For Cinta Vidal, a person who reads is on another planet. She is not interested in portraits, but in the relationship with spaces. And in this sense, her books allow her to reflect close distances and parallel worlds. A few weeks ago, she brought some downstairs – where she lives – to her new workshop. She is in the old toy store El gat Corneli, in Cardedeu, which her mother ran until she retired. So now her books occupy three shelves where she’s had toys for seventeen years. Next to her are the drawings of the murals that she made for the International University of Catalonia and the façade of the municipal library, using as models the furniture of the center and members of her family, recognizable if one pays attention.
On the top shelf there are novels that have marked her, by Rosa Montero, Carmen Martín Gaite, Millás, Kundera. she loved it Masterpiece , by Juan Tallón, because she talks about that world of art through which she moves without fully understanding. She was an artisan before she was an artist. She painted theater curtains and says that she was lucky to learn the trade in a workshop, something that is currently being lost. It was that of her teachers, the brothers Jordi and Josep Castells Planas, to whom Damià Barbany dedicated a biography edited by Arola, which Vidal shares –among others– with her partner Joan, a set carpenter.
the prying eye
His workshop, the old El gat Corneli toy store
Ikea billy white
Second home, by Rachel Cusk (Asteroid), the laws of ascensionby Céline Curiol (Errata Naturae), The city and the cityby China Miéville (Mai Mes)
The most sought
Little Nemo in Slumberlandby Winsor McCay
Memories of an au pairby Montserrat Agulló Batlle
Of other people’s livesby Emmanuel Carrère (Anagram), Why don’t we rethink cannibalismby Albert Pijuan (Medusa)
It has technical books, from the quintessential perspective manual to the Atlas of Brutalist Architecture . It turns architecture and perspectives upside down. She drew exteriors and now she pays more attention to interiors, as shown by the paintings that she will exhibit next October in New York, at the Thinkspace Gallery. They are in the background, next to the easel and brushes, bathed in a perfect light that enters through the patio. She also keeps travel journals, in which she paints and writes what he sees. At airports, she buys books from houses. She is interested in the everyday because “when everything collapses, it is what you miss the most.” His life took a turn six years ago, when he appeared in leading art magazines, which he keeps together with other publications where he also appears, such as Landscape Painting Now, Street Art Today either Stories for Ways and Means with a story by Nick Cave.
In his so-called “corner of vanity” he gathers novels whose cover is his work; there are those of Rachel Cusk, of Celine Curiol; one German, one Iranian, one Chinese. He is excited and he thinks it’s a luxury that someone thinks of an image of him for the cover. He has books by fellow artists –by Conrad Roset or the muralist Aryz, “unbelievable”–. And classic thrillers that he read as a teenager, from Agatha Christie or Robin Cook. AND Women who read are dangerous by Stefan Bollman. His literary prescribers are Júlia Dalmases and the writer Alba Dalmau. with her published Capgirat at Bindi Books. Vidal had already illustrated an album by Toni Giménez, The drac de l’estany . But it was before building wacky worlds, in which characters and buildings float or take on impossible perspectives.
He recently discovered that, subconsciously, he might have pulled those universes from a book he had been looking for for years. He found it one day when he was walking through Girona, in a shop window, lowered because the sun had faded it. It’s huge and she had to carry it around town. His happiness was maximum. At last he had Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay.
The Nemo cartoons are from the early 20th century; he recovered them from a publication that fascinated Vidal as a child. Each story is the dream of a child who ends up waking up after falling out of bed, and is full of elements that Vidal plays with in his work, from upside down scenes to flying buildings. Seeing him now, he hallucinated. He didn’t remember. He thought: “I have copied it from here.” Because, in his paintings, the point of attention changes depending on how you look at them, “the brain only sees what it understands”. Her father, Jordi Vidal, invented a system by which they rotate with the mechanism of a wall clock; they are different each time. Her mother, Montserrat Agulló Batlle, is the author of Memories of an au pair (family edition), is now writing the Memories of the cat Corneli . That toy store, turned into a workshop, is still a child’s dream.