CRISTÓBAL FORTÚNEZ, FAUNA MONGOLA: Illustrated Animals

By Teresa de Andrés. March 26, 2012

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Cristóbal Fortúnez dissects animals behind sunglasses and a screen-notebook where he draws us all dressed up as hipsters, football players, saints, snobs and night posers. We stroll with no direction on the streets of Madrid, by now filled with concrete and Coke heroes.

Fauna Mongola de Madrid is one of those spots we always visit, hopeful/less, when everything else doesn’t make sense anymore. Smile, please.


Is there life after cliché?
Life is made of clichés. To get to the bottom of the clichés is not as banal as it may seem.

Can anyone be a potential character for your illustrations? Can you resist the temptation to label the people you speak with?
In fact, to label people is only a survival strategy. Something we all do to a greater or lesser extent in order to adapt to the environment. Most of the time we do it without thinking. I do, also. Only if I am paying attention I notice I am doing it.

Would you say that the characters of your drawings are happy?
Yes, because they are my kids, and they will always have everything they need.

They are, on the whole, quite “universal”, although there are a few devoted specially to the art world. Have you thought about doing a whole series about this artistic "fauna"?
No... I have lost contact with those circles. I have been a bit idle these last months, but I would say that I am more and more interested by people who apparently don’t pretend to be “anything”. The attitude exists in all spheres, but in some it dresses up as Zizek and in others as Jiménez Losantos [Spanish journalist, co-founder of the right-wing newspaper Libertad Digital].

Your drawings wouldn’t be the same without the texts that go with them. How do you understand this relationship between what you draw and what you write?
The texts are a subjective explanation of something that is already subjective, the illustration. The texts try to expand the illustration’s range of action. That's because I am not such a good illustrator and there are a thousand nuances that I know I can't explain if I don't tell them.

Fauna Mongola’s tag line is "My reasons to disconnect the Internet and get out on the streets to see people". Do you spend a lot of time in front of the screen? Apocalyptic or integrated?
Very integrated. I spend a lot of time in front of the computer for work reasons. I can tell you the colour of its eyes with my eyelids closed.

Although we all have an exact repetition of ourselves in another city anywhere in the world, do you think there is something that makes Madrid unique?
No. I adore Madrid because it is like the flee market sales version of the European present. There is a more handsome, smarter and better Cristóbal Fortúnez in every European city, and possibly in Barcelona and A Coruña.

Do you think there is something like “normal people”?
No. But I love how easy people dress up in that label to differentiate themselves from the rest. To be normal is to lie to yourself all the time.

Three things that make you laugh.
Photos of my friends deformed with Photoshop, all the conspiranoia and the Spanish sitcom Qué vida más triste. For example.

If you lift your head from the screen, right now, what do you see?
A signed photo of Norma Duval.


* What is the soundtrack of this interview?
Grime’s latest album.



Cristóbal Fortúnez lives Madrid and brightens up our life with his drawings in Fauna Mongola.

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