The Goya sculptor criticizes the Academy for not putting the new design of the statuettes out to competition

The sculptor in charge of the design of the statuettes that have been awarded during the last 29 editions of the Goya Awards, José Luis Fernández, has asked the Academy for explanations of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the decision to dispense with his work for this edition of the Awards, and says that he has felt “ignored.”

In an open letter to the president of the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences, Mariano Barroso, José Luis Fernández, criticizes that an open and public competition has not been called to choose the new design of the ‘big heads’, a process that, according to what he indicates, he himself underwent at the time.

«My appreciation for the Academy is undeniable. However, everything that has happened makes me wonder why an open and public competition has not been called to carry out such an important change in your image, circumstance to which I was subjected at the time, and that would be expected from a public institution of the renown of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” he underlines in the writing.

According to him, this change, which will be the third design in more than 30 years of history, as Europa Press reported, has been carried out with “obscurantism” to the point that “many academics in the house were not aware of the decision”.

The sculptor was selected to design the statuette in the fourth edition of the Goya, replacing the design of the sculptor Miguel Ortiz Berrocal, which had been given to the winners since the first edition in 1987. The ‘cabezón’ designed by José Luis Fernández is an interpretation of the sculpture by Benlliure whose weight ranged between 1.7 and 2 kilos.

During this time, he adds, he has carried out the assignment every year “without any incident and with maximum professionalism, always maintaining a fluid relationship with the Academy”, from which he says he has never received a complaint.

Although, he explains that last spring a person from the institution told him to terminate the employment relationship and denounces “coldness in treatment”, by communicating it “by telephone, without any type of explanation as to the reasons.”

Likewise, the sculptor denounces that His name has been deleted from the Academy’s official website, something that causes him “stupor” and that he describes as “lack of respect and disregard” for his work, since he doubts that it is “a mere oversight.”

“I feel morally bad, it is a bad treatment of a sculptor,” insisted Fernández, who claims to have carried out this work “with a lot of love and dignity.” «I ask for a public explanation, “Why do you ignore the Academy like that?” He indicated in statements to Europa Press.

José Luis Fernández has explained that when they called him to tell him the news, he asked them if he had done something wrong, to which they replied no. “I asked, ‘Have we done something wrong?’ And they answered me that no, on the contrary, that they had decided it in a meeting,” he commented.

All the processes that the statuette goes through: the white silicone mold, the red wax one, until reaching the final bronze bust.

All the processes that the statuette goes through: the white silicone mold, the red wax one, until reaching the final bronze bust.

Alberto Ortega/Spanish Cinema Academy

As he recalled, the Film Academy contacted him 30 years ago because they had a foundry and it was “a good, manageable design” designed for an award. Since then, busts came out of his foundry every year and were later collected by the winners at the Goya Gala.

The ‘big heads’ that will be awarded at the 34th edition of the Goya Awards this Saturday, January 25, will have a new design, the third in its more than 30 years of history, by having a new bust of the Aragonese painter, an exact replica of the work of the sculptor Mariano Benlliure and which will have a “more defined” shape and more weight than the previous one, as sources from the Film Academy have indicated to Europa Press.

The first ‘cabezón’, in the 1987 edition, was a design by the sculptor Miguel Ortiz Berrocal and was a removable bronze sculpture with a film camera inside and accompanied by a Goya insignia. The weight of this award exceeded 15 kilos.

In the fourth edition, the Goyas decided to change the design and José Luis Fernández was in charge of devising a simpler one, an interpretation of the Benlliure sculpture whose weight ranged between 1.7 and 2 kilos and which is the one that has been delivered since then, until this edition.

For the gala next Saturday, the winners will collect a reproduction from an original plaster cast of the bust that Mariano Benlliure made in 1902, as the coordinator of the Goya Awards and Attention to the Academic, Nieves Martínez, explained to Europa Press. .

The Benlliure Foundation has “altruistically” donated this bust so that an exact reproduction can be made, and whose new weight will range between 2.5 and 3 kilos (each edition varies slightly as they are unique works). “Now they will have a softer, more defined shape and it is very beautiful, although you will not practically notice the difference unless you get close enough,” Martínez said.

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