In 2001 «Editorial Alfadil» (Caracas) published Aldo Macor’s 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.

Some of the following fragments specifically relate to his experience as a sculptor. Unfortunately only these have been translated so far. The whole story, in Spanish, can be downloaded by clicking here.


• «Maybe» customers and ladies with a Paolina Borghese complex (fragment)
• A souvenir for the bedside table (fragment)
• The Paternity in Puerto Ordaz and St. Peter’s statue in Rome (fragment)
• The holy testicles (fragment)
• The President and the Emperor

 

«Maybe» customers and ladies with
a Paolina Borghese complex
(fragment)

«Maybe» customers are the ones who call up to notify me: «Maybe over the weekend we will pass by your studio. You are always there, aren’t you?».

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 o’clock 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.

(Full story in Spanish)

 

A souvenir for the bedside table (fragment)

Once an old friend of mine called on me. He was about my age, was an engineer and belonged to a very well known family. The two couples that is my wife and I and his wife and he, were very fond of each other.

This time he turned up with a young lady, not his wife.

«She is Architect Soandso, my assistant».

My wife and myself were ill at ease. Gabriella was his wife’s 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 in alarm.

«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...».

(Full story in Spanish)

 

The Paternity in Puerto Ordaz and St. Peter in Rome (fragment)

In 1992 the Paternity monument was unveiled in Puerto Ordaz.

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 don’t know what happened, maybe the mysterious and mischievous gnome that always spurs me to kindly mock myself and the others made me tell the journalist something about the sculptures in Rome.

I wonder why I started talking about St. Peter’s bronze statue that can be seen in the Vatican’s Cathedral. It was founded centuries ago and its right foot, naked in the fisherman’s 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 Saint’s 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. Peter’s 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 Saint’s 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 father’s 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».

(Full story in Spanish)

 

The holy testicles (fragment)

In 1995 a Catholic priest I had known for at least ten years called on me at my studio, not as a minister but simply as a friend. I respected him for his brilliant intelligence that allowed conversations free from dogmatic reins.

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.
After some time he turned up in my atelier but this time he was accompanied by two priests and two devout laymen.

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 Bishop’s visit the faithful began kneeling in front of it. For me it was a funny feeling.

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 Christ’s nakedness, at the Savior’s Testicles. Apparently they are quite bulky», he said.

«Macor, you must solve this problem».

(Full story in Spanish)

 

The President and the Emperor

Once an important person came to my studio. None less than the President of a South American state.

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.
In my studio we had some very nice conversations on different topics while I was modeling his bust.

Once, in order to show me that sometimes the powerful recognize an artist’s 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 Titian’s brush, a commoner’s 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 chit chat.

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 husband’s 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 V».

A few seconds of strained silence until I heard the President‘s roaring laughter.

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