Agua y Jabón

Marta D. Riezu


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Cecil Beaton was asked: what is elegance? And he answered: soap and water. By that he meant: let’s not talk about explicit elegance again, please. What is more interesting is everything that happens unintentionally, and that is born with no other pretension than the mere fun of existing. Soap and water as an image of the simple, the useful, the lifelong. Unintentional elegance has nothing to do with aesthetics or contentment, nor with anything external. It is close to silence, the common good, patience, nature, the generous gesture, the will to build and preserve.

These notes are divided into three parts: people, objects and places. A personal canon similar to the small garden that one takes care of and where one feels safe. The good (in the kindly sense) is always beautiful, without being obliged to be beautiful. The involuntary elegance provides in those who contemplate it a sense of complicity, intellectual stimulation and emotional connection.

In Agua y Jabón [Water and Soap] we talk about the love of public libraries, our parents’ honeymoons, the Cirlot family, Paul Léautaud, birds, the errant walk, suspicious hippies, the smell of bakeries, and train rides, Bruno Munari, Rei Kawakubo, Wagner’s Venice, eating fruit straight from the tree, kitsch, the Rastro, Josep Pla, manias, tricorns, Snoopy, Morandi, Barral, Bofill, surfing, tweed, cheese, gardens.

ISBN 978-84-121495-4-8
Edition First
Binding Softcover
Pages 248
Size. 160 x 220 mm.
Designer Ana Domínguez