ART | Zabala, 40 Years Old Business Man From The Notebook

Javier Zabala (Leon, 1962) He always carries a notebook with him. Or in a backpack or in a pocket. Yesterday, just before the opening of his exhibition spaces under construction, in the room of Salvador de Madaraga, in A Coruña, he had two. You can start drawing anytime and anywhere. He does not understand life in any other way. “I’ll get drunk with a notebook and I can spend until five in the morning drawing. For me it’s not work, it’s a lot of happiness,” he admits.

A large portion of his work is part of this exhibition – which can be visited until May 17 – which reviews his career as an artist 1983 to the present. From those first sculptures that he drew at the age of twenty-one to his most recent works that are distinguished by their coloring, including some of his books. “in the beginning, I didn’t like what he was doing” , to remember. In fact, when he said at home that he wanted to be an artist, his family’s response was to send him to a psychologist. “And I started in veterinary medicine,” he notes, and adds: “I think that’s where one of my books, Hamlet, came from.”

He speaks fondly of his book Barcelonain which he discovered himself. “It’s from 2001. There was an earlier book, Madrid, but this is where this style appeared that still exists, albeit highly developed & rdquor; Zabala explains, whichi received the National Illustration Award in 2005. He was a finalist for the 2012 Andersen Prize and three years later he was awarded the Golden Apple Prize at the Bratislava Biennale. In 2016, it won the Gold Medal of the Times Book Award for Illustration. This year he won two awards for his graphic work on Pez.

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When they don’t know you Awards are very important because they know you that way. You won the International Prize at the Bologna Gallery and at that moment you were no longer one of the many painters. It is also a responsibility because they direct you in some way ” , explains in detail.

In these 40 years of experience, Zabala has illustrated more than 90 books, some of which he is also the author of the text for. His books have been translated into more than 19 languages. He has traveled all over the world, and also developed his educational activity. But he “doesn’t care where he is,” everything comes from his imagination. “I make it all up,” he says, as he watches a video that is part of the exhibition showing his studio and how it works. “This show is a bit educationalI want people to understand the process that leads to the book. The artist, who has participated in many solo and group exhibitions around the world, insists on the tremendous work that goes into illustration.

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Javier Zabala admits that he has “many misgivings & rdquor; and that these are reflected in his work. He realized this after a conversation with the writer Leonardo Padura in Havana.”He said to me, “What would happen to us writers without our obsessions?And I said come on and so do I. When I got back to Madrid, I looked at everything and there were a lot of misgivings about my work, he points out.

Proud of his “cards”, which can be seen on the first floor of Salvador de Madariaga’s room, in Durán Loriga, he reveals that one day he decided “he was going to work with expensive paper”. Between sketches and books there is a terrifying border where fun ends and work begins. I decided from the very beginning to do everything together, which is why the role was important,” sums up Zabala, who illustrated the scripts by Cervantes, Shakespeare, García Lorca, Rodari, Melville, Chekhov or Van Gogh.

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