The Bellas Artes hosts the presentation of the book ‘Berpiztu’, a tribute to the career of Kepa Junkera

The Bellas Artes hosts the presentation of the book ‘Berpiztu’, a tribute to the career of Kepa Junkera

Kepa Junkera, with his ex-wife, Miren Goikouria, in front of the painting ‘The accordionist’, by Arteta, at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. / german jordi

The publication is a review of his discography, with a profusion of photos, anecdotes and illustrations of more than 40 artists such as Miriam Ocariz, Jesús Mari Lazkano, Jose Ibarrola and Mari Puri Herrero.

Isabel Urrutia Cabrera

«The idea of ​​presenting the book at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum has been all his own. He decides and does not stop machining. He already has more projects in his head. That hasn’t changed!” Miren Goikouria, Kepa Junkera’s ex-wife, said this Monday at the art gallery, surrounded by friends, family and many collaborators who have participated so much in the biographical documentary ‘Berpiztu’ (Revived)–premiered in theaters of cinema last Friday– as well as in the homonymous publication, on sale at the Azoka in Durango this Wednesday. The volume is hardcover, profusely illustrated by more than 40 artists, including Miriam Ocariz, Jose Ibarrola, Mari Puri Herrero, Jesús Mari Lazkano, Ima Montoya… It has more than 260 pages and is a review full of photos, anecdotes, scores, love and admiration for Junkera’s musical career.

Precisely this Monday marked the fourth anniversary of the stroke he suffered in Belgium while he was on tour with ‘Maletak’. Every day is a victory since then. The trikitilari, very smiling and allowing himself to be hugged by everyone, posed before the photographers with the usual self-confidence. And every time he met his gaze with Kontxa’s, his mother, she winked or extended her hand to him. She was holding onto it energetically. The same one that floated in the air.

“It’s an honor to be here”

Bedridden in a wheelchair, the musician from Rekalde let the painter Alberto Palomera read a text on his behalf. «As a Bilbao native it is an honor to be here and I am glad that you got up a little early to accompany me. First of all, I want to thank the museum and Miguel (Zugaza) for the opportunity to present this book here. Miguel came out ahead by changing the Prado for the Bellas Artes, Madrid for Bilbao, and some Velázquez for Arteta’s paintings, one of them with a triki. What an easy choice…!», exclaimed Palomera, while Kepa Junkera listened in the front row and barely contained his laughter.

Between 1987 and 2018, the activity of the man who got artists like Dulce Pontes, Andrés Calamaro, Miguel Ríos and Estrella Morente to sing traditional themes of Basque culture was unstoppable. The sudden stop was brutal, with a long convalescence in a Ghent hospital – 50 kilometers from Izegen, where he planned to perform with the Sorginak group – to later enter Cruces.

With the transfer to the Neurorehabilitation Unit of the Aita Menni Center in Bilbao, he began to see light at the end of the tunnel. The documentary ‘Berpiztu’, by Fermín Aio, shows the long recovery process of the trikitilari. He has had to relearn how to speak and control his body. Little by little, with great determination. Muscles don’t always respond, but as Miguel Zugaza said yesterday, quoting the Venezuelan poet Rafael Cadenas, there are extraordinary people destined to go far, no matter what: “If the poem is not born but your life is real, you are its incarnation.” In this sense, Kepa Junkera’s gaze and will are art in its purest form.


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