Franco Taboada. Homenage Miguelanxo Prado.

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Added by 24 May, 2017

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JOSÉ ANTONIO FRANCO TABOADA

Architect Doctor

A Coruña, 1944

José Antonio Franco Taboada, architect doctor, has been Professor of the University Polytechnic of Valencia and Santiago de Compostela. It has been the first Director of the School of Architecture of A Coruña as well as his Department of Representation and Architectural Theory and he is currently Professor Emeritus of the University of A Coruña. He has been a member of the Governing Council of the E.A.A.E. (European Association for Architectural Education), and he has been awarded the Targa d´Oro (gold plate) of the UID (Unione Italiana per il Disegno). As architect he is author of works such as the Tower Costa Rica of A Coruña or the Conservatory of Music of Santiago, building chosen by the Official Association of Architects of Galicia to celebrate the World Day of Architecture in that city in 2004.

 

homenaje-miguelanxo-prado-franco

 

Miguelanxo Prado, Architect

It has been written so much about Miguelanxo Prado, an author who has managed to succeed in fields as diverse but coherent with each other as comic, illustration or animation cinema, often focusing on the visual shot, on the use of colour or on the mastery of his stroke, which for some people “is more painting than drawing”, ignoring many times that this magnificent exponent of the art of drawing, understood as the ability to “draw on a surface the image of something”, is also a master in the art of storytelling.

Stories which traced on paper through drawing, the essential matter that support his thought and comes in more conventional forms I first mentioned, transcend the purely visual to move to a new universe on which narration is articulated. Works such as Ardalén, a fascinating story about memory and forgetfulness; Easy Prey, a sadly realistic black tragedy or; the disturbing and unclassifiable Streak of Chalk, are clear examples of his great narrative ability, which is enhanced by the aesthetic strength of his evocative images, giving it to his work that poetic character so hailed.

But beyond that particular style, which many fit within the magical realism, there is a constant often forgotten that characterizes his work from his time as student of architecture: its tendency to build universes of fiction in which the space is configured as the axis of the story. Maybe this feature is derived from his hobby to draw architecture during the degree, or more accurately, his taste for drawing his continent and its content, that is, draw its essence, the space.

Already in his youth he launched himself to draw that space in fanzines and then in emblematic magazines of the late 20th century, with works among it highlight Daily Delirium and Tangents, which show his mastery of the representation of space, which reaches its zenith when he draws urban environments and their architectures. It doesn’t matter that they are traditional, speculative or historical, his stroke always transcends the details and turns them into symbols or ideas.

 

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This can be seen clearly on Tangents, which shows a very special set of three vignettes because it reflects in a few essential strokes one of the most emblematic areas of A Coruña, the final stretch of the dock which closes off the mouth of the dock on the Nautical Club of the city rising in an enviable position in a few key strokes. Miguelanxo is from A Coruña and could draw from memory the pier with the building surrounded by the calm waters of the Bay, but really what draws is a yacht club and a spring are not exactly those of the herculean city, but any of its inhabitants makes us immediately think of them. They are its quintessence, as the characters for which creates that environment and that represent the urban tribe known as “posh”. I mean, his drawings transcend the mimetic representation of a specific city and become a universal that can represent many cities – with their respective tribes – interchangeably.

Another great example of this is found in the album La mansión de los Pampín, in that when it is necessary to represent specific spaces and architecture, as the Centre of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Compostela, by Álvaro Siza and its neighbour the Museo do Pobo Galego, he outlines both buildings, the contemporary and the baroque, describing them wisely with a few strokes and a master of freehand perspective domain.

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As Professor and first director of the school of architecture of A Coruña, where Miguelanxo began his studies, I like to think that in some way I have contributed a bit to the beginnings of his brilliant career, which I not only followed with admiration and enthusiasm, but also with pleasure of the avid reader waiting eagerly each new delivery as well as the “untold moments” of the old ones.

 

Miguelanxo dibujando mi caricatura (2003)

Miguelanxo drawing my caricature (2003)

 

 

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