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Born in Barcelona in 1932, Joan studied at the Escola del Treball. He worked for four years as an apprentice with the prestigious decorator Ramon Rigol and obtained his title of draftsman in 1949. Until 1952 he worked as a freelance in Advertising and Decoration. After his Military Service in 1954 he moved to London, where he studied Advertising and Graphics at Saint Martin's School of Art. From 1956 to 1958 he traveled in Moscow, and then moved to Iceland, where he worked as an advertiser. He dedicated himself greatly to painting and drawing all the coastal towns of this country, exposing them with great success. Upon his return to Spain, he continued his work in Advertising and Decoration in different graphic studios. From 1983 to 1997 he was a professor of Drawing and Painting at the Esplugues del Llobregat Municipal School. Throughout his years he has continued to dedicate himself to drawing and painting different subjects while using different mediums, recently the streets and architecture of Barcelona. With almost 89 years, He continues to focus on documenting the streets of Barcelona and other creative projects...daily. 

Captura de pantalla 2021-03-22 a las 16.

Carlos Sarrate has known Joan Bueno for years, having studied together at the Sant Lluc Artistic Circle in Barcelona. Professor of philosophy and painter, he has written about Joan on numerous occasions, giving us his particular point of view on this great street painter. Carlos writes a blog, Carlos Sarrate, Aquarelles i Dibuixos , where you can read more stories about his history with Joan.

Tribute to Joan Bueno, Cercle Artístic St. Lluc

Juan Bueno finalizes each year a manuscript volume with his adventures on the roads of Santiago. If you can invest some time, get used to the lyrics and a syntax as is, you will discover unusual corners of the journey and the soul of the protagonist.

JB is one of those free spirits who writes plans with the same overflowing style with which he draws with descriptions of the route, campaign menus, acquaintances of passing pilgrims and their stable or episodic relationships, drawings of bar counters, girls barely spotted with a thought suggested in the gaze, drawings of other women who have stopped, gossip caught in passing, confessed thoughts of his soul with others, semi-religious stories fantasized throughout the hours, drawings of churches, facades , streets, roads and bridges, confession of fears, wishes and dreams, the prices of pensions, the qualities of the beds in the shelters, the thoughts of when one cannot sleep and the mind wanders over the rooftops of the people who do sleep. reflections also on what I am doing here, sometimes in a challenging tone and sometimes with simplicity. many things.


Many of us have met Juan Bueno in the environment of the Circulo's notes room. There was usually a religious silence, a serious concentration and even an arrangement of the ceremonial space. You have to look with the eyes of a foreigner what

demons we do there: like the eyes of the people who visit us when they escape the surveillance of the doorman and sneak into the halls. if Guip expects a lady bareback, I believe that most of the time they attend a religious service as intruders; by force they must feel uncomfortable and leave soon. There everyone makes a semicircle around the naked figure. Even in the suspicion that the observing artist has a voyeur background, the truth is that he is so well conducted and sublimated that what is appreciated is a group of men and women who share the sacred experience of representing the naked body. Surely it is something similar to the respect that the inhabitants of Altamira would have for the first artist who carried the bison on the wall of the cave itself. We, in a kind of figure-worship ceremony, put the body on paper. As our society trivializes everything, it goes unnoticed that there is something very serious here and that we could perhaps agree that it is a form of meditation.


We return to that silence in the writing room. People sweat, the clock cries out every three minutes and you think that if at least you had had time to place your leg ... but the lamentations do not last long and we are back in that stubborn silence of the new puts. All of a sudden the door opens with energy, and Bueno comes in in a blue robe. The man takes a chair, drags it before another, unfolds some huge white packing papers, places them on a large counter, takes out a pocket inkwell and a piece of stick, and while we are all wondering whether the position of the foot of the The model is higher or lower, the friend Well, with some frantic and precise strokes, he has already made half of the figure: this man draws hard figures with nerve, with force, sometimes a little deformed following instinct but of set well fitted, and with measures that far exceed everything that people do in the Circle. While everyone reprimands him for correcting, modulating and qualifying, he simply throws the paper on the pile on the floor, picks up one other and makes a second drawing of it. His way of doing is a kind of active and energetic dissatisfaction; a present that relegates the work to the past and that pursues a future that will soon be left behind. It is better that I take a very long way, let's say walking from the Delta to Santiago, or from Le Puy to Finisterre, because if not, JB will run out soon and he will send everything in the pile of papers.


