Juan Echanove, actor: «In 'Rojo' we talk about the artist before the abyss of authenticity»

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Rothko is one of the essential figures of twentieth-century painting and abstract expressionism. His passionate life and the conflictive relationship with the world of art defined this creator to whom Echanove gives life accompanied by Ricardo Gómez, the Carlitos of 'Cuéntame', in the role of his assistant.

-Rothko says in the play that "there is tragedy in every brushstroke." Was he so passionate and tormented?

-It was the passion and the dissatisfaction that the world did not see the painting as he did or that it did not occupy within the panorama of artists of the moment the place that he thought he should have. That leads to despair, to act with passion, but ending in a desperate act.

«Ricardo and I fall dragged onto the stage by the need to tell the truth of these characters»

-'Red 'speaks of the abyss of artistic creation in general?

Yes, especially the abyss of authenticity. What it really means to have some principles, some ideas and the seriousness of carrying out your work of art in front of the market. That moment of deciding on authenticity is really the dizzying moment, the moment of the precipice.

-The money, the conversion of art into money, the position of the artist before all this.

-The market is something you should not succumb to. You can live with it, but you can not give it the ability to decide on the authenticity of art. In art, the authenticity of the artist and the involvement of the spectator fundamentally work.

-In 'Arte', by Yasmina Reza, a tragicomedy was made with the art world. In 'Red' is there space outside the drama?

-The viewer can laugh, even because of the character's own inhumanity and because of the tyrannical relationship he has with his young assistant. But in reality it is a trap because the author in the next corner is waiting for you with the mallet. His intention is not to make the spectator suffer, but he shows us five moments of suffering in front of the work of art that are complex, human, sometimes limits. The author manages to make everyone understand that Rothko was like that. And that's why he is who he is today. And that is why he committed suicide at a given moment when the irruption of 'pop art' had somehow ended up with the social position of abstract expressionists.

-When he came a few years ago to represent 'Conversaciones con mamá' he said that "being passionate is a way of being generous with life". Does this function also talk about that?

-Definitely. In all the functions, not even in the trials, we have been able neither Ricardo nor I to mark a template of movements or a scheme to work on. And at the moment we are on stage we fall dragged by the need to tell the truth of these characters. And that's where the great gift that is working with Ricardo Gómez has jumped me, because he is an accomplice of all this. He knows how to interpret in those areas, he knows how to grant truth to the characters and being so young to be able to observe that from so close to me is a gift.

-Why did you choose Ricardo Gómez to accompany him on stage?

-I've known him since he was 6 years old and now he's 25. The level of precision and mastery he has in the tables is something that a television series has not given him or his age. It has given the effort that has been raised from the start. Even as a child he was very intelligent and realized that this is a lifelong profession and that for the level of learning, study and improvement it was no longer worth only the success of television. You had to work. He put on his overalls, climbed the scaffolding and now look at him. I think he's one of the most promising actors of this generation, which is hugely promising.

«In the theater and in the kitchen, thinking about the tastes of the public can delay the creative potential»

-Ricardo and you maintain a kind of very funny series on Instagram that, basically, tells that the young man gives a huge saber to the veteran on the tour.

-It really likes people. It arose because if you're on a tour two people have the option of ending up losing face to work on stage or you're looking for fun on the other hand. We do two hours of maximum concentration with 'Rojo' and with the rest you have to enjoy life and laugh. And in that sense Ricardo and I have a lot of connection. We recorded the first video and we saw that we could continue with the joke that he is a cheapskate and I am always calling him to order. And that's how we got a few little chapters. And in San Sebastian you'll see!

-What will we see?

– Man, please, among other things he owes me, I took him to Dickens to take the best gin and tonic that this kid has ever tried in his life. And who paid it? Well I. We will see now.

-As an expert and a lover of good food, what place, if any, does he think he has haute cuisine in art?

-Jo! It has a lot to do with authenticity and everything we develop in 'Rojo'. In that authenticity Rothko happens a bit like with the top of the kitchen. We have passed a time in which creators who were not up to that top, have simply taken six or seven common places of haute cuisine and have built a discourse that actually has more to do with the forms than with the background. I think that phase has passed. The kitchen of the best is no longer contaminated and there is a middle class that now poses if your audience wants that or not; Whether this is art, crafts or business. This moment is of redefinition, which coincides a little with the one we live in the country. We are all resetting. And the same thing happens in the theater.

– And what place does the diner occupy in the creation of haute cuisine?

-Very important, but not boss. The same as in high-level theater or in a risky theater, sometimes thinking about whether you like it or not can delay the creative potential a lot. And when we are talking about the highest kitchen, one does not pay 200 euros to get chicken no matter how good it is. You will be the architect of something that emerges in a unique and excellent way. And if you do not understand it, it's better that you do not go.

– The creator to grow has to forget who he directs his work?

-If you do not forget, do not make a strict case. You can not forget that the restaurant is full or avoid thinking you have 34 people and not one more waiting for what you do. But, be careful, the public is the public and those inside are those inside. If not, the show would not work, neither in the kitchen nor in the theater.

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