Palma de Mallorca, April 3rd 2020
Albert Pinya

Here I am, in front of the computer, writing the message that my dear “boss” Martina asked me to. Normally I don’t like doing this kind of things, l but I have a lot of respect for her. I am not an exhibitionist and I have no desire to appear. I have no social networks and not even WhatsApp, nothing. I am a person who prefers to listen than to speak. In fact, that’s why I paint: I don’t have to talk. However, the friendship and respect I have for Marti, and the admiration for her absolute professionalism, is the reason why I’m here, now, to write these lines.

I was born in the city of Palma, on the island of Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), in 1985. I am 100% Mediterranean. Interestingly, I was born on a Sunday. Don’t they say that creatives are born on Sunday? In Italy, people know me as Il Pinya, in a loving way, because for several years I also worked here, thanks to the support of the collector Emilio Bordoli who put me in contact with many people, many of them wonderful, and opened me up to an international professional path.

Before arriving in Italy, I must admit that I had a somewhat rebellious and conflicting adolescence, in which I found myself rather lost. I remember that, to get some money, I sold hashish to my friends at school and angered my mother. At 17 I was in a boarding school in Paterna (Valencia, Spain) for two years, and it was there that I had a great revelation: I understood that what I really liked was telling stories. To communicate. Provoke humans to ask questions, even if they don’t find the answers. In the beginning, I tried to tell those stories through the written word. And it was the same word that led me to the image. That’s why I consider myself a kind of frustrated writer, but for this same reason there is an important narrative load in the projects I make. Moreover, coincidentally, I have an excellent relationship with the Majorcan poets of my generation, almost better than with painters.

My training can practically be considered self-taught, I spent only three or four months at the Academy of Fine Arts. The best learning method I know is through making mistakes. The more I make mistakes, the more I learn. This is the formula I use the most and which I believe in. Intellectuals seem rather boring to me. The theory eludes me. I like transparent, sincere and direct things. Honestly, no literature in between.

The path of the samurai is the path of immediacy. Why so much chatting and filling spaces with false ornaments, formalisms and empty expressions? Action and silence are increasingly stimulating. As you can easily guess, in general, I am also very bored by the artistic system. Especially since I consider it very partial and lacking personality. At present, a homogeneous and tasteless aesthetic prevails, with a pseudo-conceptual-trash residue. Very often articulated by a fashion curator, in spaces directed under the interests of friends. With works by artists dependent on Instagram and/or other social networks. What a panorama! Feeling part of all this irritates me and that’s why, whenever I can, I like being a kind of intruder and satellite, and infiltrating projects outside the “art world”. For example, I strongly believe in the functionality of art.

One of the last most fascinating and shocking experiences I have had recently was just over a month ago, in Anantapur, the poorest and most rural area of ​​India. I was there to create a mural in a centre for children with cerebral palsy, in the Bathalapalli area, in collaboration with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. As part of the Mataombres project. It was undoubtedly a very intense experience. Especially because of the unusual contrast I have witnessed. A disoriented and at the same time illuminated contrast. How can there be so much beauty in the midst of such extreme poverty? How could these people smile so naturally with only the basic resources?

I felt sad that I had to wait almost 35 years and travel thousands of kilometres to become aware of the circumstances in which some people live. When, not far from me, day by day, these situations continue to happen.

After this historical moment generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope that, at least as a positive effect, a greater collective awareness and a greater social, and cultural commitment, will be spread by everybody. As Professor Joseph Beuys, said: Revolution sind wir, We are the revolution.

This post is also available in: Italian