Happy Sant Jordi: a very special day seen through the eyes of the illustrator MAGOZ
Sant Jordi (Saint George) is one of the Catalans'most important and best-loved festivals. In addition to commemorating the patron saint of Catalonia, Sant Jordi has become a day for celebrating culture, imagination and love. And believe us when we say that you can feel them in the air and in every corner of the city. Books and roses fill the streets on a day when hardly anyone stays at home.
This year we've sought to embody the true significance of the day by launching an initiative to design the image for Sant Jordi and bring the talent of artists from around the world to public attention. In 2019, we have chosen MAGOZ, a Catalan illustrator who is known both at home and abroad. His drawing kicks off the first of these initiatives. Every year, an illustrator from a different country will interpret this truly special day so we can wish everybody a Happy Sant Jordi from Catalonia.
The magic of Sant Jordi has its origins in the distant past. As long ago as the 15th century, men gave their beloved a rose. Nowadays, roses of every colour and meaning are given with devotion and affection to wives, girlfriends, female colleagues and friends, sisters, mothers… In 1930 the custom of giving a book on Book Day was added to the celebration of Sant Jordi, and, as a result, the tradition was declared World Book and Copyright Day by UNESCO. Love and culture are the two core themes of this special day that fill the personal experiences of every Catalan with meaning. For MAGOZ, the creator of the image for Sant Jordi 2019, the memory is closely linked to the literary competition, the "Jocs Florals", at his school: “Every year it gave us the opportunity to write a story and even illustrate it. The prizes brought an added touch of excitement”. And he adds: "For me Sant Jordi has always been associated with culture and imagination".
Books and roses: the essence of Sant Jordi. MAGOZ, with his markedly conceptual and minimalist style has used these elements that he describes as having "2a very poetic backstory", and produced an animation showing a book appearing from nowhere. "The story unfolds from here, culminating in a rose," he explains. The pages of the book keep turning and help us understand how the legend of Sant Jordi was forged and has been passed down from generation to generation".
Adding a commemorative poster to a day when culture and talent take centre stage will undoubtedly be a step forward in bringing Catalan design worldwide recognition. According to MAGOZ, who has long-standing experience in the fields of illustration and graphic design, "Barcelona is a highly valued brand around the world, and synonymous with creativity and quality. This isn't just due to its great talents and big names, but because it's a magnet for other artists too".
Walking through the city streets, giving roses, getting your favourite author's autograph, soaking up the feeling of happiness on every corner… As we said earlier, Sant Jordi is a very special day for local people, and for MAGOZ too, who is thrilled at being chosen for the first commission to design the poster for Sant Jordi: "I'm really happy to be able to continue contributing to culture while living abroad [MAGOZ lives in Malmö, Sweden]. And I'd like to say to the illustrator chosen to do the design in 2020 to have fun and I can't wait to see the result of his work".
Happy Sant Jordi!
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