Day 3, Thurs. Sept. 19
Today is my presentation at the Reina Sofia. The museum lets Andrea and I visit the exhibitions for free and we take in the great art of the 20th century. The Reina Sofia, named after the current Queen Sofia, is a converted hospital. It was inaugurated in 1992 and houses a spectacular collection of art. Andrea and I find it much more fascinating than the Prado and particularly enjoy Dali, Alexander Calder, Pablo Gargallo and of course Picasso. Gargallo's 3D sculptures 'Mask of Greta Garbo' and 'The Great Prophet' were VERY fascinating to me because of the unique approach to sculpture using space. At the Reina, you can clearly see the evolution from realism to expressionism and cubism that defined industrial 20th Century. It's also much easier to appreciate the very abstract works of Dali and Picasso when you see works that show that they actually knew how to paint beautiful, complex works as well. Picasso's 'Guernica' is the main attraction and its powerful rendition of the horrors of war on a civilian population conjures up images of thousands of people today in the Middle East and other parts of the world having to endure the pain administered by the powerful, thoughtless few. The presentation is successful. I show several award-winning Cin(E)-Poems from the NPA archive, many of which had been translated into espanol. I answer some questions and find the audience appreciative of the films as well as some of my recent work. I take a moment to realize that the Guernica is just upstairs and I feel very honored to be here doing what I enjoy doing. Afterwards, everyone is very pleased with the presentation and a group of Giorgio's friends join Andrea and I for some cerveza, vino tinto and conversation. This group is made up of film producers, graphic artists, a journalist and poet and a teacher. We wonder what it takes to evoke the sense of artistic community and collaboration in a world bent on capitalism. Many of these people design their art around what the market calls for and I advocate for going with artistic sensibility first before the market. It's so fun to be around people who enjoy the same kind of art as you do and I recall how difficult it is to find that in California. Later, Giorgio, his girlfriend Beatriz, Andrea and I go out for a late, late dinner. We talk so much we close down the place. Nobody at the establishment bothers us even when its closing time and I think that that is pretty cool.