Enrique “Artellano” Hernández
Vice: How is it that you’re in Spain?
Enrique: I came here to achieve a high degree of expertise in art restoration. I came direct from Mexico City. That means I am chilango.
What do you for work here in Barcelona?
I work on my sculptures and earn a living working in a bar from time to time.
From party to party too, I suppose...
Yeah, sure. I go party whenever I can. Here I feel free to dress the way I want, to try out whatever I fancy. I felt more oppressed in Mexico—that society is a bit restrictive. In spite of that, though, we don’t know our own limits when it comes to partying. We are party animals. It’s in our blood.
What are your impressions of Spanish society?
Regarding fashion, partying, and controversial things such as drugs, Spain is far more open-minded than Mexico.
What’s your take on the Spanish ladies?
They have a lot of character and personality, and they’re smart. In a nutshell, they’re gorgeous. Among them I’d choose the Basque women—they greet you with open arms, and they are beautiful as well. Swedish women rank first place for me, then the Spanish women, and finally the Mexicans. Mexican women are very prudish. Not my cup of tea.
So you don’t miss Mexican women. Is there anything from Mexico you really long for?
Food, food, and food, obviously. Mexico is all about landscape, friendly people, and good food. They have good dishes here too, like the paella of La Fonda and the snacks of La Champañería.
What foods would you bring here from Mexico?
The pozole [corn soup] stand outside the Coyoacán market, no doubt. If someone from Spain goes to Mexico I’d suggest they go to Mazunte beach in Oaxaca to have an ice-cold beer and a quesadilla. And some LSD. That will do it.
How long would you like to stay in Spain?
I’d like to be here until they give me the boot. Then I’ll go back to Mexico to grow old there, and die in my own country. There’s nothing like living in another country and going back home to die.
Because of the colonial era, a lot of Mexican people we know still have this idea of Spain as their “mother country.” Do you think the same way?
Yeah, sure. Somehow we’re the mixed product of cultural, social, racial, and religious encounters. Spain is a part of our past. There’s no way us Mexicans can deny that.
So… What’s with the patch?
It was a present someone gave me during a carnival party. Since then it has become part of my look. And, well, it’s also my particular way of saying “NO to piracy!” [_laughs_]