The painter Curro González (Seville, 1960) has designed the image for the next edition of the Seville European Film Festival, to be held from 7 to 15 November. One of the most notable artists from the Seville Generation of the 80s, a spearhead in the national pictorial scene (drawn together around the magazine “Figura” and that groundbreaking hotbed that was the La Máquina Española gallery, he turns his attention to SEFF with a poster in which he remains faithful to his critical language, his very personal sense of humour and irony, and introduces us into an iconic landscape of the city seen from an unusual perspective, rarely drawn before (a bird’s eye view). Curro’s gaze, as it has been doing throughout the thirty years of his career, takes us far from clichés without the need to abandon the most portrayed aspects of the city; and he submerges the spectator in a dreamlike, certainly surrealist atmosphere, inverting the traditional viewpoints.
With references such as Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, Curro González presents a landscape image with the Casino of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition as the central axis of the work along with the María Luisa Park which, precisely this year, is celebrating its centennial as a gift to the city of Seville by the Infanta for whom it is named.
Plagued with literary and metapictorial references, the world of Curro González –present in the country’s important collections of contemporary art- has also included the cinema in his work on more than one occasion. Precisely, his last solo exhibition in Seville (September 201) took as a starting point the work of Ladislaw Starewicz, a pioneer in the technique of stop-motion animation and who, thanks to the some hundred films he made in Russia and France from the start of the century until his death in 1965, became one of the most surreal filmmakers of the 20th century, hailed afterwards by directors such as Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam.
On this occasion, González has turned his gaze to the Italian cinema of the second half of the 20th century, with a more than obvious nod to Fellini’s film, which the Seville painter considers “one of the most outstanding films in the History of Cinema”. Starring Marcello Mastroianni and Claudia Cardinale, it is indeed one of the most famous and celebrated films by the Italian director, almost an existential treatise on modern man, in the person of a filmmaker in the throes of a creative crisis.
A bird’s eye view of the city
Designing a poster for the Seville European Film Festival implies a double difficulty; on the one hand, that of making a poster expressing that idea, which means finding an image that evokes the city while not losing a connection with the world of cinema, specifically with European cinema; and on the other, getting that image to have enough versatility and flexibility so that it can be used as an illustration on the poster and on the other applications and formats to be used during the Festival’s publicity campaign. Finding an effective solution to all that is really complex.
In this case, to come up with an image that could involve all the elements, I fell back on an idea I had already developed in some of my paintings: a bird’s eye view of the city.That type of framing is obviously very cinematic.
In proposing a view like this of Seville, specifically over the building of the Exposition Casino, headquarters of the Festival, I’m trying to avoid a clichéd representation while explicitly situating the event. On the other hand, the dreamlike character that derives from situating the spectator in a position whereby he floats or flies in the air allowed me to pay tribute to one of the most outstanding films in the History of Cinema: 8 ½ by Federico Fellini.
In this way, the poster aims to allude to that double shot of reality and dreams; of the ground and the sky to which Marcelo Mastroianni ascends in his flight at the start of the film and from which he is dragged down by a rope tied to his leg. A situation which, in my opinion, leaves us one of the most successful metaphors for the significance of creation that has ever been created.
CURRO GONZÁLEZ, Seville, September 2014