Before going ahead and posting drawings I need to talk to you about all the info I’ve spent months researching. I know…I know….it’s a lot of bla bla bla. But! I promise to make it as interesting as possible and hopefully you will end up loving my topic as much as me.
I first heard of Federico García Lorca in my Spanish class in high school (oh, forgot to mention I’m Puertorrican, most of the books we read in school were hispanic authors). So, Lorca is a pretty big deal in Hispanic Literature. He was a famous play writer in the 1920’s. His plays were extremely controversial, talking about women’s social status, small town gossip, racism, classism, etc. All that would’ve been kind of fine, except he lived in a dictatorship where all that was a big no no. Franco’s regime was a fascist regime where all the bad stuff you can imagine happened. Lorca did not stand for any of that.
An interesting fact about Lorca is that during his college years he was friends with, a somewhat famous painter called, Salvador Dalí. A few years ago, Lorca’s main biographer uncovered plenty of evidence about their relationship during their college years….they were sort of an item (gooossiiip). There is even a movie about it called Little Ashes with the famous vampire actor, Robert Pattinson. Dalí’s search for fame and consequently move to France strained their relationship. To Lorca, Dalí would always be an extremely talented artist whose ideals did not align with what he believed in and what he thought Spain needed.
For my thesis I wanted to do illustrations that could be part of the Editorial Market. So I chose poetry because it provides a lot of interesting visual imagery. Lorca was a prolific poet who wrote about life and death, usually represented as a horse or serpents. Even in his earlier poetry there is a very existential feeling throughout his more innocent writings.
His most well known poetry book was dedicated to the Gipsies and the way they were discriminated and marginalized. There is a lot of death and sadness in this book but Lorca always finds a way to describe it beautifully. The moon becomes a very important figure, as it was for the Gipsies. The Spanish Civil Guard in their black horses have the role of the antagonist. Lovers quarrels, rebellions ,and fights become a big part of this book.
He also has a book about NYC, were he lived for a year in the 1930s, during a tour of one of his plays. He was shocked by the city life and very frustrated by it. He felt appalled by the mistreatment of African Americans and felt they needed to ban together and rise up.
Before returning home from his trip to NYC he went to Cuba to do some lectures for a few months. He fell in love with the Caribbean. There is not a lot of information about his stay there, but his letters back home talk about his amazing time and just enjoying the moment.
About a year after returning to Spain, in 1936, Lorca…disappeared. It was later reported that he was sadly murdered by the regime and his body was never found. Evidence points to him being a target because of his political writings and his sexual orientation.
The more I read about Lorca I find myself more infatuated and mesmerized by him. He had the type of personality that would draw people to him. He loved making people laugh and entertained. He was an excellent pianist and musician, usually staying up late in bars improvising and singing with others. He would recite plays and poetry to captivate people’s minds. He was also very introverted and philosophical. He loved observing life and nature, finding the beauty and mortality in the world. He loved his friends and was very passionate.
Lorca’s use of language is so beautiful in its natural language (Spanish) that it’s so hard to explain. I hope that I can do justice to his amazing body of work and that the spectator can get a sense of who he was as an artist and how his poetry progresses throughout his life.
“As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.” -Lorca