I modelled this piece with clay using different pictures of Juan Carlos I, the former Spanish king, who abdicated in favour of his son Felipe VI in 2014.
I wanted to make this portrait of Juan Carlos I to create a suggestion box, where the public is welcome to share their opinions, suggestion or concerns about the political scene, writing them on a paper note that will be placed inside the head. Making the sculpture the centre of a gathering where people are invited to become part of. These suggestions were burnt inside leaving marks on the ceramic, becoming a metaphor for how many people feel about royalty and democracy, the sense of not being heard and our opinions not being taken into account. Moreover, it appeals to how important it is to share our political opinions as a democratic right that will always transcend to our culture in one way or another.
I try to present my artwork in a way that invites the viewer to interact with the piece, giving them an opportunity to be part of it and create a stronger connection with the concept. With this piece, I want to raise questions about the past and present situation, about how the transition from a dictatorship to a democracy happened in 1975 with the coronation of Juan Carlos I. I am also interested in making a comparative analysis with other countries where royalty is still part of the political scene.
This is an open invitation for everyone to take part in a conversation about the monarchy’s part in politics.
The use of the portrait of the Spanish former king is used as an example of the current scene in Spain and how royalty still plays a part in the political arena not just in Spain but around the world. I want to be impartial, the piece being independent of my own opinions in order to welcome different points of view, where the portrait becomes a trigger to starting conversations about royalty being part of the democratic system.
This portrait has been modelled in a way that represents the contradiction I find having a monarchy in a democratic system. For this reason, this piece is at the same time a “voting box/suggestion box” where you can introduce your opinion. These pieces of paper will remain inside the portrait to be burnt so each opinion leaves a mark on the ceramic. With this, I want to appeal to the importance of sharing our opinions and concerns about politics and empower the people's role in a democratic system, even when we feel like our voices are ignored, if we talk between us, we will leave a mark mirroring that on the piece.