The 2015 Feria del Toro poster features a picador on horseback and holding his lance – but it doesn’t show its stabbing metal point “so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings”



A horseback picador is the striking image on this year’s poster for the forthcoming Sanfermin 2015 Feria del Toro and today it was presented to the public at a press conference. This year the poster has been created by Madrid painter, Vicente Arnás who was chosen by the organizing committee from the Casa de Misericordia charity in Pamplona – the entity behind the organization of the bullfights – to provide the poster for this year.

Not since 1986 has a picador featured on the annual poster made to announce the Sanfermin bullfighting week. And that is precisely why Vicente Arnás chose this particular assistant of the matador to feature on the poster “in order to find a poster theme that has not been given as much protagonism as some of the other elements within the bullfights”. The artist also revealed another interesting detail when he admitted that he had purposely omitted showing the steel stabbing point of the lance which is used to weaken the bull during the bullfight. And the reason for this omission he admitted was “to avoid hurting the feelings of those people who are opposed to the element of cruelty in the bullfight”.

The Madrid painter also acknowledged that he was very pleased to have been chosen by the Casa de Misericordia committee to create the poster for this year`s bullfighting week. He revealed that he had also introduced some small details in the outfit and dress of the picador taken from earlier periods such as the frilly ruff around the neck of the picador, and he did this on purpose as this was something he had a habit of doing in his paintings in order to add some “personality to the piece”.

2015-04-09_arnas2At the press conference launching of the poster, Fernando Redón, a member of the Casa de Misericordia Bullfighting Committee, and also a fellow artist, spoke of the artistic validity found in the work of Arnás, and he outlined the career of this Madrid artist and the different exhibitions that he has had over the years. The Mayor of Pamplona, Enrique Maya, also spoke and he praised the rich variety and high quality found in the Sanfermin Bullfight posters over these past years.

This official presentation of the Feria del Toro Poster is traditionally held just a few weeks before the annual presentation of the Sanfermin Fiestas Program. And the winner of this poster competition will soon be revealed after the general public of Pamplona has cast their votes for the winning poster, using this public-voting selection method which has been in vogue for several years now.

We called ourselves Sanfermin because “I liked the image very much of a mass of people running like the devil to save their lives”


San Fermin Band Jackrabbit

We learn from an article by Natxo Velez for eitbKultura that the Brooklyn band “San Fermín” is called this name because the group leader, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, liked the image “The image of a mass of people running like the devil to save their lives”. The “San Fermín” group is bringing out their second CD in April with the name “Jackrabbit”. Back in January, 2014 we spoke about this group at and since then the band has moved on from being “promising” to now being a reference in the pop music world. You can read the whole interview here.

From the text that eitbkultura shows us, we have taken the extract that refers to the Sanfermin fiestas:

Natxo Velez.
First of all, I would like to ask you about the group’s name. Why “San Fermin”?
I just liked the image of a mass of people running like the devil to save their lives.

What part of the Sanfermin fiestas do you like best? Had you ever heard about the connection between the fiestas and the American writer, Ernest Hemingway?
I think I prefer the romantic version of Hemingway that the real one, which seems to be a bit confounding. In any case, I would like to check it out for myself!

Have you ever been in Pamplona during the Sanfermines fiestas? Will you take advantage of your European tour to pay a visit this time round?
No, I have never been there but I would like to visit them as soon as possible. I think this coming tour  in April we will be in London, Dublin, Amiens, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris and Brighton. Nothing at all in The Basque Country, unfortunately.

Running in front of the Bulls is dangerous, without any doubt, but don’t you think that bringing out a conceptual CD (‘San Fermin’, 2013) in this day and age also has its risk factor?
Luckily, it seems you have bet on a creative aspect more than on a commercial aspect…

(Laughs) I think that bringing out any kind of musical work has its risk factor. Once your work has entered the public domain, anyone can say whatever they like about it, which is a bit of a frightening thought. But, personally, I feel that the satisfaction you get from bringing out the work more than compensates for any bothersome aspects that may arise.

You can read the complete interview here.

The II San Fermín international Photography Competition is looking at a fiesta for all ages


Jesús Urrutia -gerente de Luminosos Arga-, David Martinez, Nuria Elía y su hija Irene -del Asador Martintxo-, Myrna Urrutia de Luminosos Arga y el fotógrafo y miembro del jurado Mikel Muruzábal.

We have just learned some details about the II San Fermin International Photography Competition which is being organized by Luminosos Arga Digital. The organizer, Myrna Urrutia, tells us that this second consolidating edition of the competition hopes to “show that our fiestas are not dependent on any particular age group and that it is by no means only for the young adults among us. Children, middle-aged and senior citizens all equally enjoy the fiestas and indeed, everyone has their place in these Sanfermin fiestas.” At the same time, she underlined during her press conference that the philosophy behind the competition lies in revealing a truer picture of the fiestas than that which is generally shown by the media. That is why some original images that go beyond the more cliché images of the partying will be appreciated in this competition. The jury will bear this point in mind as well as evaluating the technical and artistic factors. The following names have been chosen to make up the jury members: Javier Villarreal, José Luis Pujol, Mikel Muruzábal y Pedro Armestre. The Rules and Regulations of the competition may be downloaded here (spanish language) as well as getting more information on those details which particularly interest you.

The winning snapshot will receive a prize of 1, 200 euros as well as a prize-winning dinner for two at Asador-Sidrería Martintxo Cider house restaurant. There is also a case of wine from the Bodega y trujal La Perdigana winery and Olive Oil Company. Second prize consists of a cash prize of 800 euros and the third prize has 500 euros. Both these runners-up winners will also be invited to partake of a dinner for two at the Asador-Sidrería Martintxo restaurant and also receive a case of wine from the Bodega y trujal La Perdigana. The Jury will make an initial selection of 20 finalists and the winning photos will then be chosen from this group.

Subsequently, there will be two exhibitions held of the finalist photos – at the La Morea shopping Mall and at the cider house restaurant, Asador-Sidrería Martintxo. Each entrant may submit up to five photographs before the closing date of 29th of July to the e-mail address:

At the press conference which was held at the Cines Golem located inside the La Morea shopping mall, two – of the jury members were present – José Luis Pujol – shown first on the left – and Javier Muruzábal – first on the right. Also shown in the image is the Cultural Councilor from Pamplona City Hall, Fermín Alonso – second left – and Myrna Urrutia, from Luminosos Arga Digital.

Last year’s winner of this competition was Pablo Lasaosa with his photo “Tradición” which was selected as the best from among the finalists and now this year the search is now on for his successor.

© Pablo Lasaosa.