Personalised IPhone Cases

Calling with Art

Just a short post for some last-minute news. Well, to be honest, I should have published it earlier, but I forgot, too busy painting… and having a great life!
But now Christmas is coming and I think I have a very good idea for all those who want to make a very special gift:
Phone cases – personalised with my  paintings!

This product (which exists for several kinds of iPhones) have only been available for a short while, but I already sold some, so I assume that they are very popular.
The paintings of sports and of  famous musicians seem, for the moment, to be the favourites motifs chosen for phones. But I think that for an aficionado, personalising the phone cases with bullfight paintings would look fabulous!

Here are some examples of Iphone cases with my bullfighting art:

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 21.03.27

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 21.05.04

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 21.07.11

Bullfight Museum in Alcazar de San Juan

Beaming with Pride

In my main blog, I presented the first sketches from my recent painting trip (October 2013) through a few locations in the centre of the Spain. The first planned destination was the city of Toledo, but looking at the map, I decided to visit first Alcazar de San Juan, a town in the province of Ciudad Real in the autonomous community of Castille-La Mancha. What had prompted me in fact to make the detour was the presence of nearby lagoons and birds, which I eventually didn’t even see! Nevertheless, I spent two wonderful days in Alcazar de San Juan.
The city even has a service area for our Boomobile – extremely unusual for Spain – right next to the beautiful local arena. This arena is truly a beauty, and deeply reflects the love that the locals (at least some of them) feel for the art of bullfighting. I say “art” in full awareness of what I’m saying, because this arena is not only the place where the bullfights take place, but is also the home of a fascinating bullfighting museum which I had the immense pleasure of visiting. Here is a first sketch:
An immense emotion was awaiting me inside the Museum. Normally, I’m not an artist who is boasting about my professional successes, or experiencing intense emotions when my paintings are purchased, in original, reproductions or copyrights. I am happy, yes, but it normally boils down to this: Without wanting to seem esoteric, for me the most important thing in painting is the process, the fact of painting. What some Eastern philosophies described as:
“… the important thing is the path and not the goal…”
But when suddenly, in the Museum, I found myself face to face with one of my bullfighting paintings, the emotion was overwhelming! No, the painting was not hung on the wall: it was printed within an international magazine of bullfighting. In fact, the bullfighting Museum of Alcázar de San Juan has “6toros6″ as their subscribed magazine which I mentioned in a recent post and in which there were, last year and this year, 2 of my bullfighting paintings on posters announcing the Hoyo del Pinares bullfighting festivities. Kevin had the extreme kindness (and patience!) to browse through the gigantic stack of issues dating back several years and eventually found the one from last year. Here I am, with it in my arms and beaming with pride!
There were several men in the Museum, some sitting at the bar, others watching a bullfight on the TV or playing cards. I did something that I have never done in my entire artist life before: I took the magazine and went to show it to three men sitting at a table, telling them, with a huge smile, that it was me who had painted the picture of the poster. Kevin, who knows my aversion against any advertising of my art and self-compliments, could not believe his eyes! This is when I realised how deep the impact was on me. Why exactly, I don’t know… probably the place itself, it was such an homage to bullfight.. the memory of earlier times too, when bullfighting was such a target of so much hatred.. somehow it made feel as if I was myself part of the Spanish culture and traditions.. and THIS was huge!
A few moments later one of these three men stood up and went to talk to an another man sitting at the bar. This last one then came up to me, introduced himself as Felix, the boss of the Museum, and asked me:
“You have other bullfight paintings?”
“Yes, many!”
“You want to exhibit here?”
I did not hesitate a second and accepted. Me, who has been refusing to do exhibitions for many years already. Really, I couldn’t believe hearing myself saying yes!
So, here we go: I should in principle exhibit in the bullfighting Museum of Alcázar de San Juan in March or April 2014 (I have forgotten the exact date!) during the town festivities! I will soon contact Felix to confirm (I ordered for this purpose a greeting card with the reproduction of the sketch above) and will keep you informed…

The Man Who Fights The Bull

I have a powerful story to tell. As an artist, I normally create paintings issued from my own fantasy, with probably the unconscious hope that they will touch somebody’s else fantasy  and perhaps even lead to a sale one day.

