Wednesday, October 18, 2017

An arts festival in Porto - Mab - A love story - only lovers left alive

A love story within an arts festival in 2012 at Porto

Logo by Portuguese artist Jorge Grator

Mab - Arts festival with design by German artist Lars Henkel

I remember thinking one day in 2011 in organizing an international arts festival named Mab with a person that was my partner and with whom I've shared a life with and with a real small team named Invicta Indie Arts and that joined animation, illustration, comic books, friendship with lots of love to the city where I was born that's named Porto.
 The idea of it was being developped in my mind, heart and soul for more than one year with international artists that I've had in several languages 
 I've figured in my mind joining mainstream with indie arts, international with Portuguese artists, mainly focused in Fine Arts University of Porto with exhibitions, animation presented live by directors, exclusive talks about upcoming books with their artists, signings and at the same time with exhibitions at Metro - Porto subway stations, at World Press cartoon at Porto, at museums and even at a place named Casa Viva for Portuguese artists.
 The promotion of this sucessful event named Mab was made at newspapers, coffeeshops, bookstores, local Porto stores, all stores with Fnac brand in the district of Porto, inside Porto subway lines within Metropolitan Porto district  through social networks, at Niepoort wine company, Goethe institut and French institut in Porto, at Porto Universities, Fantasporto - international films festival,  live at Portuguese Radio, Shortcutz - International short movies festival and Portuguese National TV.

Live at Portuguese TV

At Livraria Lello (well known internationally for being the bookstore that appears in  J.K. Rowling's  Harry Potter movies)

Inside Porto Subway district area

At one of Fnac stores in Porto

At Fantasporto - International movie festival 

MAB being introduced at Portuguese TV and all countries that have Portuguese as oficial language

At Fine Arts University of Porto

At Boémia Caffee - Boavista Porto

At Candelabro bar - Downtown Porto
At Garça Real coffeeshop - Downtown Porto
At Orfeuzinho coffeeshop in Boavista - Porto
At Shortcutz - International short movies festival in Porto
At Ovelha Negra Store - Downtown Porto

In Porto's streets with flyers 

Preparing exhibition about Hal Foster's Prince Valiant 50th anniversary at one of the metro stations that gathers more people every single day in Porto at the beautiful São Bento train station.

Hal Foster's Prince Valiant exhibition finished - 01

Hal Foster's Prince Valiant exhibition finished - 02

While programing this arts event in Porto in 2012 from 10th to 18th March, my mind, heart and soul were overflowing, because I knew that I was trying to join several arts in the city where I was born while having the presence in this art festival magnificient international and Portuguese artists that were the cases of Melinda Gebbie from U.S.A, David Hine from U.K., Dominique Goblet from Belgium, Lars Henkel from Germany, Olivier Deprez from France, Fabio Civitelli from Italy and Portuguese artists Regina Pessoa, Ricardo Cabral among many others for two weekends.
 I didn't pretend this to be a comic con but a gathering of arts from several countries in the world.

 It was fun hosting German artist Lars Henkel that works in illustration and animation all over the world and that showed his animations to an audience.

With German artist Lars Henkel

Lars Henkel drawing
Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Lars Henkel - 01

Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Lars Henkel - 02
Niepoort - Wine label with artwork by Lars Henkel

Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Lars Henkel

 American artist Melinda Gebbie that was a fascinating presence in this festival with book signings and a live talk about her solo work as an artist and also the one that she creates with her husband that's one of the best writers ever and that's named Alan Moore.   

Exclusive live talk to an audience at Mab by Melinda Gebbie
With my partner back then at a Niepoort house at a dinner for artits and Mab's organization

During signings with my partner back then

With French artist Olivier Deprez 

At Niepoort - wine brand designing labels for bottles

Niepoort - Wine label with artwork by Melinda Gebbie

Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Melinda Gebbie

 British artist David Hine that wrote and several comic books from well know comic book characters such as Batman, Spawn or Darkness comic books among his most personal projects Strange Embrace or Bulletproof coffin with Shaky Kane. 

