He is still the King, tribute to José Alfredo Jiménez, exhibition by Emiliano Gironella Parra

José Alfredo Jiménez: ‘I will tell you that I came from a strange world’” is the title of the essay by Carlos Monsiváis included in the exhibition catalog He is still the King by Emiliano Gironella. In it, Monsiváis considers José Alfredo an institution of institutions that does not go out of style, whose songs are still alive, loaded with new and unexpected meanings: “Gradually, the hidden or minimized dimension of José Alfredo’s work is the most favored, and the spokesman for bartending lyrics becomes the poet of marginal desolation”. Poet because some lines of his songs “work [for the listener] like poetry, they illuminate beings, situations and personal sequences”. José Alfredo’s poetry is popular because his meaningful phrases help us feel ok with ourselves, a range of illuminations that, for lack of another name, amount to a philosophy of life.

In a series of oil paintings marked by a love of myth and the search for visible correspondence with a world both closed and open, Gironella confirms the growing and irreversible cultural and artistic recognition of José Alfredo. “In his devotion to symbols and allegories, Emiliano Gironella delivers a version of José Alfredo that illuminates the perennial relevance of a composer and a repertoire”.

He is Still the King, a tribute to José Alfredo Jiménez, was exhibited at the National Museum of Popular Cultures in 1998, Mexico City. It consists of 19 works, most of them oil paintings on different materials: linen, cardboard, wood and fabric. Also part of the exhibition are some woodcuts, a sheepskin (woodcut and oil on wood) and a cross (bottles, silver leaf on wood).