Notes written by Francisco Bores and preserved at the Bores Archive. They were thus published in the catalogue of the anthological exhibition Francisco Bores 1898-1972, organized in 1976 by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Bores in his studio with the work Le pècheur [The fisherman] (1951), 1957. Photograph by Alexander Liberman.

Born in Madrid on 6th May 1898. Studies the bachillerato on his own, and obtains the title in 1915. He begins to prepare for a degree in Engineering, without any vocation at all. However, he often frequents a preparatory academy near the Museo del Prado.

In order to satisfy his family, where all men had honourable careers, he studies and passes a few Law courses on his own, until he convinces his parents and joins the private academy of Mr. Cecilio Pla, where he will stay for three years. He makes a few copies at the Prado Museum, such as a Venus by Titian and El bobo de Coria by Velázquez.

In the Madrid of the time there was nothing else apart from the Official Salons, which reject the two paintings he had sent in 1921. Two years later they accept two academicising works that he has not preserved. Some poets and painters with a curiosity for novelty and the artistic movements that were developing in Paris appear in Madrid towards 1923 or 1924.

Drawn by the desire to express himself more freely, he participates in the so-called exhibition of "Iberian Artists", where he presents a set of works that gain the critics' and intellectual media's interest. An example of this is the Revista de Occidente, directed by don José Ortega y Gasset, in which he collaborates by making the cover strips. He also illustrates some books of that collection, especially the Decamerón Negro. He collaborates as well in the magazines España, Alfar and Índice, directed by Juan Ramón Jiménez, with wood engravings. All of this, although it made me be known, did not have a great economic profit. Thus the year of the "Salon of Iberian Artists", in which nobody sold anything, I resolved to move to Paris looking for a better fortune, since Paris was, and I believe it still is, the most important artistic centre.

Autorretrato [Self-portrait], 1925. India ink and charcoal on paper, 20 x 19,5 cm. Residencia de Estudiantes, Madrid.

This was the year 1925. I met Picasso and barely Juan Gris, who died shortly after. I certainly cannot deny a certain influence of both, although the so-called cubism was not among the movements that attracted me the most from an aesthetic point of view. It was maybe the surrealists who interested me the most, precisely for the spontaneity they wanted to portray.

My first exhibition in Paris was in 1927, two years after my arrival, and in which these two tendencies would be revealed. Imagination certainly dominated over whatever I could have preconceived; I am still methodical; I believe that painting is a sensual act in which the architectural or constructive part exists to maintain the necessary balance.

Above all, a painting has to have that which in Spain is called "duende", and when it is absent, structure alone cannot truly satisfy.

I cultivate, without even thinking about it, the view of the outer world that makes me understand what could be named visual mechanism, but I do not use any direct view or any particular issue. I leave free will to the "pleasure of painting" that is guided by the acquired experience. That is to say, I do not make the painting a priori, and when I start I do not know how I am going to finish it.

Detail of El pintor [The painter], towards 1923. India ink on paper, 29 x 12,5 cm. Residencia de Estudiantes, Madrid.

If I am interested in cubism it has not been because of its aesthetic, since I prefer waving lines to straight ones, but because of the construction of the painting. This is not the flat surface nor the one that takes the traditional perspective into account, but rather the one looking to build the painting between its surface and the spectator. I do not want to bring the feeling of depth and thus breathe life into the painting at the same time. I cannot be considered cubist nor impressionist, even if at the beginning I participated in both.

My goal is what I wrote in the caption of a colour reproduction of one of my paintings in the Verve magazine: "Painting is a sensual act, it can be considered a fruit that we taste with our fingers, its skin identifies with ours".

I would like to insist on the tactile aspect of which Juan Ramón Jiménez already spoke in a biographical note of myself, published in El Sol in the year 1931.