At the beginning of June, the Catalan artist Perico Pastor, painter and illustrator, returned to Andorra to present his latest work, the exhibition Despertar, a collection of watercolors that will remain on display at the Pilar Riberaygua Gallery until July 8. The choice of the art gallery was not accidental, as it has been exhibited many times and maintains a long friendship. Awakening consists of 62 works, most of them small format, through which Pastor describes the recovery process he went through after suffering a myocardial infarction that kept him in a coma for almost five weeks, and whose painting is also in vain. be an important part. Watercolors are a kind of auca where the artist from Urgell describes actions, routines and gestures of everyday life aimed, almost all, to return to the body the lost skills.

Despite the fright, Pastor believes that this experience has changed the way he sees life. In EL PERIÒDIC we wanted to talk to him to find out which way

.- Have heart attacks and coma also changed the way you create?- Yes, first because being immobilized for so long I had a lot of time to think about the things I had done, and this is a very good exercise. And creating this exhibition means closing a life cycle, which is what this experience is all about. I get the feeling that once done, I’m really curious to see what the next one will be. Probably a lightening of the paint, with a less loaded material, letting the whites breathe more.

–The title of the exhibition is very evocative, but also very realistic.-Totally. I have always been told that I am the painter of everyday life, of what happens every day, and in fact what this experience has done is that I really appreciate everyday things and the recovery not only of activities such as walking, or to do sports, but to be able to recover the small gestures that we do every day automatically, such as emptying the dishwasher, and enjoying them because they are a sign of our abilities.

–How long did it take you to make the 62 watercolors?- It must be borne in mind that in these months I could not work at my own pace or quite usual. I could tell he was born when I woke up at the Guttman Institute. I started drawing, little by little, from the first day, and in a very natural way, and with a calm discovery I went to work, without thinking about a specific date to finish, so I could say that it started on January 7 and took me to the opening day of the exhibition.

–You were experiencing these gestures in watercolors at the same time as you created them.-Yes. The man who appears emptying a dishwasher, represents me. When I left Guttmann I lived with my son and his girlfriend, I helped in whatever way I could, even though I was in a wheelchair, and that was one of the things I did. And the first few times, I had to do it dish by dish. Putting them on the shelf was like torture. But at the same time, seeing that he could do it was great.

–Did being an artist and being able to capture what you were experiencing help you in your recovery?- And so, it was an integral part of the rehabilitation therapy. First of all, because when you wake up you know that you will have to stay there for a few months and the same day I woke up I called my gallery owner and proposed the idea of ​​the collection, and he accepted it, which I will thank you all my life.

–To carry out this project the anivama.”Exactly.” Having a project meant opening a door and even though I knew I had to knock on a stone and people were waiting for me outside, finishing the work was also very important. I felt like I couldn’t afford to falter. 

– Given the circumstances, would you say this is your most personal exposure?–Yes, by far, because generally my works can reflect everyday experiences that have happened to me but not at the time they take place, as has been the case. 

–What was your intention behind the choice of colors?- The colors speak to each other. I had some guidelines, like the use of blue, which is a lot because it’s the color of the hospitals, turquoise blue, sky blue …, a whole range of those out there and I wanted to reflect that. In addition, there are interventions of ocher, to represent human skin or red. But I used them based on what each work needed.

– Was it important for you to recognize the gestures?–Yes, and in some cases it is a mixture of various aspects, of the effort you have to make to recover, in addition, in an intense way, of the pain that this entails, but the most important thing is that all this it is done in an environment that is both very stimulating and very affectionate.

–During the presentation, when did you see the watercolors on display, how did you feel?”Satisfied, it was something I wanted to do.” It turned out the way I thought it should be, and the reaction from people, both individuals and rehabilitation professionals, was very surprised that someone had dedicated themselves to portraying this and turned it into an exhibition. In that sense, it is also very satisfying. 

– Maybe they could help people who have to go through a similar rehabilitation experience.”I’d love to.” Above all, it is a way to thank the professionals who work in the field of rehabilitation.

– Have you thought about taking the exhibition to the Guttmann Institute?- Yes, my idea, which I have already passed on to the director of Guttmann, is that after traveling a bit, I would like to reserve about twenty watercolors and give them away. 

«Poder plasmar el que estava vivint va ser part integral de la rehabilitació» – El Periòdic d’Andorra