This way of doing it agrees with the ideas that appear in the prologue of the Camino de del Ebro (2004): "The best thing is to practice and pour whatever comes out - better not look at yourself; when you finish the job wait a week, then you You will realize that they can be preserved. You see that it does not have to scare you -the same fate comes your way and makes you pay for what you have not done- for what you do not want or remember them, we are always in debt to ourselves - We don't work hard enough, we love unrealizable ideas- we don't do our day-to-day work- work, work, that inspiration when he visits us finds us with the brush in hand and pouring and pouring "He is exactly all this: not thinking - too much and draw (or take action); trust the destiny that will guide your hand (or your steps); not be scared of what you do, but of what you don't do; be in eternal demand with oneself; live in the present and not be enchanted by chimeras. Well fill out papers

ink like miles ago: with intensity and perhaps fleeing from I don't know what. But it must also be said that this pilgrim who draws while on pilgrimage, connects with that half-religious aspect of drawing that we said and that is the magical act of representing. Normally, what people admire when they paint in the street, when they say that "lookout, he has done it only in half an hour!" It is not "beauty" or the proportion of shapes or colors, but exactly the ability to represent, to duplicate reality and to take home canning. This is done by Juan Bueno by far. Be the master of wandering the streets of Barcelona and drawing everything in front of you, and in summer along these paths of God and drawing everything you stumble upon, man, animal or thing.


In things there are always many levels of approach. One aspect that the Good himself emphasizes from his travels is the parallel thread of a fantasy that accompanies it throughout the route. To finish the story that I started last year, I will make the character for myself. (2005, 17) This year JB looks for Magdalena, who after having buried Jesus in Compostela under a rain of stars, leaves Santiago in Finisterre among fishermen who he thinks to become a fisher of men and goes to France. But now she returns to Finisterre to find the grave that only she knows. Bueno is looking for a widowed woman who wants to live again and every woman who crosses the path is a candidate for attribution (32, 35 ... 52). On this trip "fate has placed one woman behind the other on a platter" (49). I will try to make any interpretation of this fantasy and I am afraid that you will have to read it if you are curious, but the oral summary of the trip that he made for me in person was this: I was looking for the Magdalena. "And what role did you have in this story?" "None, it was just the observer."


Once we asked him why the hell he did the Camino de Santiago every year, if it was for devotion or for sport. He got a little angry because this is a man of genius and genius already knows what that thing means too. But his texts give clues beyond the stupid dilemma of the question (you can see the 2004 epilogue, 11 ff). Now, beyond the desire for romantic adventure, sleeping under the stars and returning to nature or taking cheap vacations, he tells us profound things like these: along the way you can once again believe in good people, in heroes and disinterested people. . Thus, the path eliminates negative thoughts and "makes you throw away the pills" like a burden because you feel bodily full; There is a kind of crazy fantasy of the whole possible and of happy people on the road that is contagious. And from all this it follows that the path "is the best medicine" and how medicine works it becomes a habit and an "addiction of the path". And next year you come back. There are no pilgrims who think they are good people; they see others better than they and how [the others] are innocent ..., they believe that others are really going, but that he is a sinner -because he goes for the interest of free adventures, on the roof and times of free food, of finding people better than himself, of those who are not out of the way ... he has little trouble believing that the road is miraculous ... he makes you resurrect the old heroes of your youthful adventures - all of them pure heroes, detached, doing good, risking for others, saving lives. (2004) Or also: The road is not magical, we want to make it magical (2005, 43)


This seems to be written by someone who, from personal maturity, knows that he plays a game but knows that it is very serious. This Camino de Santiago works, in some respects, just like volunteering experiences: we can live, perhaps for a few days, the experience of hope for a better humanity. Raimon sang that of "who has felt freedom has more strength to live." Now, thirty years later, we could say: "those who have felt solidarity have more strength to live." It is a simple explanation. It is as if he were saying: I am going to do the Camino de Santiago and I struggle for days with great difficulty, not only to "meet people", not even if it is "interesting people", but to comfort myself in the belief that there is a possible humanity and I am going to look for it in those special places and situations where it comes out. This humanity is still innocent: it has not killed, it has not stolen, it has not cheated. As I at least see myself, I know that I am not free of guilt but I still feel an innocent part that I want to see reflected in others and I see it effectively in others. Written notes and drawn notes try to preserve the idea that the situation is special and very valuable. As much as Bueno later tells us to jump from one thing to the other incessantly, there is a persistent effort to preserve a special setting where the innocent manifests. The Camino de Santiago is done in order to keep innocence intact. And perhaps that is why he addresses the branch of artists that we are a kind of other innocents, that we can occupy a good part of our lives in finding an aesthetic look at things.


Carles Sarrate Gener 2006

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