We have finally started to gather material for the Antoni Pitxot Project (a short film that we have been outlining for a while). It all started with a trip to Catalunya and the possibility of gathering enough footage for a small documentary. It was marked as TBD in our itinerary because of the plethora of variables. Nonetheless we were eager to come into contact with the art of this town that marked history. The goal was to shoot the most important part of the documentary, the interview. Without interview there is no backbone, there is no story.
Born into a family with a strong artistic tradition and closely related to the Dalí family (it was through his uncle, Ramon Pitxot, that Dalí discovered impressionism and decided to become a painter); Antoni Pitxot lived with his family in San Sebastian from 1946-1964. There, he took art classes with Juan Núñez Fernández who years earlier had also been Dalí's teacher in Figueres. In the 1950's, while engaging in a realistic style with expressionist elements, he became known through various exhibitions in San Sebastián, Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao and Lisbon. In 1964 he finally settled at the Pitxot family estate in Cadaqués. His work took a decisive turn during this period, when he decided to focus on studying the stones of Cadaqués.
Pitxot is now exhibiting at the intimate Iturria art gallery in one of the streets of the town. After meeting with his art dealer Juan Risso, a young and sharp as a knife Uruguayan, son in law of the recognized painter Ignacio Iturria. We shot a bit around the gallery, had a few drinks and scheduled to interview Pitxot the next morning. We met with Pitxot at his family home and had the privilege of interviewing him in his workshop. We began by talking about his first experiments with surrealism and the stones of the coast that, like Dalí, inspired him to create his famous anthropomorphic compositions.
Much of Pitxot's work is concerned with allegory and myth, including the figure of the Mnemosyne, the mother of the nine muses who personified memory and a series of works about The Tempest. As you can see in these stills Pitxot becomes quite obsessed with creating the physical human forms and shapes with the rocks in his studio which he then translates onto the canvas.
Although the project is about Pitxot and his body of work, We spoke a lot about Dalí. As Pitxot himself said, he always ends up talking about his close childhood friend. So he traveled with us in time for a last walk by the master of surrealism who not only scarred him for life, but left him with an insatiable thirst and passion for his work. Pitxot and Dalí immediately connected and related to each other on an artistic level. In 1958, for example, Pitxot was working on the exhibition "The Battle of Constantine", to be presented in Barcelona. The theme of the battle was inspired by a conversation with Dalí, who had explained to him that the rocks on Sa Conca beach in Cadaqués held battles scenes. Dalí thought up the introductory text for the catalogue which read "When the rocks awaken from their sleep of four thousand years, they are deafened by the clamour of battle on either side".
Pitxot was always by Dalí's side in the last part of the artist's life. The two kept exchanging observations and opinions on various subjects, especially on the world of art and painting discussing Watteau, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Gustave, Moreau, the Pre-Raphaelites or italian futurism. Antoni Pitxot is the Director of the Dalí Theater-Museum (where Dalí is buried), as well as life patron and Deputy Vice-President of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation. On September 16th, 2004, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts by H.R.H King Juan Carlos. The film still has no release date as we continue to gather material and it is indeed becoming its own monster. We will be posting updates of the whole process as we go.