Emiliano Zapata’s painting to be part of controversial art collection
The painting sparked a homophobic controversy in Mexico - Photo: Marco Ugarte/AP

Emiliano Zapata’s painting to be part of controversial art collection

15/01/2020
14:21
EFE
Mexico City
-A +A
Spanish businessman Tatxo Benet recently purchased “La Revolución” by Mexican artist Fabián Chairez due to the censorship surrounding it

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Spanish businessman Tatxo Benet recently added a new piece to his “controversial” art collection thanks to the purchase of “La Revolución” by Fabián Chairez, a piece that shows Emiliano Zapata naked, wearing high heels, and a pink hat riding a white horse that sparked several critiques in Mexico.

In a statement to EFE, Benet explains that the piece interests him due to the “censorship” surrounding it and for the shows of disapproval it caused since it became known in late November in the exhibition “Emiliano: Zapata after Zapata,” in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

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The businessman and journalist Tatxo Benet, directive of group Mediapro, showed satisfaction for the purchase of “La Revolución” and considers it “essential” for his art collection, made up by some 70 pieces “that have been censored for any reason of pressure group.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida de Fabian Chairez (@fabian_chairez) el

“The piece breaks the myth of Mexican masculinity and has provoked repulsion among farmers, who see Zapata as an idol,” added Benet.

In that sense, the businessman stresses that artistic censorship does not attend ideologies and that “pressure groups are very diverse, not only made up of conservatives.”

Progressive censorship is not called ‘censorship,’ but ‘the politically correct’,” added Benet, who sees the purchase of controversial pieces as an opportunity to give them the visibility they deserve.”

“In many cases, the censored pieces become cursed; their authors abandon them in the studio and they are never exhibited again,” says the collector.

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Benet celebrated the purchase of “La Revolución” and, although he did not reveal the price he paid, he asserted there was “a lot of competition” to acquire it.

As he added, his offer was not “the most interesting,” but the author of the painting accepted it, “lowering his economic expectations,” to be part of Benet’s art collection along with names like Joan Tàpies, Ai Weiwei, David Cerny, Marta Minujín, and Robert Mapplethorpe.

A group of pieces of “very variable artistic value” but with an “interesting story behind,” that the businessman has been gathering since 2018, when he bought the installation “Political prisoners in contemporary Spain,” by Santiago Sierra, removed from the ARCO de Madrid Fair

After being exhibited through several Spanish cities, Sierra’s pieces will now continue its way through Europe and will soon stop in Poland, according to Benet.

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Following the steps of this installation, “La Revolución” will arrive at Catalonia in Summer, after the conclusion of its exhibition in Mexico and Texas, to be shown to the public along with other 25 pieces of the Spanish businessman’s collection.

The Mexican Revolution leader’s family saw the painting as an offense and accused its author of harming Zapata’s dignity while several users joined critiques in social networks by posting homophobic comments.

The anger was also shared by farmers organizations in Mexico who requested the piece be removed from the exhibition and from all the publicity promoting the exhibition where it was portrayed.

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