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On August 10, the Zapatista bullfight will be born in Palma, the embryo of the Goyesca of the XXI century matured but not completely. The dream of Domingo Zapata (Palma de Mallorca, 1974), the painter of celebrities, they called him, will come true in the bullring of his homeland, in the Balearic Coliseum where his childhood roots, between banderillas, crutches and tricorns. That his father was a Civil Guard in that arena allowed him to enter for free with his mother and spend the summers watching bulls, hauls and tourists. Now he returns to the courtyard of his childhood decorating the tables, burladeros and capes of Sebastián Castella, José María Manzanares and Roca, to make the rite of the bullfight a global scene with the unmistakable stamp of who always projects the bulls in the world. Zapata speaks from his refuge in the South of France.
Where did the idea of the Zapatista bullfight come from? Originally, during the pandemic, Sebastián Castella came to my house in Mallorca for a while because he wanted to paint. He had retired and wanted a change of air. When we were immersed, he told me: "If one day I return to bullfighting, I would like to do a Zapatista bullfight." And that's where it came from. Of two friends talking one afternoon. I had already decorated before the Goyesque bullfight of Arles (France) and also the Santamaría of Bogotá (Colombia). But I wanted to do something that was truly mine. What does the Zapatista bullfight consist of, what is its essence? It is an art installation. For me, bullfighting is that. When I see bullfighting, I see frames, I see paintings. What is an art installation from a visual point of view? It is ephemeral because it is in the moment in which you are and it is made for that particular moment. It's practically like painting a picture that lasts as long as the bullfight. The bull and the bullfighter in the end are the last components, they are the last touches of color. And movement and expression. For an artist like me, who am a figurative expressionist, that's exactly what a painting is. I take a figure and through the abstraction of color I create movement, feeling and sensation. Which is very similar to what a bullfighter does. It is similar to a goyesca, when we simulate what could have been a moment in a bullfight in the time of Goya, using his inspiration. Dresses do not. Yes, the capes, the burladeros, the boards and the breastplates of the horses will go. I am painting the capes of Castella, Manzanares and Roca Rey.Have you ever thought about designing your own bullfighting dress? Yes, but it is pending. I want it to be the first Zapatista bullfight but not the last. And that evolves over time. I would love to design the dresses in the future. What projects are you immersed in right now in your career? In November I will direct for the first time a film about a book I wrote, a novel about the life of an artist called The beautiful dream of live (2017). It was a best seller in the United States. An American production company bought the rights to make a film, and the only condition I put on them is that I would like to direct it so that it has my artistic vision. Obviously I have a very good team and a cast of actors that has not yet been closed one hundred percent because of the strike in Hollywood. We will shoot in New York, Miami, Mallorca and Ronda. There is a very bullfighting scene indeed. Whenever I can I add bullfighting to my works. It is the most sublime art that exists, the truest art. And you have to take every opportunity for people to admire what it is. When they do not know it, doubts arise. And what are you doing these days? I am in Cap d'Antibes (France) precisely painting the sets of the film. I'm going to spend the summer here, in a studio with a very nice light, concentrated to shoot in November. It's my next imminent project. Then I have an exhibition in Hong Kong and Tokyo. His Gioconda torera always comes to mind. The Louvre chose her for an immersive digital exhibition on the influence of the Mona Lisa on other artists over the past 500 years. I was the only living artist in the show. When I decorated the square of Arles, I put these Monalisas bullfighters. Among the twenty-thousand spectators there was a museum official who ordered me to be searched for by the interest that aroused him. It has gone around the world. We did an auction for UNICEF and it sold for over a million euros. Bullfighting has inspired the greatest artists. How do you see bullfighting from abroad? Sometimes the enemy of bullfighting is often the bullfighting itself rather than the anti-bullfighting outside. Because they must understand, the bullfighters, that traditions must be preserved but we must also adapt to the times. As does art in all its categories. I will have painted in my career 250 bullfighting paintings and most are in the United States or Asia. There are paintings of mine bullfighting on Wall Street or in a hotel in Soho. And I'm not the only one: Schnabel made a jacket. An uncle from Basquiat's estate, Warhol, an icon of pop culture in the North American world.Castella taught him to bullfight and you taught him, to paint? The hobby comes to me because my father was a Civil Guard in the bullring of Palma, when there were two and three bullfights a week. The children of the employees and their partners were going to a box. And there we spent the days, with my mother, tortillas, cokes, whether it was the Plaza de Palma or the Plaza de Muro or Inca. The Zapatista bullfight on August 10 will be a tribute to my father, who passed away just three years ago. To be honest, the only time I have fought was a decade ago on the farm of Miguel Báez "Litri", to whom I have a great friendship. That calf was the first and the last. Through Castella I got closer to bullfighting, and I delved into bullfighting. But that's it.
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