Interview with Abraham Menéndez from Abe The Ape



As you know, today we have launched a new technique, the Petit Point, with a collection designed by Abraham Menéndez. That name may mean nothing to you, but if we say Abe The Ape, does that sound familiar? This Spanish illustrator left his profession working freelance to embark on an adventure and bring to light his fun, original designs, making eating a visual pleasure thanks to his ceramics. 
We have talked with him to get to know him better and discover what has inspired him in designing our first Petit Point Collection, Wild Wild West
Abraham Menéndez, Abe The Ape


Okay Abraham, tell us a little about how you started with illustration, from there to the plates, vases, and now the cushions.

Well it was all a little casual. I studied Fashion Design at the IED and God had not called me to the path of sewing and modeling, but I made some stupendous figurines. As I was taught in class by people like Gonzalo from Steve Mono or Inés from La Casita de Wendy, they were interested in my work and just after, I was commissioned to make some illustrations for their brands until now.

What has been the strangest order that you have made?

Within my smooth, very sweet, and totally white style, one time they made me draw a few bloody birds, with guts and everything. Very gory. It cost me an empire to pull it off but in the end the result was satisfactory. And then there is the dick-plate. A plate that they made me make with a dick drawn as if by a pre-schooler and that was saying ¨Hello Darling!¨, with three little hairs and everything.

You say that your mother didn’t think that drawing would make you a successful man but seeing that in the end that is what you are, and with great recognition, has she asked you to create anything for her? Has she made any orders?

I have made orders all over the world, she wants all that I do, but I have left her with nothing in perfect condition. I say perfect conditions because she has the dishes with the most wonderful defects in the world.

We can see that you are good with artisanal work, working with your hands, but…do you know how to knit?

Neither knitting, nor embroidering nor anything. My experience with sewing was a nightmare; when there was a class where we had to make an embroidered flower called ¨the one minute flower,¨ because that was the time it took to embroider it, it took me an average of 25. And I was sweating! I suppose that now I can confess, but during an exam to see how we were doing with the embroidering technique, I sat next to a classmate who was phenomenal. When she finished her things she started with mine, which I passed to her under the table. It was that or fail, and I had already spent half an hour and was still working on my happy ¨one minute flower¨…

Our knitters know that you have designed our Petit Point cushions, what inspired you?

The Native Americans, in the Mojave Desert and in Death Valley. I have always liked the movies a lot and especially the Westerns, which is the most complicated genre psychologically speaking in character development that I have ever seen. I liked the American films of the 30s and 40s with these archetypal Indians, portrayed falsely, that shows us Hollywood in that time.  And those inhospitable places where a coyote or hare would suddenly appear…One time I read a wonderful essay about “The Strange Habits of Desert Centaurs¨and there was a whole chapter about the symbolism of the quilt hanging on the porch of the house of John Wayne and, because my head spins a little weirdly, I said: quilt-cushion, cushion-western…cushions inspired by the Westerns!

Wild Wild West Collection

If we say wool…what is the first thing that comes to mind? (Note: Wool in Spanish is Lana)

Lana Turner and that shot in ¨The Postman Always Rings Twice¨ in which we are introduced to her character in a wonderful image starting from her lipstick that falls to the ground and sweeping up until you arrive at her face with those glasses and that turban, passing by those incredible mini-shorts. Few times is a character presented so well. You smell danger and she hasn’t even opened her mouth.

Is there any wool garment that is a must in your closet?

Sweaters. Long ago I loved sweaters with chunky wool, or Scottish wool, but after a while I gained so much weight that if I put on anything more than a centimeter thick I run the risk of being confused for a grizzly bear.

You based a collection on Hitchcock, on what movie would you base a collection of garments that contain petit point, or if you’ll humour me, of wool?

On “Paris, Texas” from Wim Wenders in which Nasstasja Kinski wears an angora sweater more beautiful than I have ever seen on a screen. Sometimes fuchsia, other times red. It is wonderful.

Any project for 2015 that you can tell us about in advance?

Well, leap beyond our borders (I always say this and something always happens for one reason or another that I postpone it. So that I won’t fail in my predictions again, I will say I believe that nothing will happen…)

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