He doesn’t remember how or when he started painting because he doesn’t know how he started breathing either. Edgar Plans is today a revolution in contemporary art, an artist so sought after that the waiting list to obtain one of his works can last for years. He exhibits in New York and Moscow, he reigns in Korea and the United States and he is recognized in the metaverse, where his collection of NFT works (virtual pieces with ownership registration in the blockchain system) shattered all records last year by generating just a few minutes the equivalent of 12 million dollars. Their ‘Animal Heroes’, adorable little dolls with tender eyes capable of denouncing the abuses of the modern world, of talking about solidarity and ecology, of forcing you to return to them again and again, of entering their world full of planes to discover new and deeper readings, are probably the main culprits of the tsunami that, despite everything, has not made him lift his feet off the ground even half a centimeter. And it is not a saying.
Edgar Plans, who was born in Madrid in 1977, is more from Gijon than the statue of The King Pelayo and as much a fan of Sporting as Quini, although his thing is more basketball and cycling, two sports that he shares with a third that borders almost on religion: the coffee. He arrives every morning by bike to his studio in Viesques, an open-plan place with high ceilings where more than one professional coffee maker shares space with cans of paint, spilled oil paintings, scribbled papers, enormous figures of his heroes, a laptop, many books and canvases, dozens of canvases… oh, and a poster of ‘Goonies’, the Spielberg movie that marked all of us who were children in the 80s. Because Edgar is a painter above all things, he has been that way all his life, but also a guy from his generation, with simple tastes and very familiar. A lot.
There he prepares his canvases, places them and stretches them patiently and always alone. He also prepares his palette, a gigantic stained canvas that he always reuses as a background when he fulfills his mission. And drink coffee, maybe the best in the city.
The 20th century had not yet ended when a beardless high school kid arrived in the summer with his drawings under his arm to the Editorial Office of EL COMERCIO. He illustrated with them the stories published in these same pages by his remembered and dearly loved father, Juan José Plans, the man who taught him that it was possible to “live on art”, the one who baptized him after Allan Poe and Wallace, the one who gave him literature and science fiction, art, in the veins.
The young Edgar thus earned his first income; he had not even started his degree in Art History, which he would finish a few years later at the University of Oviedo; he had not yet sold his first painting. That happened at the foot of the beach, in the Chapel of San Lorenzo, where he exhibited for the first time (the first gallery would later be Cornión) and where he was amazed when they bought that fisherman who was throwing a rod into the sea. And he never stopped painting. There was no competition that Edgar did not enter, and so he joined, in 2008, the list of scholarship recipients for AlNorte, the contemporary art competition that this newspaper created.
But the shot beyond the atmosphere, the day Plans got on a rocket in which he continues to fly over the world, would take another ten years. From his gallery in Barcelona, then Alzueta, they proposed taking him to the Seoul International Contemporary Art Fair. And just like that, it arrived and conquered the Asian market in a matter of days, maybe hours. And from there the American, where he graduated with his ‘signing’ for the NBA, for whom he has done work to celebrate his 75th anniversary, works of art also converted into merchandising, from keychains to stuffed animals to mobile phone cases, because Plans is purist, a classical artist, when he stands in front of his oil paintings, but nothing more. Maybe that’s why he finds it so fun to see how his drawings reach the third dimension and become cult objects, like KAWS or the bears from dEmo.
And throughout all this time: Moscow, New York, Paris, Hong Kong… Exhibitions, works in public and private collections around the world, including the very Palace of Zarzuela, auctions at Christie’s… And Gijón always as the operations center, almost as a declaration of intent: “I don’t move from here, if I open the studio door, I see my mother’s house, where I grew up, I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” Not for his wife, not for his beloved little girl, Olivia, also an aspiring painter at five, not for the omelette from the bar next door. Because all of that is Edgar Plans, the man who has revolutionized contemporary art without leaving his home. And that’s why the Editorial team at EL COMERCIO, which is also his home, wanted to add to all of that our Culture Award.
“The awards ceremony of EL COMERCIO took place like this.: See more.”