The millennials who preserve spiritual sculpture alive in Murcia: “Copying Salzillo would be ridiculous” | Culture | EUROtoday

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Model of the Santísimo Cristo de las Almas pass by Sebastián and Juan Martínez Cava.
Model of the Santísimo Cristo de las Almas cross by Sebastián and Juan Martínez Cava.

In the San Antón neighborhood of Murcia is the sculpture workshop of the Martínez Cava brothers. It's Holy Thursday, and since early morning they’ve been serving to to arrange the altars of the Church of San Pedro. “You caught us at the worst moment, everything is upside down,” apologize the younger Murcian picture makers, Juan (36 years outdated) and Sebastián (31 years outdated). Next to the instruments, the cans of plaster and paint, a model shows a dangling material: “The folds of the soldier's cloak must be real, we cannot make any wrinkles that would not really form. For the face of the man who mocks Christ, we have looked at photos of us and our friends making evil faces,” they clarify. Three sheets cowl the figures – weighing 50 kilograms every – that subsequent yr will star within the Holy Christ of Souls, the brand new step that the Brotherhood of Christ of Hope has commissioned from this duo of sculptors who’re exponents of the brand new college of images. within the metropolis of Salzillo.

When they have been little Juan and Sebastian Martínez Cava most well-liked processions to video video games. They spent the afternoons recreating Holy Week in Murcia with items of the Nativity scene they discovered round the home, till the figures have been inadequate. “We got tired of always playing with the same ones and decided to try creating them ourselves, so we would have as many as we wanted,” remembers Sebastián. At the ages of 17 and 11, enjoying with “mud sticks” grew to become a demanding pastime during which they invested all their effort and time. “When we had to opt for a professional career, we could already respond to the first commissions, even though we weren't even sure that we wanted to dedicate ourselves to sculpture,” explains Juan.

It took them a number of years to simply accept a undertaking for a procession, whereas they obtained orders from people, resembling sculptures for homes and parishes. In 2021, their first wooden carving, La Virgen de la Aurora, noticed the sunshine of day, for the brotherhood of the identical title within the metropolis of Lorca, for which they have been awarded the XIV La Hornacina Prize for sacred sculpture. “They were the first to trust us for this type of work,” admits Sebastián. Word of mouth led to the sculpture of San José, named patron and protector of the province of Almería, San Antonio of the Church of Carmen in Murcia and a San José and a Purísima as patrons of the Minor Seminary of the archbishopric of Murcia. “The award was a before and after in our career, and a way to show our parents that this profession does have a future,” says Juan.

The Martínez Cava brothers agree that the world of non secular sculpture is on the rise and the brand new college of images from southern Spain—Murcia and Andalusia—is gaining followers yearly. In Murcia, the work of the sculptor Pepe Hernández stands out, now centered on the coaching of his younger and “talented” disciples resembling Alberto Marín (25 years outdated), Antonio José Villavazquez (23 years outdated), or Pablo Espinosa of the identical age. “His works perpetuate Hernández's line, but with his own touch. The beauty of Holy Week in Murcia is the diversity of styles, we love that there is variety in the craft,” says Sebastián. The lack of reputation of the Catholic faith in new generations doesn’t forestall the renewal of sacred artwork: “Holy Week will always have its audience and so will this profession. Many of the sculptors who dedicate themselves to imagery are not believers, although it is noticeable,” Juan emphasizes.

What distinguishes civil sculpture from imagery is that spiritual items should transfer the viewer, calling individuals to hope. “If the creator does not feel that devotion, he cannot capture it and the sculpture will be very beautiful but it will be colder,” he says. The work of the picture maker not solely entails imbuing the carvings with divinity, it’s also linked to a rigorous data of saints and Gospels. “We have to break down the stories, know each scene very well or read in depth the life of the Saint we are going to sculpt,” says Sebastián. Once the scene has been studied, the sculptors form the picture based on their fashion.

For the Martínez Cava brothers, in Murcia there are two nice faculties of reference: that of Juan González Moreno, a post-war sculptor, and that of Francisco Salzillo, which these younger picture makers have opted for. The similarity of its carvings with these of the baroque genius has led the Brotherhood of Nuestro Padre Jesús de Orihuela to decide on Juan and Sebastián to get better the María Magdalena de Salzillo—misplaced in the course of the Spanish Civil War—, situated on the ft of Christ of Agony. Even so, they insist: “We do not replicate sculptures. Copying Salzillo would be ridiculous, our creation would always be inferior to the original. We follow his school but with our compositions that, indeed, leave the flavor of the 19th century. We have our own style,” says Juan. The portray of Murillos, the Roman marbles of Bernini and the sculpture of Salzillo are the three components that outline the Martínez Cava agency. “We were inspired by the fusion of these three factors, what we manage to do is another thing,” they are saying with amusing.

With this aspiration they now face the best problem of their profession: composing a procession for the procession of their Brotherhood, that of the Cristo de la Esperanza of Murcia. “Creating a carving for our city is our most ambitious project,” confesses Sebastián. The scene chosen is a second earlier than the crucifixion of Christ, when a person tries to deceive him by providing him poor high quality wine in the course of the climb to Calvary. The hopeless gaze of Christ is directed to heaven asking for comfort, “the tongue protruding between his teeth and the shape that his belly adopts indicate that this is a moment in which Jesus stops to breathe, to take a breath,” they clarify. . “With a model we have recreated the folds that form in the torso and with a doctor we have studied the veins, tendons and ligaments that are marked in the skin, we do not want to leave any loose ends,” he says.

They have large desires and are keen to provide their all in every new undertaking, however the Martínez Cava brothers desire to deal with the current: “Making the Christ of Souls is a gift from heaven. Whatever comes next we will face with enthusiasm, but it will not be comparable to what we feel debuting in our Brotherhood,” they clarify. Juan and Sebastián Martínez Cava have already started the countdown to Palm Sunday next year, when the image debuts on the streets of Murcia. “My hair stands on end just thinking about it,” confesses Sebastián.

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