Home Performing Arts I Don’t Need You to Feel the Same.

I Don’t Need You to Feel the Same.



EF: Well, when I make puppets I sit at my table imagining something and then make it. It is a hypnotic moment. I do not think of anything, there’s no main idea. I just sit and make whatever comes. It doesn’t come from my brain, but from somewhere else. I change a lot and sometimes I am interested in different features, like jungle people or people from China or India. You can see my process, what is happening in me and what I am seeing, in my puppets.

KH: Do viewers ask you what your story for the puppets are?

EF: Yes. Sometimes I tell them that this is the way I see humanity and the world. And I tell them to treat it with love and humor and respect.

KH: What do you see in the world?

EF: When I was younger, the street, the Red Light district and the prostitutes fascinated me. Now, I stop. Well, I am still curious but I am not as curious as before.

KH: Why were you curious about the Red Light district?

EF: It was the decadence in the street at night. I would walk in the streets in Lima, Peru and watch what was happening in the underground of the city. It was very dirty, but I was really impressed. Now I am not so impressed. I am in a different stage. Now I love to travel and everywhere I go I am fascinated by what I see.

KH: What made you transition into a different interest?

EF: Many years have passed and I have seen a lot. Not enough, never enough. But I am not into bars anymore and I don’t feel like going out. I would rather stay in my house and make puppets and travel. If you take me today to a Red Light district, I would be excited. But it is not like before. Before I was looking for it. I don’t look for it now. Now I am more calm and relaxed. Maybe it is because of my age. But, it was a very nice time. I enjoyed it. And these people, I was always very impressed with the people who are different.

KH: Why?

EF: I have no idea. I was curious about…? I don’t know how to say it in English.

KH: What about in Spanish?

EF: Nor in Spanish! I have had a fascination for people who have a special way of moving or laughing or walking; people and animals that are not like everyone else. I am attracted to them and I think I mix together as I like. Everybody has something different. I met one guy and he was impressed because the exhibition reminded him of Jung psychology. But for me, it is a very intuitive process. Sometimes, I feel like I am not doing the puppets. Like I am just a conduit. I am somewhere else and can talk to you perfectly when I make puppets because I don’t have to concentrate. I don’t have to be inspired. It is very natural.

KH: Why are they part human and part something else?

EF: I don’t know. Some of them look like animals, no?

KH: Yes. Some of them look more like animals and a little bit of people.

EF: I don’t know where they come from. They just appear. It’s like magic, a magic moment. I feel like I am tickling them into existence. It’s very pleasant. Sometimes it is difficult when I want to do something special like make two faces exactly the same or make them move.

KH: Their movements are repetitive. Could you have made them move in different ways?

EF: I think everything is possible. But I do whatever I can by myself. Sometimes friends help me. But really, it is very simple mechanics. I like it because I can take care of them myself. If something breaks, I can fix it.

KH: Why are Los Grumildos repeating their movements?

EF: Everyone has their own timing. It doesn’t bother me. They have the same movement, but it doesn’t get boring. I can stare at them for hours.

KH: How do you decide how to set the scene that the audience steps into with the lights and the music?

EF: Normally, we travel in a little truck across Europe. If you open the door to the truck we look like gypsies because we pick up garbage and we buy things and bring them to the festivals with us to set the atmosphere. Here, we are a little poorer because we are in NYC and we couldn’t travel with garbage! But normally there would be big red sofas. But I think you can still feel the atmosphere. I like it like this with the fog machine and the lights and music.

KH: How has the response been different in NYC than in Europe?

EF: This is the first time we are not in a festival. Usually there are thousands of people walking through and seeing the puppets. But here it is more personal. I can talk to people who see them and they tell me what they think.

KH: Are you going to keep traveling with your puppets?

EF: Yes of course. I love to see the colors, people and markets. And I always come back inspired.

Los Grumildos is showing at the HERE Arts Center (145 Sixth Ave.) through August 2nd. Tickets are 7$.