Museo Nacional de Arte

Exhibitions

La merienda del señor Verde

26 de Nov 2017 - 07 de Jan 2018

After being published in 2007, the book La merienda del señor Verde (Mr. Green’s snack) by Javier Sáez Castán hasn’t stopped fascinating its readers. Among these readers, there are preschool children in Northern Portugal, Spaniard illustrators, young philosophy students in a Venezuelan secondary or scholars of Mexican language.

Mr. Green extends an unusual invitation to his friends so they visit him in his monochromatic world. From all directions, his guests Mr. Yellow, Mr. Purple, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown and Mr. Black attend the invitation (we assume they come from their own unicolor worlds, but that’s part of what it's hidden) to be informed by their host that he has found a mysterious sign. The sign is an invitation to cross a door with no returning point. The gentlemen face the challenge with determination and team spirit. On the other side of the door, they find a multicolor world where the snacks are served. The fictional framework is an invitation to discover a surprising world that, paradoxically, it’s a journey from fiction to a closer reality to the reader. It is a reminder of how extraordinary is our world if we dare to experience.

The illustrations, made in oil on large wooden boards, create a unique universe that is meticulously articulated and is potentially expansive since they have the capability of suggesting what it’s not there. In the images, the unusual mixtures of eccentricity and formality are underscored, along with the bourgeois solemnity and infant spontaneity that are nourished by pictorial surrealism’s sources. At the same time, each illustration has been carefully conceived and many of them are impregnated with cinematographic, literary and artistic fictional references even though, paradoxically, they are pinned to archive images of that time.

This exhibition is an invitation to continue the journey of discovery. This time, it’s a journey with a returning point, an invitation to stop and look for what is behind the artifice of the fictional world forged by the author. Fiction is served and you are all invited.