Manel Anoro

Manel Anoro

“Its very difficult or almost impossible to paint or to speak about beauty. I am not a painter of beauty, I am a painter of happy situations…”


El Pont de Ferro, Girona

My childhood was like a Technicolor movie. I was born in Barcelona next to my mother’s shop. Lucky for us, she was a dressmaker specializing. My first years have passed surrounded by piles of fabric colors, textures. Blue, green, yellow, purple, with laces and stripes and prints, which became showpieces of the most beautiful women of the neighbourhood. Unlike other families, we talked a lot about colors that went from shop floor to the haberdashery and finally to the curved shapes of the clients of my mother.

My father was a traveling salesman, and most of our neighbors were the black market. In the postwar world, the word “art” did not exist. A “gallery” was a room used for hanging clothes, and to paint a picture was just making chalk marks on the sidewalk hopscotch. My grandfather was a sculptor, and although I never met him, I loved to hear stories about him and I always wondered what made you choose the sculpture when the world around them was full of construction workers and mechanics. Although the real world around us has nothing to do with art, I could still see and appreciate the beauty and so, I never remember feeling bored or sad. Even the winters were a kind of rupture between the bright summer: the beach, watermelons and the first breast the sea, all that happened in the summer.

And it was under the strong light of each June, the 13th, he was to receive a magical gift: a box of colored pencils which I devoured like candy bars. I drew with passion, nonstop. But no one, except my mother never thought it was important. They saw my ability as something that does not bother anyone.

That is why I studied Agricultural Engineering in Barcelona, Bachelor in Economics and I worked 15 years as a Systems Engineer of IBM. There were years of confusion, but were not happy years. Agriculture, Economics and Computer sounds tedious to me, and those who know me know that they were years of happiness. You may not have been years of actual colors, but colors were years of waiting. I knew that someday would try to be a painter and I could for the moment to come.

The process was slow but very intense and took me to a new but familiar world; it brought back the essence of shapes and colors of my childhood.I often wonder what advantages – if there are any- there can be to such a long and blundering journey before arriving at my first painting. Having reached that point, I often find comfort in thinking that starting out so late has at least given me the possibility of observing my own journey with a greater dose of common sense. I have given a lot of thought to the way I paint and answers have not always simply fallen from the sky. I just know that it was like starting again and since then I just paint and paint. Even today, when I go to one of my exhibitions and I see my paintings on the walls, as if they were waiting for me, I feel a weird feeling, a concern, as if I had nothing to do with those images.

But I am a storyteller. What I wanted and still want is to speak – to paint- about everything I’d never talked about. That which I like and love. Discovering the light that turns on things and desires. In my paintings I need to explain my trips to Morocco, the blinding brightness of Minorca, watermelons, naked women and bars from La Habana, the colors of Senegal, the beatuy of Girona… I know this is not the whole world, but neither am I the only prophet. Now that I’ve discovered the taste of this journey I believe I’m going to continue. Through my paintings…