Alfadil» (Caracas) published Aldo Macors first memoir
book under the title Venezuela, ¡qué vaina! («Venezuela,
What a Mess!»). In it the author narrates sketches of his 50
years in Venezuela and some of his youth in Italy.
• «Maybe» customers and ladies
with a Paolina Borghese complex (fragment)
customers and ladies with
These Venezuelan approximations have always got on
my nerves. Luckily Venezuela has plenty of other compensations but these
«maybe» and such generic «over the weekend» make
me stay nailed down at home from Saturday morning through Sunday night,
keep the studio tidy and try to prevent my grandchildren from messing
it all up by which I risk the good relationship with my son and daughter
in law who are followers of the new pedagogic doctrine of not creating
psychological traumas to their offspring.
Besides, this type of customers make me delay a bar-B-Q
I had planned for Sunday.
So I will have to explain to my would be guests some
approximation such as: Lets put off the bar-B-Q to next weekend because
during this one «maybe» some people will pay me a visit between
six oclock this Saturday morning up to Sunday at midnight and «maybe»
they will buy a sculpture.
My friends will possibly answer that «maybe» next weekend they will be unable to come to my bar-B-Q because their children will come for a visit from Maracaibo.
Now, Sunday afternoon, when I am beginning to be
cross because my «maybe» customers have neither come nor called,
it may well happen that the other friends, the ones whose bar-B-Q had
been put off, will turn up:
«Well Aldo, we decided to come just the same
because our children who had said that maybe would come from
Maracaibo next weekend turned up yesterday and would like to see your
studio, here they are, the three of them and their wives and children».
In the meantime a million children are getting out of the cars and beginning to touch the sculptures and demand cokes.
A souvenir for
the bedside table (fragment)
This time he turned up with a young lady, not his
«She is Architect Soandso, my assistant».
My wife and myself were ill at ease. Gabriella was
his wifes friend and it was clear something was wrong. The idea
of his calling on us with a «friend» was in bad taste.
Anyway we started seeing the sculptures until, at
a certain moment, my friend and I remained alone as the girls had retired
to talk about the incredible things women share even when they do not
like each other.
«Aldo, I must tell you, of all people»,
said my friend with a tone of secrecy a soviet spy might have used.
«Hell, I know. You know women detect these
things and they do not like them».
«Why, is it so noticeable?», he inquired
«Of course! Do you want me to make a portrait
of her, naked?», I quipped ironically, to ease his tension.
«Fuck off, I know better than that. I want
something, I want...» and he started looking at me in a queer way
like a dog who has made some mischief. «I want you to... Well really
she would like...».
in Puerto Ordaz and St. Peter in Rome
I was told this sculpture is the largest ever molded
and founded in Venezuela so far. Whether this is true or not, I am not
too sure but, anyway, whether or not I deserve this Venezuelan Guinness
award, the mere fusion involved eight hundred kilos of bronze and many
technical problems. Besides, due to the folkloric interpretations of State
Administration, the payment was long delayed and never completed.
But this is not my story.
A few minutes prior the inauguration ceremony, a
young lady approached me, she introduced herself as a journalist and wanted
to interview me for a local newspaper.
I wonder why I started talking about St. Peters
bronze statue that can be seen in the Vaticans Cathedral. It was
founded centuries ago and its right foot, naked in the fishermans
sandals goes a little beyond the original pedestal as if to invite the
faithful to notice it. And notice they did, of course: through centuries
they have knelt down in front of the statue and have kissed and touched
the Saints foot.
«As time went by, the bronze has been consumed»
I told the poor journalist while she seriously and professionally took
down my words on her booklet «as a consequence St. Peters
foot in Rome has practically no toes».
Again my mischievous gnome made me tell the journalist
that something similar would happen to my Paternity. The young lady looked
at me curiously. She had precious blonde hair that played with the sun
rays, but her look was cautious.
