Conrado Pineda Flores was a Chilean globetrotting painter, the father of a large family and my friend.
I miss Conrado. When he passed away, an irreplaceable friend vanished from my life. We can all be replaced. Not Conrado. He left a void. Simple as that. How to forget our walks through the lovely neighborhoods of the beloved Madrid that welcomed us and brought us together, as it did to many others … These walks were a source of inspiration. We rambled from one subject to another, a freewheeling stream of consciousness: art, politics, philosophy, sociology and, in particular, the city’s suburbia -the Callejón de Henares, for instance-. Then, he used to look up in the sky at the far horizon and speak about the ominous air pollution which covered the city, that fateful gray cloud of smog hanging above. In fact, Conrado was very sensitive to the future of the less privileged citizens and the sad environment in which their lives were to be lived.
He was on high demand by the best advertising companies in the capital. They all wanted his imaginative layouts and illustrations. Yet, Conrado, most of all, was a painter. He moved away from the city, to Campo de Guadalajara with one purpose in mind: to paint. Conrado was a sublime post-impressionist. What a delight to hear and watch him describe the skies of the Impressionists, their yellows, blues and reds, their deep and unassuming landscapes, those empty streets of great cities and towns of lime. Time stopped for me when Conrado discussed art and the specifics of pictorial emotion. It opened my eyes to things unseen before. In the background, the Tangos by Gardel as the hours passed. Now that Conrado has left, his immanent presence is as great as the sense of emptiness left in my life.