The day looks splendid so the painter takes the opportunity to make the video call from his garden an orchard in front of a voluminous stone building embedded in the heart of the province of Gipuzkoa.
Inside where dozens of canvases and drawings messy paint cans and paintbrushes that have left their splatter tracks are stacked there is hardly any coverage.
It is one of the disadvantages of living in a hamlet from the 15th and 16th centuries Aitzeterdi the place that for more than two decades Juan Luis Goenaga San Sebastián 70 years old has called his home and his studio.
Another drawback of an otherwise idyllic residence is that the sun does not shine every day and the seasons of rain and gray that define the winters of the Basque Country end up weighing heavily.
Although it does not affect his mood or his creativity The fact that you paint a black landscape does not mean that you are depressed laughs the artist with a white beard and affable character despite his recognized tendency to loneliness.
Goenagas works have just left Aitzeterdi and the museums and galleries where they are usually shown to be exhibited on the big screen by Woody Allen in The Rifkin Festival a comedy set in San Sebastián that premiered in cinemas this Friday.
As happened in Vicky Cristina Barcelona with the artist Agustí Puig the filmmaker has set a local name to turn his works into one of the protagonists of the plot.
The theme of the painting is a constant in his filmography from the discussion of art by the Manhattan protagonists at the Guggenheim in New York to the meeting at Londons Tate Modern at Match Point
Allen has resorted to it time and again as context and pretext of his histories of neurosis and philosophy I dont know how its art director came to me Goenaga acknowledges but I really liked the film especially the ending plus I felt very identified with Woody Allen
Beyond a tireless creative drive the qualities that San Sebastian and New Yorker share are remarkable To begin with we are both totally Barojian characters jokes the painter
And we both settled for four landscapes he with some streets of New York I Donosti Zumaya and if I have to go far some town in Ávila Soria Burgos We Basque painters are interested in Castilla says Goenaga who has another favorite location shared with Allen Paris the city he portrayed in the 2011 film Midnight in Paris.
The artist has spent long periods there in a flat shared with other painters in the 19th district And almost all the creators that interest you have traveled there That is full of galleries he sighs There is great respect for painting
The themes that run through his work the landscape and the female body also have to do with the directors narrative interests The more songs an artist has the worse it is for him he believes
Living in the middle of nature with chickens and goats for company I have always lived alone he says although he has two children one the actress Bárbara Goenaga and grandchildren whom he visits regularly in Madrid influences both his worldview and in Allens he makes him reside in Manhattan.
From Goenagas universe the filmmaker wanted to keep not only his paintings but also his studio which he moved to another nearby hamlet given the impossibility of placing cameras in Aitzeterdi.
They took cans of paint brushes even art books recalls the artist who has a library overflowing with titles on archeology painting rock art geology And another topic that interests me Capricorns like me He says funny They are Antonio López Cézanne Baroja Allan Poe or Chillida with whom I commented and we laughed.
Referents like those have laid the foundations of his style expressionist without abandoning the figurative A review of his career entitled Goenaga is currently exhibited in the Kubo Kutxa room in Donostia I never know what Im going to paint I start with a stain and the painting starts to emerge says the artist who now also has a permanent exhibition at the Olympus of film directors.