Many years ago, as I moved from Germany to Spain, I founded an art business with a group of international artists, with, attached to it, an art school. The main goal of the business was to paint on commission. Here is how we wanted to sell the idea:

“We all have the deep desire to create a personalized work of art. This can be a portrait of a loved one, a painting of your favourite landscape, an artistic representation of a dream or an abstract idea. This can be a personalized copy of a famous painting or a photograph: your wife as a Mona Lisa or your husband as The Laughing Cavalier! It could be a personalized scene from a film or a book; your son as Harry Potter, your fiancée as Marilyn Monroe or your friends as the Famous Five, or the Beatles! Or a surrealistic montage of your preferred elements… Or any other fruits of your imagination. In other words, to visualize artistically everything that real life impedes us from seeing. This could be a painting of your house here or your house in your native land or the house where you were born, or a painting of your friend´s new house as a house-warming present. It could also be a scene of  a landscape that you like particularly, or a panoramic view of a famous place, and we will paint the person you want within these scenes. It could be almond trees in blossom…Whatever… we will paint it!”

The business worked well, but I always noticed that people had problems to find their own ideas,  to translate their dreams and wishes and visions in words which we could then visualize into a painting. They needed much help, too much. It cost us too much energy to try extracting the dreams from our client’s sleeping consciousnesses.  Eventually we gave up and most of the time, the commissioned works were normal portraits, people and pets, and houses. It was very frustrating for me, I was missing the creativity, which was meant to be the core of the business idea.

Well, the other day, I had a wonderful surprise. I received the following email:

“Hello Miki,

Ever since I was very young, I have carried a small piece of paper in my wallet with the following quote:

Bullfight critics, ranked in rows,
Crowd the enormous plaza full,
But only one is there who knows,
And he’s the man that fights the bull.

That quote has been very special to me over the years, so I would love to have a painting in my office with that quote and a representative scene. I found your painting Toroscape 43 and it is nearly perfect. The alertness of the matador, the intensity of the bull, and you can almost feel the lock between the two. The one thing that’s missing from my quote are the rows of critics.

Would it be possible for you to change the background of Toroscape 43 to a view of intense “bullfight critics”? Also, I would love to have my quote artistically overlaid onto the painting…”

Toroscape43S

Toroscape 43 – by Miki de Goodaboom

 This request reminded me so much of my old business! Of course I accepted to try to do the job, a little bit worried though about how to embed the intense row of critics. But well, I did it, and my client loves the result, a Toroscape I called

“The Man Who Fights The Bull”

The Man Who Fights The Bull - by Miki de Goodaboom

The Man Who Fights The Bull – by Miki de Goodaboom

Somehow I was very curious. I sensed that there was a powerful personal story behind this request, and I asked my client. He was so kind to tell me, and also to give me the permission to make this blog post about it. I reproduce his answer here, which really gave me goosebumps  as I read it.

“… My story actually doesn’t have anything to do with bullfighting, but I love the meaning behind the quote. In college, I was a boxer and won the heavy weight Golden Gloves. I always loved reading about other fighters, so I read ‘A Fighters Heart’ by Sam Sheridan. That is where I first read the quote. “Bullfight critics ranked in rows crowd the enormous plaza full” to me means that there are a lot of people who criticize or speculate what can and cannot be done – who will win the fight, can a 20 year old kid start a company, etc etc. “But only one is there who knows and he’s the man that fights the bull” to me means that the only person who can actually determine the outcome is the “man fighting the bull”, not the critics. This quote struck me as this is exactly the way my family raised me to think, so I wrote it on a piece of paper and have carried it in my wallet ever since as a reminder. As a boxer, an engineer, and entrepreneur you’re very often being told what is and is not feasible, but you’re really the only one who determines what is truly possible.  The book mentions that JFK also carried the quote in his pocket…”

Isn’t it a wonderful lesson for life for us all? And for me personally, the weird thing is that it is exactly the way I lead my life.

With the story and the customized painting being so personal, I did not want to sell prints to other people at first. But my client was so kind to say that he was ok with me selling it if people really like it. So here it is, available in many different sizes, as Giclee print on Fine Art Paper or Canvas, or as Acrylic or Metal print.

Photography Prints

Manolete Partners PLC

Manolete Partners PLC

Acquiring and Funding Litigation

99% people around the world, I guess, won’t know who or what “Manolete” is, but will surely be intrigued enough by this interesting sounding word to be told. So, first let us have a look in the Wikipedia:

“… Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez (4 July 1917 – 29 August 1947), better known as Manolete, was a Spanish bullfighter.

