Sanz painting of Royal Family at Smile at Hg Contemporary

Sunday Zapata met Alejandro Sanz through Vicky Martín Berrocal, who took him to a concert in Madrid a few years ago. The friendship between the Majorcan artist and the singer was growing. When he visited his home in Miami, he discovered the hidden passion of the interpreter: painting. A year ago they decided to do a project together, which is now exhibited in the New York neighborhood of Chelsea under the title Smile.

"We did sketches in a notebook, moved them to the canvas and then painted them,” explains Zapata in the large-scale canvas titled The Royal Family, the first piece presented upon entering in the gallery. "The paint is still fresh,” says Zapata noting the strokes that Sanz gave hours before the inauguration. The final composition could make us remember, in an abstract and respectful way, the clash of Queen Letizia Sofía in Palma de Mallorca. "Love does not exist if there is never a small debate,” explains the painter based in New York. Although elements that appear in the work could be the members of the Spanish Royal family, the singer insists that it is a generic view. "They represent in a sense that we are all human beings and we are all kings,” says Sanz.


Sanz appears on the canvas, along with the dog. Zapata is painted at the other end, by a minibar next to the King. The Queen is identified in the center by the deep rose stroke. "There is so much beauty and importance to make conversation with,”  The rest are people with smiles, "people who passes through your life, who has been good, friendly. You just do not remember how their names, but you do not forget them."

The exhibition is comprised of almost fifty works. Three of them are works made by Alejandro Sanz solo 15 years ago. "We want to show that he did not begin to paint yesterday,” says Zapata. "Painting also is a form of expression as an artist, for what I have done is scratch him a little bit and get that poison out,” he assures us.


Hymn to friendship

Sanz said that when he paints he cannot stop. The art of painting made them friends and the artworks celebrates that. Each piece was worked simultaneously using the musical background of the singer. Zapata used vibrant solid colors and energetic strokes to create a feeling of graffiti. "It was a challenge for the two", recognized Zapata, "but I had the advantage that he painted with his music before knowing it."

"The collaboration produces a very interesting artistic work that evokes the spirit of Picasso and Condo with a certain style," says Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim, founder of HG Contemporary gallery and host of the show, which will be open on view until May 15th, 2018. The gallery owner says that Sanz is an art form in itself, "which is now expressed in a pure manner in the canvas.”

In June, the exhibition will be presented in Madrid before it travels to Latin America. They also developed in parallel a series of videos in Times Square on billboard screens, which welcome visitors.


Reaching out to people

The Majorcan artist, 'Virgen del Rocío' sees the creator of the mural that dominates the entrance of the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center, the iconic skyscraper that emerged in the vacuum of the twin towers. He related it to Palma, as there is a crucifixion in the Cathedral of Palma made with spray. "A paint that people can appreciate and enjoy for years, years and years," he says.

Zapata is considered as a neo-expressionist artist. "I was born with the gift to paint what I see,” he explains, "but when you paint what you feel, you don't need talent." "Art is a composition, and the composition is what creates and conveys people, and the sensitivity that comes out of it. It is a great therapy. And it is wonderful for Alejandro Sanz to make this joint project," concludes the painter.