For years I have walked past this man’s window and peered in without trying to be obvious. Even though I reckoned that if he didn’t want people looking in he would close the window (or at least the curtains) but I still didn’t want to be caught out. I mean, most people enjoy peering into open windows and getting a “slice of life” moment from someone else’s life. But this man’s living room is packed full of his artwork, including paintings and sculptures. Most arresting is the massive statue of Jesus in one corner (for awhile it was a Virgin Mary) that dominates the room, and it’s a curious sight to see him casually sitting in his armchair watching TV while passersby stop to have a look.
Anyhow, while I was out walking around with my memories the other day I passed by his house and saw him standing in front of the open window having a cigarette, and for some reason I decided it was time to say hello. And I’m so glad I did! What a lovely man. José Pérez Conde comes from Alosno, a small village in Huelva, and is a renowned painter and sculptor (until then I had no idea he actually MADE the giant virgin and christ figures). We had a nice chat and he told me a bit about himself and his work and, when he found out I was from Canada, he switched to English, taking me totally by surprise. And so now I know a new neighbour and it feels good to be able to greet José now when I walk past.