He rose to prominence shortly after the Spanish Civil War and is considered by some to be the greatest bullfighter of all time. His style was sober and serious, with few concessions to the gallery, and he excelled at the ‘suerte de matar’—the kill. Manolete’s contribution to bullfighting included being able to stand very still while passing the bull close to his body and, rather than giving the passes separately, he was able to remain in one spot and link four or five consecutive passes together into compact series. He popularized a pass with the muleta called the “Manoletina,” which is normally given just before entering to kill with the sword. In addition to all of the major bullrings of Spain, he had very important triumphs in Plaza Mexico.

He died following a goring in the right upper leg as he killed the fifth bull of the day, the Miura bull Islero, an event that left Spain in a state of shock. Manolete received his fatal goring in the town of Linares…”

I have seen many well-known bullfighters in my long life… not that long though to be able to see Manolete! But I did go to Linares one day to see the bullring and the monument of Manolete erected in front of it.

Anyway: one day in 2009, an English businessman, Steven Cooklin, contacted me saying that he had seen some of my bullfighting paintings on the internet and liked them a lot. He was about to start a new company whose name had a connection to Spanish bullfighting, and would I be interested in selling his new company the right to use one of my paintings as his company logo for use on its website and on business cards ?

(This is the painting in question, with the title “Team Work”)

I must admit that I was amazed. I do get contacted for similar things, but never before had a company, above all an English one, used a bullfight painting as their logo. I thought the man was really brave, taking the risk to use such a controversial theme for his company name and logo. And of course, I was immensely curious to hear what the business was about, but at that point it was a secret…

We did the business, I sold him the original painting as well as the outright copyrights. Some would argue that I am an undignified mother, to sell my “babies” and their soul that way, but to me, it is simply a wonderful use of my artwork. It makes that “baby” really alive, interacting with many people and situations of life, somehow!

“Manolete Partners” was founded and the original painting is nowadays proudly hanging in the conference room of the company. From time to time the owner, Steven Cooklin, says hello and keeps me informed about the news concerning the company. And it is for me as if I would hear how “our” baby is growing. I know, it sounds a little bit exaggerated, but this is how I feel.

The last news I heard some days ago was wonderful: Manolete was getting more and more famous, probably acquiring as much notoriety as the original one! Here is some press coverage, first in RealDeal.eu

“Moulton invests in Manolete Partners

Jon Moulton has made a personal investment in Manolete Partners, a specialist in insolvency litigation.

The company works with insolvency practitioners wishing to pursue litigation on behalf of creditors. It buys potential claims from the practitioners and then funds and pursues the lawsuits. The proceeds from a successful case are then divided between Manolete and the company that sold the claim. The Financial Times reported that Moulton invested ….”

You can read the rest in Realdeals.eu.com, the article featuring by the way another of my bullfight paintings.

The news was also featured in the Financial Times in October 2012:

(Please click on the image above to be able to read the article.)

Well, I must say that I am immensely proud and happy about this news!

And apart from that, my only comment will be

“OLE, MANOLETE!”

but it says it all! Well, I have to say too, in relation to my concern about the use of the bullfight theme for a company, that at the end, the risk was worth it.

Thanks again, Steven, and everybody in Manolete, for letting me be part of your adventure and success!

The Rink of Red

Original play by UI students melds violence and dancing

The Rink of Red – Poster by Kaitlin Martin

In September 2012 I got contacted by a young woman called Kaitlin Martin (see her website www.cargocollective.com/kaitlinmartin), writing to me the following words:

“… Hi, your bullfighting paintings are incredible. I came across them because I was google searching bullfighting imagery…I recently graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and I’m trying to design posters for a bullfighting themed play my friend got into the theater at the university in our town. I was wondering, would you consider letting us use some of your imagery for the posters? For the purpose of use IN the play (as a prop, she would like a bullfighting poster)? …”

What with me always loving anything against the norm involving bullfighting art, I  accepted.  Above is the poster of the play. I do like the subtle and discreet way how Kaitlin embedded my paintings in it. So subtle that I had to ask her which paintings they were!  :-)

Here they are:

Bullfight and Flamenco paintings by Miki de Goodaboom

I was really very curious about it, I could not really imagine how and what the play would be about.  Well, some weeks later, Kaitlin sent me a review of the play, by Justus Flair:

“Original play by UI students melds violence and dancing

Dancing and bullfighting may seem an odd combination and even a little dangerous, but both will occur this weekend in the University of Iowa Theater Building.

