Emiliano Gironella Parra (Born Mexico City, 1972). Gironella´s first academic training in the visual arts was at Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan (1990-1992).
As a student, Gironella´s interests centered on photography and cinema, but soon his artistic practice expanded to include painting, engraving and woodcuts. He has become a recognized specialist of the latter, which he utilizes to produce large monotypes on paper. Early on his work exhibited decidedly Mexican currents, surely inherited from his parents and the national cultural environment in which he was raised. These include traditional and popular themes ranging from bulls, cockfights, tributes to José Alfredo Jiménez and the cantina lifestyle; but also venture into the literary realm. He has produced work dedicated to “Greguerías” by Ramón Gómez de la Serna; the poem “Muerte sin fin” by José Gorostiza; “Pozos” by Juan Rulfo; “Primero Sueño” by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz; and “El Payaso de las Bofetadas y el Pescador de caña” by León Felipe.
In recent years, his series “México al Filo” has been critical of drug trafficking and the problems it has generated. “Artempatía,” is a refreshing artistic and pedagogical project that highlights the power of art against violence. The series includes sculptural work in methacrylate and bronze. While some pieces are shocking and dramatic, others exhibit evident critical irony. In addition, he has developed lesser-known, equally provocative work including digital photographs and site-specific interventions (Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato), as well as animated short films and installations in homage to contemporary artists including Jasper Johns, Rothko, J. Albers, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Gironella has always been active in social causes, and in 2011 his foundation Manos Manchadas de Pintura, A.C. began to organize socio-artistic workshops designed for children of police officers fallen in the line of duty and children living in high-risk situations. The foundation produces interactive artistic actions as an outlet for victims of violence by proposing new ways of coping with pain through collective creativity. King’s College of London invited Gironella to participate in Mexican Visualities: Critical Approaches to Identity, Image and Violence, with his “Artempatía” project that emerged from the workshops.
On the 75th anniversary of the Colegio de México, Gironella completed the mural “Exile” in the school´s library. He exhibited “Heróes y Cicatrices” at the National Museum of Popular Cultures, Mexico City; and “Artempatia / Empathy Art” was shown in Los Angeles, with Jason Vass in cooperation with the Getty Museum. On July 13, 2017, the day designated to commemorate the Mexican Federal Police, Gironella received recognition from President Enrique Peña Nieto for his project Manos Manchadas de Pintura. In 2018 his visual interpretation of the poem “Wasteland,” by T.S. Eliot, was published with a new Spanish translation. In October 2019, he presented the book Pluma y Plomo, which illustrates the meeting of Cortés and Moctezuma with 52 original works complementing texts by historians Christian Duverger and Luis Barjau. In November of the same year, Gironella and director Enrique Arroyo received the Malvinas award at the 34th Trieste Latin American Cinema Festival for the feature film Cicatriz Arte, an audiovisual document of the workshops designed for children of federal police officers. As part of the 48th Cervantino Festival, Gironella exhibited the series Pluma y Plomo, and in October of 2021 he participated as a speaker in the XXX Cervantino Colloquium and presented his exhibition Cortés: Escritor / Cortes: Writer at the Don Quixote Iconographic Museum in Guanajuato.