Extractos de una vida inquieta (II/IV)

Extractos de una vida inquieta (II/IV)
En 1935, Julio de Diego alcanza un hito en su corta vida de artista. Le dedican una exposición individual en la que por entonces se consideraba la muestra de arte más importante de América, la del Art Institute of Chicago. Un año después, en una entrevista, declararía: “In 1935 I received the Martin B. Cahn prize and also honorable mention at the Art Institute of Chicago at the last American Painting and Sculpture Show. As may be seen, my life has not been very brilliant as an artist, and I can’t give brilliant names as teachers. In fact, I never had a teacher. All I know I have learned from books and by looking over the shoulders of artist friends”. Por entonces, ya se había divorciado de su primera mujer, y tras conocer al muralista Carlos Mérida, realizaba frecuentes viajes a México, donde se empapaba del imaginario popular. “When I exhibited in Grant Park the people just looked as if I were a rare specimen and very few bought paintings. You see, I have to make a living and many times I have been hungry. Artists do not fill any need. You have to be an artist to buy an artistic object. The world is interested now in fascism, communism, high wages, low wages, consumption and production. In the meantime, you know we must live and eat every day. Now I have to retouch one of my paintings that belong to the Art Institute. This one has been exhibited in several cities in the United States, and they want it retouched because it has been mishandled very much”. Con la llegada de los años 40, en el Nueva York de los Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp y Max Ernst, estos y otros artistas se interesaron por Julio, que por entonces también diseñaba joyería. El dibujante de cómics del momento, Alex Raymond, incluso se inspiró en Julio de Diego para crear a su tétrico criminal, Mangler.

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