispuestas a pasarla bien. No me lo esperaba pero me encontré con bastante gente de la Católica ahí, aunque solamente me quedé conversando un buen rato con Andrés Abugattás y su enamorada. Excepto algunos inconvenientes al final de la noche, fue una experiencia bastante novedosa y, sobre todo, divertida.

Finalmente, ayer visité las tres muestras que se exhiben actualmente en el MALI. La sala destinada a la colección de arte contemporáneo reúne trabajos de gran variedad e interés. Son tantos artistas y obras que sería difícil elegir a los mejores o comentar los pormenores de cada una de sus propuestas. En la sala dedicada a Luis Montero y a su majestuosa obra “Los funerales de Atahualpa” me quedé maravillado por el dominio de la técnica y por la gran carga dramática de una obra que no tiene nada que envidiarle a la producción promedio renacentista europea. Verdaderamente imprescindible. Finalmente, fue fascinante observar los textiles precolombinos en la tercera sala; me quedé observando cada detalle de los entramados y la urdimbre hasta que el museo cerró (de hecho ya habían cerrado la puerta y tuvieron que abrirla para que pudiera salir). Además, por esas coincidencias curiosas, terminé encontrándome con Romina Gatti apenas a pocos metros del MALI.

Un poco abrumado después de tanto arte, solamente se me ocurrió dibujar algo pequeño inspirado en los trabajos de Paul Gulacy de principios de los ochenta. Boceto a lápiz más acabado final a tinta.

January 6, 2011

Concreto - Oh no, it’s you again

First art exhibition of the year! Yesterday I was in Lucía de la Puente Gallery. Two inaugurations took place at the same time: Concreto by Jorge Cabieses and “Oh no, it’s you again” by Cherman. Cabieses intrigues me with his intricate geometrical figures, his lines and angles. Cherman, on the other side, is a reference in Peruvian pop art.

I figure it’s only logical, then, to post the sketch and final version of a story that will be  published by the end of the month. Those who are fans of Jean-Marc Vallée will be able to guess which scenes I’m paying homage to.


¡Primera muestra del año! Ayer fui a la doble inauguración que tuvo lugar en la Galería Lucía de la Puente. Empezamos bien el año: en la sala principal “Concreto” (que va hasta el 4 de febrero) de Jorge Cabieses y en la sala del segundo piso “Oh no, it’s you again” de Cherman. No podría tratarse de dos artistas más diferentes, y sin embargo ambos han mejorado notablemente en los últimos años. Cabieses intriga con la geometría precisa de las formas de sus cuadros, la rectitud de las líneas y la belicosidad de los ángulos que parecen por momentos entrar en comunicación activa con la madera de base. Cherman, por otro lado, ha sabido decantar la estética pop y aplicarla ingeniosamente al panorama citadino que todos gozamos o sufrimos, casi en igual medida. Esa noche, sin embargo, todo fue disfrute; gracias, claro, a los vasos de Johnnie Walker etiqueta negra y a los encuentros con José Arturo Lugón, Daniel Paz, Didi Arteta, Eduardo Lores y hasta Wili Reaño; también conversé, aunque brevemente, con Dare Dovidjenko y Carla Sagástegui.

Así es que considero oportuno colocar los bocetos y versión final del cómic que será publicado a fines de este mes (de venta directamente en USA o por Internet). Los fans de Jean-Marc Vallée podrán adivinar qué escenas estoy homenajeando.


January 2, 2011

New Year / Año nuevo

And so the year was over, amidst celebrations and friends. Here summer begins at the end of the year: the big party takes place between December 31st and January the 1st, but this date also represents the beginning of the summer season and the much needed weekends away from the chaotic city, as well as the reunion with old friends. Basically we’ve been the same group of friends since we were 5, almost 21 years ago.

Let’s make a toast for it with a drawing I inked with a nib and few pics I took over this weekend. Enjoy.

Y el año se acabó entre celebraciones y (re)encuentros. Se ha convertido en una tradición pasar el verano en la casa de mi amigo Rodrigo Castro. Por supuesto, para mí la temporada empieza cuando termina el año, porque las horas de fiesta entre el 31 de diciembre y el primero de enero marcan el inicio de las vacaciones, la inauguración oficial de la temporada estival y el encuentro (y reencuentro) con amigos que conozco desde que tenía 5 años… o hace 21 años para los que quieran llevar las cuentas.

Desde el 2005 hasta ahora he pasado todos los años nuevos y buena parte del verano en Cocoa, Asia (con la excepción del 2006 que estuve fuera del país). Algunos prefieren variar, irse a otros sitios. Yo no. Cada año nuevo en Asia es, desde luego, una experiencia nueva. Incluso pasar varios días con los amigos de siempre implica una nueva dinámica: ya no somos los chiquillos que recorríamos el Perú en los campamentos organizados por el colegio, pero seguimos conservando esa amistad que nos permite convivir, celebrar y reírnos de la vida tan bien como antes o, incluso, mejor (supongamos que hemos ido madurando con el tiempo). Empieza una nueva temporada, y qué mejor manera de brindar por ella que con un dibujo que entinté con plumilla y algunas fotos al azar que tomé este fin de semana.