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Artista: Eduardo Arroyo

 

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Eduardo Arroyo Rodríguez (Madrid, February 26, 1937) is a Spanish painter with a figurative style linked to pop art. Key to the new Spanish figuration, Arroyo took center stage in the national artistic circuit late, from the 80s, after a withdrawal of two decades forced by the Franco regime. Currently, his works hang in the most reputable Spanish museums and his creativity extends to theatrical sets and illustrated editions.

He was born in Madrid, but has Leonese roots. After finishing his degree in Journalism (1957), he moved to Paris ("like many others", according to him) fleeing from the suffocating atmosphere of the Franco regime. He left behind a first stage as a cartoonist with incipient flirtations in painting, although his first vocation was to write, a task that continues to this day.
He combined writing with painting, but already in 1960 he was living off his work as a painter. His critical attitude towards dictatorships, both political and artistic, pushed him to controversial initiatives. He opted for figurative painting in a few years of overwhelming dominance of abstract painting in Paris, and his first themes were reminiscent of "Black Spain" (effigies of Philip II, bullfighters, dancers) but in a caustic and non-romantic key. From a material use of color, Arroyo would move on to a technique more typical of "pop art", with lively colors and a smoother brushstroke. An early example of this is "Robinson Crusoe", from 1965 (Lausanne, Cantonal Museum of BB.AA.).
Arroyo exhibited in a collective in Paris as early as 1960 (“Salon de la Joven Pintura”), but his first public impact occurred three years later, when he presented a series of effigies of dictators at the III Paris Biennial, which provoked protests of the Spanish government. Also in 1963, Arroyo prepared an exhibition at the Biosca gallery in Madrid, which would open without his presence, since he had to flee to France pursued by the police; the exhibition was censored and closed after a few days.