With David Hine  

David Hine signing books
Belgium artist Dominique Goblet that 's one of the founders of Freon movement that was based more on literarure mixed with arts was an extraordinary artist that I've loved hosting also in this arts festival, real professional, sweet and passionate about her work.   

Dominique Goblet signing books
Dominique Goblet with my Partner at that time 
Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer
Niepoort - Wine label by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer

Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer

French artist Olivier Deprez that 's one of the founders of Freon movement that was based more on literarure mixed with arts was an extraordinary artist that I've loved hosting also in this arts festival, real professional and passionate about his work. 

Olivier Deprez sketching

Niepoort - Wine label sketch by Olivier Deprez
Niepoort - Wine label with artwork by Olivier Deprez
Niepoort - bottle wine label with artwork by Olivier Deprez

Italian artist Fabio Civitelli was a real magnificient artist to host, he's known more because of his work and his passion for Tex Wyller iconic comic book character and he also gave an exclusive live talk to an audience about this character and the sudden passing then (with an homage exhibition at Mab) of Italian publisher, editor and Tex Wyller creator Sergio Bonelli.   .

Fabio Civitelli Signing 

With a friend and Fabio Civitelli 

Original drawing of Tex Wyller in Porto by Fabio Civitelli 

Portuguese artist Regina Pessoa that's an animation director that won several international awards in animation festivals in the world and she was nice, kind and a professional.
 She also presented and talked about her animations to an audience.

Me and Regina Pessoa

Live screening of Regina Pessoa's animations 
Niepoort wine label by Regina Pessoa

It was awesome having several Portuguese artists in this arts festival and they were really nice and professional

Portuguese artists Colectivo A Zona 

What moved me back then in order to do this arts festival was not a political statement or public money, because this arts festival was organized without any budget at all from the Portuguese government, but the love of arts, friendship, loving life while gathering people from all over the world in a city as beautiful as Porto and at Douro region with the support of Niepoort wine brand where the artists worked as a team with me on labels for bottles to be exported to countries such as France, Portugal, Belgium, Uk and Germany.
 Sometimes, I think on the artists joy while drinking Portuguese wine (even British writer and one of the best ever named Alan Moore drank it) with the help of a simple arts festival in Porto named Mab organized by me and a small team under a concept known as Invicta Indie Arts and a smile appears on my lips, heart and soul.

With Portuguese animation directors Abi Feijó and Regina Pessoa, Belgium artist Dominique Goblet, French artist Olivier Deprez, American artist Melinda Gebbie, German artists Kai Pfeiffer and Lars Henkel at Douro region at a Niepoort house.   

With my partner back then 

 I remember arriving home after this festival or my work and telling my partner that I was really tired and that I've organized all this thinking on our future together with my kitty Ilvie that was always looking at me while I was thinking and working for this festival and that I've missed her a lot while I was away from home. 
(I still miss my kitty and she's always in my heart and soul).

My kitty Ilvie

 Today, I'm an world wide exhibition curator, writer, consultant editor at American book publishing house Fantagraphics with my work recognized in several languages such as Finnish, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, Japanese, Swedish,Italian and in several countries in this world.
 I think that I continue working a lot and with help by several worldwide well known international artists while curating exhibitions, organizing book collections, writing stories or personal projects. 
 Years pass by, people get mad at one another and I don't know "why" because I really believe in a feeling called love, a feeling called life and not on political statements or such a fleeing thing called "cash" (that every human being needs to survive and I understand that we all have a belly to feed and I always worked real hard to feed not only my belly but also helping feeding the bellies of people who were part of my life, my family or my pets with no love lost) that drives people crazy.

To be continued in other stories/narratives in this same blogue about my work and some moments in life that I've passed in the last year and that I'm passing in this one also.

Da mui nobre sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto
Manuel Espírito Santo