STREET wisdom dictates that a man can rarely be a prophet in his own land. But, a genius, that’s something else. A true genius is generally recognized by even the less erudite as he simply sands out, high above the rest and therefore is easily spotted. So it is with local Garrucha artist Felix Clemente Gerez now an international star with exhibitions throughout the world.
And if you’ve been one of the lucky ones that too recognized his talent and watched is sky rocket climb to notoriety and fame one can appreciate and gloat along with the honoured recipient. Simply put, Clemente Gerez is sought after for his style so typical Spanish in theme and so pristine in lyrical and historical conclusion.
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Last week I read that the United Nations have purchased a few of his works for their permanent collection.
It’s always fun to read about him because one just doesn’t see him as frequently as years before.
For near-by Roquetas del Mar’s July fiestas they pleaded and convinced Clemente Gerez to do a show in their castle for a month. Crowds kept coming and the show had to be extended three times until mid last month. Felix enjoys interacting with the guests so each weekend he made the trip across the province to explain his works, meet new admirers and give advice to the many that have art within them and it just needs to be released.
Such a common and good man. He still paints in his house in Garrucha town but only when the spirit moves him—and then he can’t stop day or night.
How honoured I felt that he would take the time to give me an interview, and he did so by coming to my house as a good old friend. We laughed and embraced just as time had stopped decades ago.
And an interview with him should always be taped. He speaks like a poet and during the time of questioning him you are treated to a university lecture study in Art I and Humanities I concerning his personal perspectives on life and man’s existence.
A truly engaging personality, even if he wasn’t a famous painter.
I am pleased to show you a photo of this famous man right in front of one of his very first works of art that I was fortunate enough to buy some 35 years ago. The financial circumstances then were similar to our current crisis in that no one had any money and tourists arrived in Mojacar for just the month of August. I had gone to his garage/studio to retrieve some “For Sale” signs I needed but became enthralled with a work of his. I had no idea that he could paint artistically. I then pleaded and begged him to sell me the painting on the promise that he would never do another sign for me but only works of art.
The great man (and he was that then also) allowed me to pay in instalments. I have been offered €18,000 for it on three different occasions from guests; not bad for a €600 investment.
His current Tokyo exhibition keeps a lot of his paintings out of the area, but early next week he has promised me a few paintings to show to friends which I will be doing probably around Christmas time using the Mojacar art gallery of Miguel Angel.
Watch this column for more info and a chance to meet the great man and see some of his paintings.