Friday, October 27, 2017

Exclusive interview to Swedish artist Lars Erik Sjunnesson

Lars Erik Sjunesson was kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding his work in an exclusive interview for this blogue.
 I was afraid that he was going to try to kill me and put me like a "bosnian flat dog" but quite the contrary, he was really nice while comunicating with me.
 I've named these interviews that I've in this same blogue to other international artists "coffeeshop interviews", because I really see artists as honest souls that simply want to enjoy their work and the message that carries with it.
 Many thanks Lars   




1) I remember reading "Bosnian Flat Dog" several years ago by you and Max Andersson.
It triggered some memories of "Underground" movie by Emir Kusturica that I've had and it was a movie that I've watched some years before reading your book.
Yoguslavia was a weird country In the 90's and The Balkans also.
How did the name "Bosnian Flat Dog" appeared in your minds and later turned into an animation movie named Tito on Ice? 


Bosnian Flat Dog



"underground" movie poster by Emir Kusturica


Based on Bosnian Flat Dog 


Lars Erik Sjunesson: The Bosnian flat dogs were overrun dogs that we saw in Bosnia. I think they also appeared in a dream that Max had, or at least that’s what he told me. And that dream occurred even before we started our collaboration. I don’t know if there is any other connection. I never dream about dogs.


2) When I was reading the book, I didn't quite knew who were Lars or Max's drawings and who had the idea for this graphic novel.
Can you tell us a bit about the creation process of it? 

Bosnian Flat Dog page 


Lars Erik Sjunesson: Good. That was our intention. I tried to draw like Max. Max tried to draw like me. After a while I tried to draw like Max did when he tried to copy me drawing like him. Max did the same. So there was a lot of confusion. We also had to drink a lot. 


3) The narrative of the book is based on war and how countries and traditional values  and cultures can be mixed in a funny way, but you both formed a rapsodhy of it with a mere trip journey to the Balkans with lots of surrealism in it.
Were you influenced by some particular chapter of world History while creating this book without a political basys? 

Lars Erik Sjunesson: No, I don’t think we were influenced by any particular phase of anything. We learned about the Balkans while we were working. It’s a mess. We didn’t know that. By then it was too late and we had to finish the book. We were both totally naive and innocent. It’s very swedish to be like that.


4) Your work is awesome, really weird also and I love Ake Ordur stories a lot.
Can you tell us a bit of what are your influences while creating books or artworks? 

Ake Ordur by Lars Erik Sjunesson:



Lars Erik Sjunesson: I’m at loss about what my influences are, really. What’s driving me is a mix of pure frustration and something else, something that I can’t even define. But it’s somehow connected to war. I’m on a war-path when I’m working. Humor is pure aggression, I think. It’s scary.

5) You're also a Swedish artist that goes several times to Berlin.
What is your opinion of that city with a different language and a different culture than Sweden? 

Lars Erik Sjunesson: I live in Berlin. There are a lot of similarities between Sweden and Germany, or at least I think so. But I can’t judge it anymore. I’ve spent too much time outside Sweden. But Germany is boring.

6) You told me that you haven't created a sketch or a drawing for a while with Max Andersson and I know that you're friends.
Why couldn't you draw a sketch or an artwork with Max since you did an excellent team work in "Bosnian Flat Dog"? 

Drawing by Lars Erik Sjunesson and Max Andersson 

Lars Erik Sjunesson: A lack of opportunities I guess. But we did one for you. That was fun. 

7) You visited Portugal several times. What's your opinion of Portugal and its culture and values? 

Lars Erik Sjunesson: Yes, I like Portugal. But I do not speak portuguese. Judging from the people I’ve met it still seems possible to talk about almost anything, without any restraints. Sweden is in many ways the opposite of that.

8) Do you think that "Bosnian Flat Dog" reached its worldwide audience by being published in several languages in a funny way? 

Lars Erik Sjunesson: Yes maybe. Or pure luck.

9) Can you tell us a bit of who are your favourite movies, books and artists? 

