Antonio de Felipe’s unique graphic style has made him one of the world’s foremost pop artists. He is the only Spanish representative in the exhibition about Marilyn Monroe, “Life as a Legend”, that is touring Europe and the Americas. Valencian by birth and conviction, he has imbued his work with the essence of his birthplace: ironic, fun, sharp, Mediterranean, bright, optimistic and open.
Could you paint us a quick picture of Valencia?
Valencia is like a string of fireworks, happy, loud, bright, etc. Moreover, it’s a marvellous place to live or to visit. It’s a unique and irreplaceable city, like all cities that have their own personality.
Is Valencia a pop city?
Absolutely. The irony, the colour, the laid back lifestyle.
I painted it for the artwork for the Valencia 2011 European Capital of Sport; I love our bright blue sky, and the contrast of the old buildings that are full of history, with the most avant-garde people who make Valencia a city that looks to the future without forgetting its past.
Does the city influence your work?
I think that my work is very Valencian; it’s ironic, sometimes fun, sometimes sharp, Mediterranean, bright, optimistic and open.
Do you have any special memory or anecdote about Valencia?
I have lots, but I remember that 15 years ago when I went to live in Madrid, I missed the Fallas festival so much, that on the St Joseph’s day, I made my own mini falla and burnt it on the terrace of my loft… Nearly in the middle of Gran Vía in Madrid!
Do you have a favourite spot in Valencia?
I love the centre, El Carmen, La Lonja, the Plaza de la Reina, the Plaza de la Virgen, the Central Market I would recommend visitors to walk around it as much as they can and open all of their senses.
What do you think is the best season to visit Valencia?
I prefer the spring, when the air smells of gunpowder and orange blossom and the sun warms your skin.
When you exhibit abroad and you’re going to be away for a while, do you bring anything with you to remember Valencia?
I always carry Valencia in my heart.