«But», I pointed out, «my statue
is not a Saints statue. It represents a young father, a sturdy,
naked man showing his force and manliness while he kneels down to throw
playfully his son in the air. Actually the statue represents fatherly
love, it is like a hymn to procreation».
The girl kept writing down whatever I said.
«You must have noticed that in the fathers statue, his masculine attributes are very well in sight», I went on. She had a moment of indecision but kept writing down.
According to ancient Greek and Roman traditions any
statue representing paternity is a good omen for brides. Those who wanted
to get married and have children would go near and touch its manhood».
The journalist was a little uneasy but kept writing bravely: «the
touch will bring luck in getting a husband or have children».
The holy testicles
He stood in front of a sculpture, a middle size high
relief I had sculptured completely on my own, nobody had commissioned
it: a Resurging Christ. In the representation I wanted to show one leg
melting into the raw matter in order to obtain a major depth in the high
relief; the ideas was to obtain a sense of movement toward a certain point
of perspective. For me it had been a study, in a certain measure it was
an art proof.
The priest liked the sculpture very much and I gave
him a gypsum cast copy of it.
They wanted to know if I could reproduce that work
to a much larger scale, over three meters in height for the main altar
of a church. I accepted immediately. We figured out the financial details
of the agreement. The sponsor was the most devout of the two laymen, of
course, ready to buy a free entry to Paradise.
The sculpture came out very well. The parson liked
it, as well as the other members of the parish and the curious who went
by. And it was inaugurated.
An inauguration, in the case of religious images,
at least as far as Catholic imagery is concerned, implies a consecration
by the Bishop.
In order to transform a sculpture into an object
of adoration a leader of the church must intervene. After the Bishops
visit the faithful began kneeling in front of it. For me it was a funny
I was vastly congratulated and went back to Caracas.
A month later the parson called me and asked me to
reach him because a big problem had recently arisen.
I went immediately, curious.
The parson took me to the my majestically Resurging
Christ, with his arms open and his legs suggesting movement.
Apparently there was nothing to worry about. The
priest took me right to the very end of the Church after bending down
in genuflection in front of the altar.
He stuck his head to the wall and straining his neck
he told me:
«Well Maestro, I know you are going to laugh, but some of the ladies who always come to Church, told me that in this position, if you stand right here and look up you can have a glimpse, under the holy cloth that covers Christs nakedness, at the Saviors Testicles. Apparently they are quite bulky», he said.
«Macor, you must solve this problem».
and the Emperor
This President came more than once, at times alone
and sometimes with his wife. I was very fond of him and by the way he
recommended me for several sculpture jobs.
Once, in order to show me that sometimes the powerful
recognize an artists value, he told me a story that I actually already
knew but I pretended not to remember out of sheer courtesy. I could not
certainly tell him «why yes I already know it», as if it was
a worn out joke.
So he told an anecdote about Titian who at a certain
time was painting a portrait of the Emperor Charles V.
In those days the painting of a portrait was a social
and mundane event so that while Titan was painting and the Emperor posing,
the important courtesans were going around. All of the sudden Titian dropped
a brush and Charles V got up from his chair, bent down and picked up the
brush handing it to Titian with a smile.
Oh wonder, oh scandal! The whole Court was aghast.
How on earth is it possible that His Imperial Majesty, the Anointed by
the Lord, picks up with his very Hands Titians brush, a commoners
brush, after all!
Charles V, who besides being the Emperor was also
a great man, emphatically answered:
«At this very moment there are three Emperors
in the World: I, the Great Turk and the Chinese Emperor. But Titian is
the only one».
This sentence silenced the courtesans scandalized
As soon as the President finished telling his story
I smiled and crossed a gaze with his wife, the First Lady.
She smiled too at her husbands story but, who
knows why, she must have felt that a clarifying statement was in order:
«Maestro, just remember you are not Titian».
My answer was quick and thoughtless:
«Of course, but neither your husband is Charles
A few seconds of strained silence until I heard the Presidents roaring laughter.