Lars Erik Sjunesson: If it’s depressing enough and funny, I normally like it. Right now I’m reading Houllebecq. When it comes to movies, I prefer american noirs from the forties. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Uma carta de amor numa cidade com identidade

Algo simples

Por vezes perguntam-me em que projectos estou envolvido ou onde está a minha mente.

 Eu não sei muito bem o que responder, pois a mesma funciona sempre junto com o meu coração e a minha alma, logo vou respondendo que os projectos que tento concretizar têm a ver com vida e com um sentimento chamado amor que é gerido em vários momentos da mesma.


Uma capela de almas

 Muitas vezes, enquanto o meu cérebro deambula com o meu coração numa luta desleal, vou-me lembrando de almas que se juntam numa capela numa rua perdida e bela com o nome Catarina.
 Escuto preces, oiço pessoas a falarem enquanto passam, comunico com as mesmas nas ruas, sabendo que irei sempre falar do amor que tenho pela cidade onde nasci e que é a mais bela do mundo.



Doces e mel com uns simples flyers

Perco-me entre doçuras e travessuras em cafés com vida e gente onde a alma nunca está distante do coração e está mesmo à mão.



Um simples rapariga e um desenho baseado em mim pela artista polaca Magdalena Minko


Tento construir puzzles com um estilo pessoal e profissional onde a vida é algo que se encadeia no mesmo e nunca é perdida...



Uma rapariga com liberdade e sem idade 

 Falam-me de falta de identidade na cidade do Porto e eu somente coloco uma simples frase "quem é esta rapariga?" num autocolante com uma imagem na magnifica praça da invicta que ostenta o nome liberdade.


Uma rua da invicta com uma imagem de uma simples rapariga 

Nas ruas te procuro, nas ruas te encontro como se tudo não passasse de um mero sonho que colide com a realidade e uma imagem com palavras nunca deve ser de uso exclusivo nacional, mas sim internacional.

 
Numa estação de metro com uma imagem de uma simples rapariga e com um desenho baseado em mim pela artista polaca Magdalena Minko

Entre a chuva e o frio e entre a tua e a minha dor física/emocional, chegam a pedir-me para ser um simples ser racional sem imagens ou palavras em ruas que sempre percorri.


Um copo com água, uma simples rapariga e o actor norte americano Clint Eastwood pelo artista polaco Nikodem Cabala

Por vezes sinto-me rejuvenescido como se de repente tivesse entrado numa qualquer fonte da eterna juventude onde o que conta são simples imagens do actor norte americano Clint Eastwood enquanto novo e duma simples rapariga com meras palavras.  


Um cigarro que arde, um copo com água, um simples vício, o actor norte americano Clint Eastwood mais velho desenhado pelo artista polaco Nikodem Cabala   


 Um cigarro arde, as rugas vão aparecendo, a água que tanto nos dá não é um simples vício, mas sim uma necessidade de limpar a alma até uma qualquer áurea espiritual onde sei que as pessoas que dão o coração nesta vida,  não têm idade, mas sim identidade...   


O personagem Earl Four Eyes do artista italiano Stefano Zattera e um desenho baseado em mim pela artista polaca Magdalena Minko  

    Perdido num personagem de banda desenhada que é um ser mutante chamado Earl Four Eyes e que tenta ser um simples detective fumando cigarros.
 Sei quem sou e o que amo com toda a paixão, emoção e ilusão, onde as ruas de uma qualquer cidade têm imagens, palavras e acima de tudo VIDA numa felicidade extrema e sem qualquer tipo de guerra com ou sem cartel.

