Gregor Samsa as Illustrated by an Spanish Painter

A Spanish version of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, illustrations (engravings) by José Hernández. Epilogue by Vladimir Nabokov. Galaxia Gutenberg (Barcelona, 1999)
 

The painter José Hernández was born in Tangiers in January 1944.

He alternates his studies between the Spanish Institute and the French School in Tangiers. He becomes interested in mathematics and competitive sport. He enjoys long distance running and draws relentlessly. After a fruitful period in which he draws and paints from life, he becomes interested in experimenting with different painting materials, which leads him to a wider knowledge of a number of different oil and watercolor techniques.

He exhibits his first works at the Librairie des Colonnes in Tangiers in 1962, and receives support from friends, artists and writers who encourage him to explore new fields in the arts.

In 1964 he settles in Madrid. There he presents his first solo exhibition in 1966 at Galería Edurne. Since then numerous exhibitions both within and outside of Spain have taken place.

In 2006 he was awarded the National Prize for Graphic Arts.

He died in November 2013.

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A Liberating Influence

Gabriel García Márquez with a copy of  One Hundred Years of Solitude on his head.  Photograph by Isabel Steva Hernández

 
 

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”

When Franz Kafka wrote these now famous words to his friend Oskar Pollak in 1904,  he unknowingly foreshadowed the impact of his as-yet-unpublished novella The Metamorphosis on a young writer reading him in translation as a university student in Bogotá, Colombia in the 1940s.

The influence of Kafka is  great among twentieth-century writers from Albert Camus to Jorge Luis Borges — the term Kafkaesque has even entered the vernacular as a way to describe events so bizarre they seem surreal — but the transformation of his protagonist Gregor Samsa from alienated bureaucrat into a gigantic insect over the course of one morning seems to have had the most profound impact on the literary output of Gabriel García Márquez, who cites the story as inspiring his vocation.

In Living to Tell the Tale, published in 2003 as the first of three projected volumes of his memoirs, taking him from birth through the age of twenty-eight, the Nobel-winning author of magical realist novels One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera describes a night his roommate came in with three books he had just bought:

“…and he lent me one chosen at random, as he often did to help me sleep. But this time the effect was just the opposite: I never again slept with my former serenity. The book was Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis… that determined a new direction for my life from its first line, which today is one of the great devices in world literature: ‘As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.’…When I finished reading The Metamorphosis I felt an irresistible longing to live in that alien paradise. The day found me at the portable typewriter… attempting to write something that would resemble Kafka’s poor bureaucrat changed into an enormous cockroach.”

More succinctly in a 1981 Paris Review interview, he says:

“When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn’t know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories.”

That Kafka had such a liberating influence is especially striking given the strong possibility that his writings could easily have never reached García Márquez. As he was dying in 1924 at the age of forty, Kafka famously demanded that his friend Max Brod, a fellow German-speaking member of Prague’s Jewish community, burn all of his papers. Against his wishes, Brod published a selection of his manuscripts, bringing what is widely considered to be the most important body of work in twentieth-century German literature to the masses.

 

Style’s Nurse

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest

 
 

Mme. Isabelle Cardamone, Christian Dior’s mother

 
 

Yves Saint Laurent and Mme. Lucienne Mathieu

 
 

Tommy Hilfiger and Mrs. Virginia

 
 

The lady in the portrait is Doña María Cristina Passios, Carolina Herera’s (née María Carolina Pacanins Niño) mother

 
 

Mrs. Herrera at five years old with her mother in San Sebastian, Spain in 1944.

 
 

Bianca and Jade Jagger

 
 

Linda Eastman and Stella McCartney

 
 

Georgina Chapman (from Marchesa) with her mother, Caroline Wonfor

 
 

Alexander McQueen and Joyce

 
 

Julien MacDonald (Alexander McQueen’s successor at Givenchy) with his parents. Macdonald was taught knitting by his mother and soon became interested in design.

 
 

Matthew Williamson and his mum

 
 

Peter Som with his mother, Helen Fong, and sister in San Francisco in 1977

 
 

Duro Olowu’s mother, Inez Olowu, and father, Kayode Olowu, in 1963 in Lagos, Nigeria

 
 

Susan Orzack and Zac Posen

 
 

Vera Wang and Florence Wu

 
 

Jason Wu and Mei-Yung

 
 

Ying Ying and Alexander Wang

 
 

The Brand is named after Lázaro Hernández and Jack McCollough’s mothers’ maiden names

Fashion Takes Its Bite of the Big Apple

Peter Som, United Bamboo, Imitation of Christ, Jeffrey Chow, Behnaz Sarafpour and Sebastian Pons

 
 

Actress and Imitation of Christ creative consultant Chloë Sevigny, with Elephant lead singer Diego Garcia, Hope Atherton and male model

 
 

Michael Kors, Carmen Kass and Mexican actor Diego Luna

 
 

Mark Badgley, James Mishka, Vera Wang, a group of rappers and models

 
 

Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, his daughther Eliza Reed Bolen, Karolina Kurkova, Liya Kebede, Eugenia Silva and other models

 
 

Proenza Schouler designers Lázaro Hernández (left) and Jack Mc Collough. In this picture they attempt to corral a llama, inspired by Inge Morath’s 1957 photograph in which the animal rides a cab through New York City.

 
 

Tommy Hilfiger and Karolina Kurkova

 
 

Zac Posen and his circle of friends

 
 

Angela Lindvall and Donna Karan; Isabelli Fontana and Kenneth Cole; Alek Wek and Diane von Furstenberg

 
 

Carolina Herrera, surrounded by models and the members of the Frick Museum’s gala benefit committee.

 
 

Ralph Lauren, Anouck Lepere, Isabelli Fontana and Filippa Hamilton

 
 

jacobs and coppola testion vogue february 2004Marc Jacobs and his close friend Sofia Coppola

 
 

Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa, Natalia Vodianova, Luca Gadjus and Patrick Robinson (the-then designer of Perry Ellis)

 
 

Fashion Editorial pressed in Vogue USA, February 2004
Photographer: Mario Testino
Editor: Tonne Goodman