Audiences will be able to witness the combination this weekend at the performance of Rink of Red, a drama written by UI student and playwright Eva Adderley. Playgoers can attend the début at 8 p.m. Friday in Theater B. Performances will also occur at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Oct.7.

“It really is just a commentary on violence through bullfighting,” Rink of Red director Mark Smolyar said. “We’re able to see that it’s not just black and white — there’s always more than one angle to see things. There’s beauty and art, and tradition, not just violence.”

Smolyar — a first-time director in a Gallery Series, a play written, produced, directed, acted, etc., by UI students — said he recognized the complex nature of the script and the difficulty it presented…”

The Rink of Red – Credits: The Daily Iowan / Joshua Housing

(Please click here if you want to read the rest of the review and see more photos of the play)

I must say that I find this extremely interesting and even avant-gardist. I wish I could have been there!

Congratulations to the whole team

for that fabulous idea!

You can see and buy online my bullfighting paintings, as originals (the ones which are still available) or Giclee prints on paper or canvas, at my following galleries at

TORO – Bull, Bullfight and Flamenco Art by Miki

Miki’s Fine Art America Gallery

Planet Goodaboom

and, last but not least, for the French speaking aficionados, at

La Corrida en Peinture

 

The Brain of A Bullfighter

Toroscape 61 – Watercolour and ink painting by Miki

Some days ago I have read an interesting scientific article about the brains of bullfighters, written by Doctor Antonio Alcalá Malavé . Well, being a scientist in my first profession (mathematician and physician) and an aficionado from birth, it was of course interesting to me. Unfortunately it was in Spanish, and I haven’t got so much time (and probably not the required ability) to translate it in its entirety, so I will try to translate  what seems the most important to me.

“According to the article, “The brain of a bullfighter” is  a rarely researched field. Doctor Alcalá Malave presented his theory in a conference called “The Magic of A Bullfighter Brain”, a theory about the behaviour of the bullfighter brains. His aim being to make an objective, scientific approach with the help of cerebral biochemy and cellular biology.

Apparently the quantity and quality of neuronal transmitters of a bullfighter is much higher  than the one of a normal person. Consequently a bullfighter hasn’t got a normal brain.

A bullfighter feels fear, tremendous fear. This fears changes his brain. Through his fear his brain emits a different frequency than normal humans: the paranormal frequency.

The bullfighter are mediums who sense what will happen next. They are able to unite all their cells at light speed: consequently, as they fight, they enter a state of “light coherency”, emitting light through the big quantity of energy they are freeing.

The neurotransmitter which makes bullfighter fighting at perfection is  “dopamine”, the same which secrete people in love. The one which makes him fighting with happiness is “serotonine”.

Nevertheless, there is another neurotransmitter, “vasopresine”, which a bullfighter secretes in much lower quantity, but predisposes him biologically to unfaithfulness: it is what is called a collateral effect of being a bullfighter. These collateral effects are the ones which define the general personality outside the bullring. For example, their high index of testosterones make them very protective of their environment and of their clan.

One has always thought that bullfighter are made out of another stuff. But Doctor Alcalá says that it is not true. He says that they are made out of the same paste as normal people. But they use other and own means, not used by normal persons with the aim to be able to confront and fight the bulls.
But in which place of the brain is situated the organ which is responsable for the taste of Manzanares for the capote, for the happy courage of Jose Tomas, for the magnetism of Morante in the bullring? What do bullfighters move more, their heart or their brain?

Doctor Alcalá answers that one of the biggest reservoirs of a bullfighter electromagnetism is not the brain, but the heart. They feel that when the heart emits in a frequency of compassion and love, they are more able to make a better fight,  while when it emits a frequency of fear or hate towards the animal, it is better not to come close to it, because it is when, normally, they get caught.

The article ends saying that The mysteries of a bullfighter brain and heart have been now discovered by Doctor Alcalá as if he was opening the mysterious Pandora box of bullfighting, according to the clear parameters offered by anatomy, biology, mathematics and quantum physics, among otehr sciences.

