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Vincent Red never stopped working. He did it until the last moment. The work was diluted with the daily routine. Still in October 2020, he appeared at the inauguration of the Kaluz Museum, in the center of Mexico City, on whose side facade he worked the mural “Urban Garden” made with quarry and volcanic stone, the geometric reproduction of a forest, his way of putting more natural representations in an urban environment.

“The idea comes from nature because the museum has a magnificent collection of Mexican art and I thought that the ideal would be to bring it to the street. There are 10 trees that I planted here and I hope they continue to be watered and can be maintained for many years”, the designer, painter, editor, sculptor and set designer limited himself to declaring on the day of the inauguration of the new exhibition area next to the Central mall.

Less than half a year later, on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the national press announced that the teacher had perished from heart complications.

In addition to the facade of the Kaluz Museum, Rojo Almazán was working, never gave up, on graphic creation. Between 2019 and 2020, he dedicated himself to the consolidation of his latest lithographic series, “Gardens from a bird’s eye view in flight”, a commission from the Kaluz regarding its opening and a kind of continuity of the stone mural work.

The initial idea was to capture trees from a side view, but at some point, Rojo Almazán decided to change to a more general view of gardens with geometric shapes, seen from above, just as a bird would see them. Hence the literalness of the name. He worked on the pieces with his trusted lithographers, Francisco Lara and Arturo Guerrero, founders of the taller BlackStone, to whom he had entrusted his work for a dozen years.

of bliss lithographic series only 100 pieces sprouted. This Thursday, January 20, Morton Auctions will put up for bid a workshop proof of this series, the last of its prolific production. The value, experts estimate, ranges between 50,000 and 60,000 pesos.

Without knowing that it would be the last

The Economist conversation with the master lithographers of BlackStone to learn about his work experience with Vicente Rojo.

“He was always very cheerful, he was quite pleased to meet us because we did many projects with him. It was very cool to meet again each time. He was glad that we could do this project without knowing that it would be the last. The teacher was very active. He scheduled an appointment and took his glider with him, always very full. Mentally he was extremely lucid”, shares Francisco Lara.

“It is important to note that the teacher was always very accessible, despite the boards he had, he received us as friends. We worked on the projects very jointly, he never wanted to impose his will”, complements Arturo Guerrero.

Although it allowed many freedoms, they agree, it was extremely demanding with the matching of colors. “He was an old school lover, he would take his Pantone label booklets with him and give us them for every color he wanted.”

“The kaluz project It was thought based on the mural he worked on, but at some point he changed the trees for gardens. We had agreed that they were going to be trees, but when we met he told us: ‘I already have the project ready, they will be gardens,’” ​​recalls Francisco.

The final design reminds one of the alamedas, of the designs of these parks, 10 in total with their walkways bordered by clusters of leafy trees. There are labyrinthine ones, with rhombuses, intertwined by paths that never stop crossing, and others with semicircular paths, which allow us to think of ostentatious gardens in which it would be charming to get lost.

A workshop of great clients

BlackStone was formed around the year 2000. Both master lithographers had been working for the printer Andrew Vlady for more than a decade at the Kyron Ediciones Gráficas workshop, who decided to close down around those years and offered his disciples the sale of his press, more stones and other tools. That’s how they started BlackStone.

“We didn’t know then that we were going to evolve so much as a workshop. Now not just making lithographic prints but engravings, artist shots, montages. It has spread a lot, it is a totally multidisciplinary workshop. Arturo and I have been in contact with many people who have taught us different techniques, we have tried to exploit them and we can presume that we have surpassed our teachers”, shares Francisco.

In these years, both printers have worked with masters such as Francis Toledo, Jose Luis Cuevas, Leonora Carrington, Manuel Felguerez Y Arnaldo Cohen, among others.

“Many of the artists recommend us to others, we have spread by word of mouth. And not only do we serve national artists, people have come from Paris, the United States, Chile, Colombia. We have also gone abroad to make assemblies and we take the opportunity to take our collections”, declares Arturo Guerrero. One of the keys to BlackStone’s success, he trusts, is that it has more than 100 German lithographic stones.

The auction of the piece that came out of this workshop, the last one approved by Vicente Rojo Almazán, will be auctioned this Thursday at 5:00 p.m. For more information, consult the page

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