Honorary Laus 2018

The board members of ADG-FAD present the Honorary Laus 2018 to Oscar Mariné. On June 8, collected the award at the Nit ADG Laus 2018, handed by his son, the graphic designer Pablo Mariné.

For the occasion, we get back to an article written by Diego Manrique, published at the Magabook ADG Laus 2018, that portrays the awarded designer with anecdotes, memories and his constant relationship with music.

'Madrid me mata' by Oscar Mariné

Material for generational learning

One summer’s day I went to Óscar’s workshop at an industrial estate on the outskirts of town.  I had seen the Painted words in pictures but I wanted to touch them, feel their weight, play with them.

How naive: this is a very delicate craft. Pop in the sixties was quick: three hours, two songs.  But pop art needs thought, purity and patience. Some pictures are drying in a corner, others are waiting for tiny corrections or new layers of paint, some are hanging in bunches. Together, they look like visual poems or the synopsis of a film, a novel or a play.

Oscar Mariné for Siniestro Total

In the immensity of the studio, some of the work looks to be in dialogue with each other. But it’s quiet here: today Mariné’s sound system is broken. It doesn’t matter, the Palabras pintadas are screaming with all their silent intensity. They invoke memories in our fevered minds:  the simple sign FLAMINGO becomes the naked Christine Keeler, one of the clients of that Soho dive, the beautiful provocateur of the Profumo affair, that scandal which proved that the British upper class were already enjoying swinging London, even before the Beatles had arrived.

Oscar Mariné's poster for 'Todo sobre mi madre' by Almodóvar

Do you know how powerful a title can be? A connoisseur of typography, Mariné plays with sizes and backgrounds to give an artistic depth to these messages that travel through decades and fashions, arriving among us with arrogance and complicity. I NEED YOU could refer to the song by George Harrison but, spotting other references to The Kinks, I would dare to speculate that Mariné was in fact thinking about a previous I need you, the one by Ray Davies.

Oscar Mariné for 'Glutamato Ye-yé'

Of course, you may disagree. Painted words is playful, like a Trivial Pursuit, or even a soundtrack through a nocturnal dreamscape of urban neon. A personal whim by Mariné, just as One from the heart was a whim of Francis Ford Coppola. Brilliant and fearless surfaces that, modestly, hide their emotional complexity.


Fragment of Material for generational learning, introductory text for the catalogue of the exhibition Painted Words, at the La Caja Negra gallery (November 2014-January 2015).

Video: Bernat Rueda
Ph: Carolina Sáinz

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