On December 21 I read in several publications about the selection of a poster to announce the 2008 taurine season at the Maestranza Bullring in Seville. The information, appropriately, did not criticize the selection, and the news was illustrated with a rare image of the poster, so that readers could form their own opinion about how wise the selection was. Since I do not have permission to reproduce the cartel, I will merely say that the image represented in the poster would be more appropriate to promote the sale of meat at a butcher’s shop or to promote a bow and arrow hunting expedition than to announce a series of bullfights in one the most prestigious bullrings in Spain.
Many opinions about the appropriateness of the cartel appeared immediately in the taurine chart rooms, and the majority of the e-mails were extremely negative. I have to admit that I also reacted negatively, although I was more offended by the wrong message the crude image could send than by the artistic quality of the painting. So I expressed my opinion, first to a few aficionado friends with whom I correspond regularly, and later I sent an email to the Mundo Taurino chat room. In these communications basically I expressed thoughts similar to the ones I am expressing bellow:
The cartel announcing the Seville taurine season is esthetically unattractive. Of course, that could be open to discussion, since there is no accounting for taste. What really angers me is that the persons who have chosen the image of a bull upside down pierced by an arrow, and bleeding, to announce bullfights, seem to ignore that the Fiesta Brava is undergoing attacks claming that it is cruel and bloody without any redeeming values
In view of the extent of the publicity throughout the world of the Feria de Sevilla, is amazing that an image that, in a certain manner, represents violence not art was chosen to promote bullfighting. That image will be seen by millions of people to include a goodly number of whom are antitaurine. Those persons will use this image to reinforce the false concept that aficionados like raw violence, instead of beauty and art. In an era when we are obsessed with being politically correct, the last thing that should be done is to provide ammunition to the antitaurine guerillas.
I have commented several times on the unattractive nature of recent taurine posters from Seville. Then, my opinion was based on esthetics and on the breaking with tradition of what a taurine cartel should be, even acknowledging and allowing for different pictorial styles, but in this case my complaint is based on socio-political and public relations reasons.
I conclude by reaffirming my opinion that the people involved in the process of selecting the cartel for the first or the second most prestigious feria in the taurine world are probably intellectual geniuses, but apparently leave something to be desired when it comes to common sense, since they have chosen an image that emphasizes violence instead of art.
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