The above painting -and many other bullfight paintings- is available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the widget below to access my FAA store

Sell Art Online

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

Bullfight or not Bullfight…

Toroscape 60 – Watercolour painting by Miki

This is one of the three watercolour paintings I did from imagination, about 2 weeks ago, while I was sitting in our  Boomobile, our atelier and music studio on wheels, by Madrid, impatiently waiting for a bullfight to start. Or not to start. In fact it was raining like hell and of course the corrida was cancelled, delayed to some days later. Unfortunately we could not stay there so long and had to leave. The reason why I was there is that I had been invited by the Mayor of the town to attend the fiesta, him having chosen one of my bullfight paintings for the poster announcing the bull event.

Toroscape 57 – Watercolour painting by Miki

Well, at least we took time to have a walk to the town under a strong rain, and to speak a little bit to some local people, all frustrated that everything was cancelled. One of the local policemen -a very nice man by the way!- had a long conversation with us, telling us how sad and depressed everybody was, having worked so much to organise these three days and waited for them with such enthusiasm. I really felt deeply sorry for them.

I had a photograph of me taken in front of the poster in the bar next to the Town hall, not as good as at the bullring, but better than nothing!

Miki in Hoyo de Pinares

Sorry for the white stain in the middle of the photo, but we had to take the photo with the flash as it was quite dark inside the bar, like so often in traditional Spanish bars.

Theses paintings are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

Art Prints

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

Like a Bull in a Pharmacy…

JMCP cover – May 2012

I am pleased to announce that my painting “Toroscape 03″ has been chosen for the cover of the May 2012 edition of JMCP. I had been contacted some weeks ago by email:

“…I am very impressed with your art, especially the Toroscape 03 painting! My name is Sheila Macho, and I am the Cover Editor of a non-profit pharmaceutical magazine titled JMCP (Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy), whose parent organization is AMCP (Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy) of Alexandria, Virginia, USA. The magazine is published nine times per year, and we feature a different work of art on every cover (similar to what JAMA [Journal of the American Medical Association] does). Our audience is mainly pharmacists and physicians…

We are interested in using the image of your Toroscape 03 painting for our May 2012 magazine cover. You’ve really captured a power bullfighting scene with your painting, and I admire the bold brushstrokes. I have submitted the image of your painting to our editor-in-chief, Fred Curtiss, PhD, and he has enthusiastically approved the selection for the May 2012 JMCP cover…”

I want to thank you Sheila and the whole magazine for featuring my art on the cover and for the great article about myself and my art accompanying the cover. My Art has been featured in quite a lot of  magazines and event promotions around the world, but I must say that from the many that have appeared worldwide, this one probably represents me best. More than anything it shows a deep respect for the artist, and this means the world to me!

If you are interested to get more information about this organisation, please visit their website www.amcp.org

You will also find there the online version of the magazine.

And here the link for the article itself

Toroscape 03, as well as nearly all my bullfight paintings and artworks,  are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below

Art Prints

Angry Little Bull

Angry Little Bull - by Miki

I found that angry little bull this morning in one of these enormous drawers where I put the paintings I haven’t framed or sold yet. I was alerted but some noises inside the drawer and thought I better have a look. Well, as soon as I opened it, the little beast jumped at my face, apparently very impatient to get out!

When he had calmed down, I looked at it deep in the eyes, but I did not recognise him. I mean, I could not remember having ever painted it. Might be this the reason why he was so angry? Anyway, I went to my bullfight gallery, and suddenly remember. This was one of the paintings I had digitally altered. I do that sometimes. I paint some bullfight scene in watercolour, and when it is finished I don’t like it, or I get bored with the tender colours, or with the evanescent look so typical to watercolours. Then I put it into my computer and worked on it with the more vibrant digital tools and structures. I call it “Toroscape”, the ending “scape” being in my work always a sign that the paintings have been created partially or totally digitally. And this is what happent to that little bull, he had been digitally treated.. well, when I look at the original painting today, I must understand his anger: he was quite nice as he was! This is why I have decided to present it as such today, exactly the way he first came to world !

