Illustrating Spain in the US: the exhibition in Washington, D.C.
“Illustrating Spain in the US” takes on a new shape, transcending the comic pages into an exhibition now available at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain.
Illustrating Spain in the US is a project that aims at highlighting the presence and legacy of Spain in the U.S. territory, from its help during the independence war to the heritage still existent. The project started as a series of comics created by Spanish artists in collaboration with history experts, but is now reshaping into a physical exhibition that will be available from mid-November until early March at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain.
Comic artists and scholars help bring the United States closer to us to reflect on the legacy of Spain’s heritage over the centuries. Spain has been an essential seedbed in the substratum of American history and culture. This project aims at taking a better look at seven potential sides of the inspiring Spanish presence resulting in comic books of very diverse inspiration.
The versatility of the comic allows many of the nuances of this living diaspora of Spanish men and women who were and still are twinned with the American experience to be represented. Michael Francis, Eduardo Garrigues, James Fernández, Luis Argeo, Lucía Cotarelo Esteban, Juan Pimentel, Estrella de Diego and Dolores Jiménez Blanco act as the interlocutors advising and guiding comic book creators and giving them clues to help them compose their illustrated cartoon plots.
Illustrating Spain in the US is a creative dialogue that combines the graphic expressiveness of comics and their authors, with the inquisitive perspective of scholars who have written a series of complementary articles. Comic authors have built comic strips that feed on academic knowledge and demonstrate that Spain has been part of the American reality since long before the very foundation of the American country. This Spanish energy continues to be present in the imagination, talent and creativity that emanates from everything Spanish and so fascinates Americans. This energy is also found in the scientific thinking of the Spaniards who made the United States their second home while they made —and still continue to make— surprising advances.
—Ana Merino, curator of Illustrating Spain in the US
About the artists
- Sergio García achieves this with the lines of his expansive drawings, while looking at San Agustín, Las Misiones and the Camino Real, creating an amazing map, colored by Lola Moral.
- Rayco Pulido has imagined drawing Bernardo de Gálvez and has brought him back to everyone’s memory, focusing on the key role he played in the American War of Independence.
- Ana Penyas and Seisdedos share their passion and the plasticity of their lines shapes those unknown faces of the Spanish immigration that grew up as Spaniards with the nostalgia of an ocean that separated them from their origins.
- Anapurna reminds us of the strength of Hispanism with a comic book that evokes the poetics of the diaspora.
- Mireia Pérez immerses herself in the imagination of the brains of Spanish scientists who made great achievements on American soil and celebrates them.
- Carla Berrocal applauds the passionate soul of Spaniards in Hollywood.
- Max leads us through the surprising labyrinth of Spanish art in the United States, guided by a magpie and three cats that escaped from a Goya painting.
- In addition, Sonia Pulido will be in charge of opening the door to these perspectives with a front cover that contains all the experiences lived through the years and the future essence of the entrepreneurial illusion of the Spanish diaspora.
About Ana Merino
Ana Merino is an award winning-writer and a Professor at the University of Iowa. She has written extensive criticism on comics and graphic novels. She has two academic books, a monograph on Chris Ware and has curated five comic book exhibitions. Between 2001-2011 she was a Member of the ICAF (International Comic Arts Forum) Executive Committee; and between 2004 and 2014, Directors Board Founder Member at The Center for Cartoon Studies.
The Illustrating Spain in the US book is available for purchase.