22 June 2005
MADRID — Spain’s King Juan Carlos presented Mexican sculptor, painter and engraver Juan Soriano with the Velazquez Prize in the Plastic Arts.
It was the first time that the prize – which has now been bestowed four times – has been given to an Ibero-American artist.
The king said that Soriano’s work had enriched the “ties between the Ibero-American cultures” and he praised the “essential and fascinating” artist for his contribution.
The award ceremony was held in the Velazquez Room of Madrid’s El Prado Museum.
Juan Carlos said that Soriano’s work combined “tradition and avant-garde, realism and imagination, classicism and the magic of primitive art”.
The 84-year-old artist – born in Guadalajara, Mexico – is considered one of the greatest living sculptors, and has been described by critics as a “classic” artist and a non-conformist cultivator of different styles.
In his acceptance remarks, Soriano spoke above all about his rebelliousness, asking rhetorically, “Which of the many men I have been is the true rebel?”
“Who can deny that the best of a man comes from his own rebellion?” he asked.
He also spoke of his ongoing links with Spain, mainly via Spanish exiles in Mexico after the 1936-39 Civil War.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news