 Da mui nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto
 Manuel Espírito Santo

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

An arts festival in Porto - Mab - A love story - only lovers left alive


A love story within an arts festival in 2012 at Porto

Logo by Portuguese artist Jorge Grator


Mab - Arts festival with design by German artist Lars Henkel

I remember thinking one day in 2011 in organizing an international arts festival named Mab with a person that was my partner and with whom I've shared a life with and with a real small team named Invicta Indie Arts and that joined animation, illustration, comic books, friendship with lots of love to the city where I was born that's named Porto.
 The idea of it was being developped in my mind, heart and soul for more than one year with international artists that I've had contacted in several languages 
 I've figured in my mind joining mainstream with indie arts, international with Portuguese artists, mainly based in Fine Arts University of Porto with exhibitions, Animation directors talking about their movies live, exclusive talks with international artists about their exclusive and upcoming books, book signings and at the same time with exhibitions at Metro - Porto subway stations, at World Press Cartoon - Museum at Porto and even at a place named Casa Viva for Portuguese artists and young talents in arts.
 The promotion of this sucessful event named Mab was made at newspapers, coffeeshops, bookstores, local Porto stores, all stores with Fnac brand in the district of Porto, inside Porto subway lines within Metropolitan Porto district through social networks, at Niepoort wine company, Goethe institut and French institut in Porto, at all Porto Universities, Fantasporto - international film festival,  live at Portuguese Radio, Shortcutz - International short movies festival and Portuguese National TV.

Live at Portuguese TV


At Livraria Lello ( internationally known for being the bookstore that appears in J.K. Rowling's  Harry Potter movies)

Inside Porto Subway district area

At one of Fnac stores in Porto

At Fantasporto - International movie festival 

MAB being introduced at Portuguese TV and all countries that have Portuguese as oficial language

At Fine Arts University of Porto


At Boémia Caffee - Boavista Porto

At Candelabro bar - Downtown Porto

At Garça Real coffeeshop - Downtown Porto



At Orfeuzinho coffeeshop in Boavista - Porto
At Shortcutz - International short movies festival in Porto

At Ovelha Negra Store - Downtown Porto

In Porto's streets with flyers 

Preparing exhibition about Hal Foster's Prince Valiant 50th anniversary at one of the metro stations that gathers more people every single day in Porto at the beautiful São Bento train station.

Organization working - 01


Organization working - 02

Hal Foster's Prince Valiant exhibition finished - 01

Hal Foster's Prince Valiant exhibition finished - 02


While programing this arts event in Porto in 2012 from 10th to 18th March, my mind, heart and soul were overflowing, because I knew that I was trying to join several arts in the city where I was born while having the presence in this art festival magnificient international and Portuguese artists like Melinda Gebbie from U.S.A, David Hine from U.K., Dominique Goblet from Belgium, Lars Henkel from Germany, Olivier Deprez from France, Fabio Civitelli from Italy and Portuguese artists Regina Pessoa, Ricardo Cabral among many others for two weekends.
 I didn't pretend this to be a comic con but a gathering of arts with several international artists.

 It was fun hosting German artist Lars Henkel that works in illustration and animation all over the world and that introduced his animations and german director Anja Struck to an audience.

   
With German artist Lars Henkel

Lars Henkel drawing


Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Lars Henkel - 01


Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Lars Henkel - 02



Niepoort - Wine label with artwork by Lars Henkel



Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Lars Henkel

 American artist Melinda Gebbie was a fascinating presence in this festival with book signings and a live talk about her solo work as an artist and also the work that she creates with her husband that's one of the best writers ever and that's named Alan Moore.   

Exclusive live talk to an audience at Mab by Melinda Gebbie

With my partner back then at a Niepoort house at a dinner for artits and Mab's organization


Melinda Gebbie During signings with my partner back then

With French artist Olivier Deprez 

At Niepoort - wine brand designing labels for bottles


Niepoort - Wine label with artwork by Melinda Gebbie


Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Melinda Gebbie


 British artist David Hine that wrote and drew several comic books from well know comic book characters such as Batman, Spawn or Darkness among his most personal projects Strange Embrace or Bulletproof coffin with British artist Shaky Kane. 


With David Hine  

David Hine signing books

Belgium artist Dominique Goblet that 's one of the founders of Fréon book publisher that was mainly based on literarure mixed with arts and that was an extraordinary artist that I've loved hosting in this arts festival, being as an artist and a person real professional, sweet and passionate about her work.   


