Without any restrictions, after the dark years of the pandemic, the heart of the Fallas will beat again in the municipal falla of 2023, with the work of the artists Marina Puche and Manolo Garcia Lleonart. “It symbolizes rebirth: a heart that has been stopped and that pumps again,” describes the 40-year-old Valencian illustrator, who has become the first woman to sign the City Hall ruling, the monument that represents the entire city. and that it is out of competition. Officially, the fallas begin on March 15 and end on the 19th, but the streets breathe the festive atmosphere and soar mascletas from day 1.
With a clear and simple style, and a lot of humor, Puche has chosen this vital organ as a metaphor of the moment: the party is finally back to normal, without the restrictions of past years, and also his family has experienced a cardioversion not long ago, a medical procedure in which rapid, low-energy shocks are used to restore a person’s normal heart rhythm. and the result is Valencian cardioversion“a great mistake to try to convey to the public the emotions and experiences that make our hearts light up”, wishes the author.
Daughter and granddaughter of fallas artists, Puche has lived since she was little surrounded by ninots and painting the portraits that he likes so much in the family workshop. “In my house she ate and dined with failure. The figures were in the corridor and my grandmother dressed them; We lived through it a lot, ”she recalls. She is the third generation of a lineage of fallas artists that began with hers, her grandfather, Julián, followed by hers, her father, Pepe Puche, and now with her. Both have been prize-winning artists in the special section, the one that brings together the largest monuments with the highest budget.
From his father, an employee of the Lladró porcelain firm, he learned that the workshop was a place of a lot of work but also of enjoyment. “The pieces came out of the warehouse perfect, with delicate work done with great care,” he emphasizes. She proudly refers to her father as a master of modeling the pieces: “He is a great sculptor, I am more of a draftsman. I see everything more flatly, graphically. Illustration, drawing is my thing, ”she admits. Right now her life is spent between painting pictures, carrying out the company with her partner sister silver handyman and design fallas, first childish, and now big.
He studied Fine Arts at the university, where he met his friends Ceballos and Sanabria, and encouraged by his artistic Anatomy professor, “we made our first fallita.” Today she is the author of the municipal monument, and her friends, José Luis Ceballos and Francisco Sanabria, sign the children’s fault. They are the future of a trade with many unknowns. “The failure is experiencing a difficult time due to the increase in the cost of materials and the impossibility of passing it on to the commissions. And since there is a lot of competition, the artist also wants to do the best possible job. It is very complicated ”, she acknowledges, while she defends that the ideal would be “to get all the artists in agreement and reduce the size because the fault can have the same grace, the same art, with a smaller size. The falleros have to understand the position of the artists, ”she defends. And she says it herself, doing an exercise in self-criticism, knowing that the municipal monument that she builds this year is gigantic. “The fallas are very high this year and although it may seem that they are paid better than seven or eight years ago, this is not the case. The only way is to put more ingenuity and reduce the monumentality, as was done before. I see the failures that my grandfather made and they don’t need to be so huge or put seven counter-shots”.
with his Valencian cardioversion About to be erected at the foot of the square, Puche admits that he gets excited as it gains volume. “Manolo (García LLeonart, the builder of the monument) makes the fallas in wood and I wanted a design with which he felt comfortable.” She is happy to be the first woman to make the municipal fault but she has not gone to her head either. “It’s strange that it hadn’t happened before,” she says, while she notes that there are still few and those that are dedicated, above all, to children’s. “There is a lot left to equalize the balance,” she adds.
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For Puche, his father is his great ally: “Without him I would not have dared to do even half of the things I have done. It’s life insurance for me.” Satisfied with the result, the artist has had an exhibition of her work for a few days at the Center del Carme. In her exhibition, she recounts the love at first sight that she had for the Fallas and that crush that she maintains for everyday life and the details that sweeten the days.
Occupancy at pre-pandemic levels
Valencia and the world of fallas return to normality this year. The party is expected to be massive because its big days coincide with the weekend. The Visit Valencia Foundation, responsible for local tourism, and hoteliers forecast excellent figures. The expected hotel occupancy will exceed that of the last five years and will be at pre-pandemic levels, according to the Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Urban Development, Sandra Gómez, who has released the data from the survey carried out by Visit València, according to which the nights of the On March 17 and 18, occupancy will reach 86.5%, above the 83% of 2022; but also above the values before the pandemic: 71% in 2019; 86% in 2018; and 79% in 2017.
Gómez has congratulated the hotel sector for “the great work that it carries out every day so that the name of Valencia is associated with a guarantee of quality and is a first-class tourist destination.” Total occupancy for the week of March 13 to 19 will reach 72.9%; and the occupancy of the main nights of the Fallas week, those of the 17th and 18th, will be at 86.5%. It must be taken into account that March 20 is a holiday in the Community of Madrid, which has also influenced the fact that the night from 19 to 20 has an occupancy rate of more than 74%.
One of the most outstanding data from the Visit Valencia survey is that the expected hotel occupancy is distributed among all areas of the city. For example, occupancy on the night of March 18 is 88% in the city center, and it rises to 91% in the beach and port area and 92% in the Ciutat de les area. Arts and Sciences.
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