Psychalyptic Pepito Zamora from the cinema magazine

Psychalyptic Pepito Zamora from the cinema magazine

The temporary exhibition at the Sitges Museums Pepito Zamora, a magazine artist, rescues from oblivion the figure of the cartoonist and costume designer who was born in Madrid on June 1, 1892 and died in Sitges on December 4, 1971.

One of the great revelations of the exhibition is, precisely, the date of birth of José Zamora Vaxeras, supported by the literal copy of his birth certificate that has been preserved in the Municipal Historical Archive of Sitges. Many other documents are part of the legacy that entered the foundation funds in 1976. The legacy was probably collected in the apartment at 28 Joan Maragall Street, where he died, and deposited in the attic of Sitges Town Hall, until that opened the Historical Archive. The study of these papers has yielded new information about the life and work of Pepito Zamora, who, among other jobs, was a screenwriter in the film La reina del Chantecler, released in 1962 and starring Sara Montiel the role of Bella Charito, alter ego of Bella Chelito, coupletist friend of Mata-Hari. There is still much to study, especially the box containing the manuscripts and unpublished works he left behind.

Josep Maria Rosselló, an artist from Tarragona with a Sitgetan soul, is the link between that past 50 years ago, marked by the Franco dictatorship, and the post-pandemic present. He met and portrayed the two characters, José de Zamora and José Constantínides. An extravagant couple who lived in Sitges since 1948 and fully integrated into the Sitges socio-cultural fabric (Club de Mar, Corpus, Ral·li, charity galas), showing off and demonstrating their status as a gay couple, when this word was not used to define a forbidden identity. The two are the protagonists of an unprecedented story, a love story that begins in Paris, continues in Athens (1934-1935) and ends in Sitges, passing through Madrid and Barcelona, stopping at all the variety theaters, or "magazine", and, in particular, on the stage of the Teatre Mogador, where the performance of Violetas Imperiales took place in 1947. The Associació Colors Sitges Link created the Pepito Zamora Award two years ago as an award that recognizes artists with a committed trajectory.

Another story that the exhibition exposes is the origin of the so-called "Rally triptych", three works signed by José de Zamora in 1961 that entered the municipal art gallery in 2000 thanks to the altruistic donation of the Mrs. Emma Mas Baños (1925 – 2020). The three paintings are part of the Art Collection of the Town of Sitges and it was Mimí Aveline Mas who explained their origin and decorative and advertising function in the window of the Tailoring Mas, in the basement of the house on Carrer Major. Coinciding with the Antique Car Rally between Barcelona and Sitges in 1961, José de Zamora built a scenography that was fitted into the window of the MAS tailoring shop: a screen or screen, which are the two panels that have been preserved , plus the background scene, which is the large painting with Punta de Sitges, the vintage car and three drawn characters. The two cut-out figures that were there have been lost, as well as a painting by Jordi Albors.

On the occasion of the exhibition and to celebrate it with a very Catalan sweet, Sweet Sitges has produced in collaboration with Colors Sitges Link a box of chocolates under the Pecats de Sitges brand. Aphrodisiac chocolates that refer to Álvaro Retana's psychoalyptic novel entitled "El octavo pecado capital" (1920), where Sitges appears as the scene of the love adventures of Enrique Salazar, a pro from Madrid who spends his summers in La Blanca Subur, and the perverse and ambiguous Baby, a "femme fatale" disguised as a Harlequin who meets the afternoon of Carnival Sunday at a patacada dance, but that is already figs in another basket. The psychalyptic furor, son of the spicy couplet, returns to Sitges by Pepito Zamora.

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