Born in Fuentecarreteros (Cordoba) Antonio Blázquez studied Fine Arts in the University of Seville. Since then, he has always combined his artistic work with a very dynamic activity as cultural promoter that has led him to create and manage several important projects like, among others, Scarpia (Conference in Artistic Intervention in Rural and Urbna Enviroment at El Carpio, Córdoba) and El Arsenal (Space for artistic creation and cultural promotion based in collaborative management).
Antonio´s work is an incenssant search and interrogation of his own identity, of the surrounding universe that nurtures him. His work becomes a direct expression of his relationship with reality, that makes him play in a multidisciplinary way, jumping from painting to photography, from performance to urban intervention. Therefore, his work is deeply autobiographic and kaleidoscopic. During his site-specific project Antonio has decided to continue one that he started in 2008 at Scarpia Art Festival VII: Santos que yo te pinte.
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Santos chase up a very old tradition that repeats itself every summer in the south of Spain villages: «el encalao», painting in white or using lime to cover houses walls to prevent the heat. When winter is leaving villagers prepare their houses for the summer with this ritual: brushes, buckets, ladder, straw hat and gloves because lime itches… when a part accidentally is left without lime is called «santo». The skin of houses changes like our own skin changes every summer under sun effects. Antonio uses this technique to build a new concept: leaving part of that wall skin he creates a different way of «encalao» that reminds ancient traditions but with a very contemporary perspective.
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He arrived with no previous idea, looking for inspiration while we were searching for the right wall to develop his project. During this searching he found out that it was a very special moment for this village people: the Virgin of Escardiel was coming from its hermitage. Only every 5 years this venerated image is brought to the village and during one week visits literally each house, to bless every single person in town. Suddenly, it was clear to Antonio that this would be the perfect item to paint in his Santos project.
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During the process the people interacted with the artist, helping him in anything he may need: they brought him fresh water to fight the andalusian summer heat, they asked him about the painting, talked him about the former deceased owner of the house he was painting, someone even gave him several postcards of the virgin… the process became somehow a «happening» that incredibly ended up with the very image of the virgin image visiting Antonio´s intervention. An spontaneous circle that closed itself perfectly.