Some people will moan again, that I make bullfight appear nice, soft and tender. I would agree with them, bullfight is everything else! But I can’t help for my paintings, I can’t hardly take the responsibility for them! They are the result of a very intuitive impulse, and what comes out comes out, I have no control about it. I could also argue that at that point of the corrida, when the guy is fighting with his yellow and pink cape, no blood has run yet! So at least I cannot be accused of hiding the blood here! And also I must think of the business: I had many clients, mainly women, who wanted a bullfight painting by me, but they didn’t want to see any blood on it… I have to please these delicate souls too, this is my job!  :-)

This painting is available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the widget below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

And more generally you can see all the stuff I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click on my face… but be tender please!

Tikujanka and The Bulls

Toro calendar 2009 - by Miki

Some years ago I was contacted by a young man from the Czech Republic , wanting to make a Christmas gift of one of my Bullfight Calendars 2009 to his Sweetheart

“… she who loves the topic of bullfight. Your pictures of bulls are just amazing and we both like them very much…”

I loved these simple words of admiration, reflecting an honest appreciation of my art work. Also, I was quite amazed that somebody from that country was interested in Bullfighting. Well in fact, I had already been amazed one year previously as a Slovakian company had contacted me, wanting to publish a 2009 calendar featuring my bullfight art (which they did, exactly the calendar in question). 2009 was the year of the bull according to the Chinese, this being the reason behind the decision to create the calendar…  a reason as good as any other, but to my mind,quite exotic nevertheless!

It is a weird thing, you know, I already mentioned it on different occasions, but 95% of my clients for my Bullfighting Art are NOT from Spain or any other country where the bullfight tradition comes from and is still practised. Quite sad somehow… Now, one could argue that foreigners tend to see only the romantic and ‘folkloric’ part of it. But I have had a great deal of contact with these foreign aficionados, and most of the time I was surprised how deep and sincere their love and knowledge of the Spanish fiesta is.

Anyway, I sent the calendar with following dedication, as requested :

“”Greetings to Tikujanka from the queen of the planet Goodaboom.
Miki”

Tikujanka obviously being the Sweetheart… I was curious about that name, and in fact meant to ask, but then I was caught up in many projects and I forgot…

Some weeks ago – it was Christmas Day and I was just celebrating with my parents on the Costa Blanca, having come back from a Morocco trip the night before-  I received the following comment to one of the posts in this blog, the one where I was publishing and translating a very ugly letter  (judge for yourself! ) written to me by one of the French anti-bullfight fanatics.

“Hello, Miki, I wish you a lot of patience with these antitaurinos. I have a blog (sad to say, very amateur and only in Czech) about bullfighting and I have these replies too. They are the same – absolutely convinced about their “truth” and unable to discuss about it, just like religios fanatics.
Your artworks are amazing!
I don’t understand French, so thank you very much for the translation.”

and minutes later I received a personal email from the same person, with the funny and wonderful title

“Tikujanka is worried”

“Hello, Miki, I hope you remember me, you have sent me your beautiful calendar (Toro 2009) with a greeting: “Greetings to Tikujanka from the Queen of the Planet Goodaboom! Miki” via my friend. I still love your art and i keep the calendar as a relic. Now, I have only one blog, that one about bullfighting. I deleted my Tikuj blog long time ago, because I saw Tikuj too much idealized and unreal. Sometimes I miss it.
I am worried because in 2008, when I was 14 years old, i put a lot of your works on my blog – without your permission. I will delete or change those articles, please tell me if i must delete them, or if I can leave them on blog with proper links to your websites.
I wish you merry Christmas and good luck in the year 2012.

María – Tikujanka”

Of course I remembered Tikujanka, and I must say that I was over the moon! Happy to hear from that mysterious “Tikujana’, who on top of everything was only 14 years old as she received my calendar and so much loved my bullfight art. And more than anything I was immensely touched about her honesty, integrity and worries. It is very rare nowadays to see this, when the internet encourages the human tendency to behave badly if one is not punished….

Anyway, I got in touch with Tikujanka, and asked her what I meant to ask her 3 years before:

“… of course I remember you… I remember too that I was amazed that somebody in the Czech republic loves bullfight. Tell me, how is it that such a young girl, as you were then and still are, loves the corrida, so much that she makes a blog about it? I am really curious about it, please let me know. And if you give me more details I will make a blog post about you in My Toro blog, as I find this very amazing, and I am so happy about it…”