Dominique Goblet signing books


Dominique Goblet with my Partner at that time 


Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer


Niepoort - Wine label by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer


Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer


French artist Olivier Deprez that 's one of the founders of Fréon book publisher that was based more on literarure mixed with arts and that was an extraordinary artist that I've loved hosting in this arts festival, being as an artist and as a person real professional and passionate about his work. 

Olivier Deprez sketching


Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Olivier Deprez


Niepoort - Wine label with artwork by Olivier Deprez


Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Olivier Deprez

Italian artist Fabio Civitelli was a real magnificient artist to host, he's known more because of his work and his passion for Tex Wyller iconic comic book character and he also gave an exclusive live talk to an audience about this character and the sudden passing then (with an homage exhibition at Mab) of Italian publisher, editor and Tex Wyller creator Sergio Bonelli.   .

Fabio Civitelli Signing 

With a friend and Fabio Civitelli 
Original drawing of Tex Wyller in Porto by Fabio Civitelli 

Portuguese artist Regina Pessoa that's an animation director that won several international awards in animation festivals all over the world was as an artist and a person real nice, kind and a professional.
 She also presented and talked about her animations to an audience.

Me and Regina Pessoa

Live screening of Regina Pessoa's animations 
  
Niepoort wine label by Regina Pessoa

It was awesome having several Portuguese artists in this arts festival and they were really nice and professional.

Portuguese artists Colectivo A Zona 


What moved me back then in order to do this arts festival was not a political statement or public money, because this arts festival was organized without any budget at all from the Portuguese government, but the love of arts, friendship, loving life while gathering people from all over the world in a city as beautiful as Porto and at Douro region with the support of Niepoort wine brand where the artists worked also as a team with me and my team on labels for bottles to be exported to countries such as France, Portugal, Belgium, UK and Germany.
 Sometimes, I think on the artists joy while drinking Portuguese wine (even British writer and one of the best ever named Alan Moore drank it) with the help of a simple arts festival in Porto named Mab organized by me and a small team under a concept known as Invicta Indie Arts and a smile appears on my lips, heart and soul.


With German artist Kai Pfeiffer

With Portuguese animation directors Abi Feijó and Regina Pessoa, Belgium artist Dominique Goblet, French artist Olivier Deprez, American artist Melinda Gebbie, German artists Kai Pfeiffer and Lars Henkel at Douro region at a Niepoort house.   

With my partner back then 

With Melinda Gebbie, Olivier Deprez, Abi Feijó and my partner back then

 I remember arriving home after this festival or after my work as a book seller and telling my partner that I was really tired and that I've organized all this thinking on our future together with my kitty Ilvie that was always looking at me while I was thinking and working for this festival and that I've missed her a lot while I was away from home. 
(I still miss my kitty and she's always in my heart and soul).

My kitty Ilvie

 Today, I'm a world wide exhibition curator, writer, consultant editor at American book publishing house Fantagraphics with my work recognized in several languages such as Finnish, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, Japanese, Swedish,Italian and in several countries in this world.


Professional Fantagraphics card with design of Argentine Mr Ed based on a picture of my kitty Ilvie

 I think that I continue working a lot like I always did and with help by several worldwide well known international artists while curating arts multimedia exhibitions all over the world, organizing book collections, writing stories or personal projects. 

Professional card with my work while organizing a worldwide Alberto Breccia book collection 

 Years pass by, people get mad at one another and I don't know "why" because I really believe in a feeling called love, a feeling called life and not on political statements or such a fleeing thing called "cash" (that every human being needs to survive and I understand that we all have a belly to feed and I always worked real hard to feed not only my belly but also helping feeding the bellies of people who were part of my life, my family or my pets with no love lost) that drives people crazy.

To be continued in other stories/narratives in this same blogue with the same concept Invicta Indie Arts about my work with a team and some moments in life that I've passed in the last year and that I'm passing in this one also.

Da mui nobre sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto
Manuel Espírito Santo