Tikujanka was very pleased about my little blog project and told me her story

“… My passion for bullfighting started slowly. When I was about 12  years old, I read Kopyto, Mňouk a tajemství džungle (Kopyto, Mňouk and the Secret of Jungle) written by humoristic Czech writer Miroslav Švandrlík and ilustrated by great caricaturist Neprakta. It’s one of many books for kids about two schoolboys and their funny adventures. In this book, their class is going to school trip to Barcelona, but their plane is hijacked and they landed in tropical Africa. After many dangerous adventures in junge, they luckily went to Barcelona. Despite their teacher’s protests, the students visited a bullfight and they were amazed.
Then, I started to search for informations in book and internet and my interest grew as a fire. In March 2009, I got a message from Václav Rákos, great Czech translator,journalist, painter and bullfight fan like me. We started to communicate, I have published many of his articles about bullfighting on my blog (Ou, they are so much better than my blog posts!). In March 2010, I with my father and Mr. Rákos went to Valencia to see bullfights. It was my and my father’s first encounter with live bullfight and it was absolutely amazing. We saw the best matadors with huge and brave bulls. Now, we are great bullfight fans. Mr. Rákos recently translated Hemingway’s book The Dangerous Summer into Czech and he also painted a cover for this book and wrote a bullfight dictionary. He is the greatest expert for bullfight in Czech Republic.

I live in Kutná Hora, a small historical town near Prague. Our town is known for medieval monuments including St. Barbara’s cathedral. Kutná Hora is openly turistic town, but if you like Prague, you could also enjoy Kutná Hora. I hope I could meet you here some day personally…”

What an amazing personal story, isn’t it? And of course I would love to meet her in person. I was in the Czech Republic for the first time in July 2011, in Brno, Prague and Loket (attending a concert in Loket by the rock Super Group “Black Country Communion”… WOW!), and really loved my time there. No doubt I want to go back, and I will certainly find a way to meet Tikujanka. Somehow I like that girl, as simple as that!

I asked her if she could send me a photo of the book cover, and here it is

And also she sent me the photo of her in the Arena of Valencia. A wonderful picture! It reminded me that I too, attended a bullfight in Valencia, I was probably the same age as Tikujanka… a long time ago!!! But the bulls keep us young, don’t they Tikujanka?  :-).

Tikujanka in Valencia bullring

For the aficionados interested in the technical details, here is what Tikujanka saw in Valencia

“The foto of me is from 17th March. It was before my 2nd bullfight. The first was 16th and it was a friendly mano a mano between Enrique Ponce and El Juli. Ponce was pretty good, but El Juli was absolutely amazing. In the second bullfight were fighting El Cid, Daniel Luque and Ruben Pinar. Luque was injured. Both El Cid and Pinar were good. When I was in Valencia, I saw three another corridas de toros, one corrida de rejones and one concurso de recortes, where men were jumping over bulls. My favorite bullfighters are El Juli and especially Sebastian Castella. I saw him in two bullfights, first time with Ponce and José María Manzanares and second times in the great finale of celebrations with six other matadors. In both bullfights was he fantastic.”

Well, when I was her age, I had a crush on Jose Maria Manzanares!!! I had seen him in Alicante as a novillero, and had fallen in love at once. Every time I was in Spain I tried to see him fighting, and did see him many times. My brother was teasing me all the time about it… and still does, about 40 years later! But I guess my Manzanares is not the one Tikujanka saw..  mine was the father, hers is the son!

And last but not least, I asked her  if she wanted to become a bullfighter. Well, one never knows… there is the amazing story of Marie Sara, how she became the first female bullfighter on horseback in France… and also I have already met a male bullfighter from Russia… so why not a torera from the Czech Republic?   She answered

“…  being a bullfighter? No way! :-) I am not strong, agile, neither brave. I will fight with a pen, not with a sword…”

Yes, Tikujanka, fight with the pen, I am sure you are great at it as your brain is strong, agile and brave… Can’t wait to read your first book!  :-)

PS: in case you too wonder about the signification of name “Tikujanka”, here it is:

“… When I was about 14 years old, my imagination was full of stories. They were set in Tikuj, imaginary country similar to old Spain. Later Tikuj became to be too idealised for me and I abandoned it, but I kept my nickname derived from it. In Czech it means “a girl from Tikuj”. “

I have never been in Tikuj, but somehow it makes me sad to think that it is now an abandoned country… I am too much of an Idealist myself, I guess!

PPS: and for those who can read Czech, go and see

Tikujanka’s blog about

la corrida de toros

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers