Victor Jerez is an independent artist and stevedore at the Port of Algeciras. After years working between cranes and containers, he would return home to practice his real passion until the early hours of the morning: painting cinema posters.
Shortly after, he considered painting live. He started at small parties and local events (in Algeciras and Sotogrande). Next he moved on to larger events and, soon in a very short time, he was painting George Clooney, Keith Richards or Carlos Jean.
The painting of sporting events came later to stay. From that point, he has had the privilege and responsibility of immortalising personalities such as Rafa Nadal, Sergio Garcia or Novak Djokovic—live! He is now known as "The Painter of Athletes".
What do you like most about being a stevedore?
Working near the sea in the open air with amazing views is a privilege that not everyone has at work, and it is something I really appreciate. I also like the dynamism of my role, where we work in different ships and a variety of situations, that keep you alert and motivated so that each day is as productive as possible .
What is it like to work in the container terminals of Algeciras?
It is a privilege to work in our terminals as they have the most advanced technology and machinery to service the largest ships in the world. It is very rewarding to be part of the workforce knowing that its terminals are the most important in Spain and Europe.
How do stevedores prepare for the arrival of a ship and the allocation of work?
With great professionalism and always ahead of each situation during the operation so that when the time comes, all the equipment is prepared so that the unloading or loading of the ship is as smooth and productive as possible. This collaborative work is done with the teams of each terminal to distribute the cargo or have it prepared so that the ship's call time is minimised.
Is ongoing development important in the stevedoring profession?
I believe ongoing development is very important as the world of stevedoring -and everything around it- continues to move very quickly and you have to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. This will enable the port to continue to be competitive.
Please talk to us about your interest in art:
My interest in art was born during my time at university, where I became interested in cinema posters that were hand painted. This sparked my curiosity, which later became a passion when I spent hours and hours trying to mimic those movie scenes, always in a self-taught way. That's how I started painting and I haven't stopped since, turning into my profession.
I Am An Artist By Vocation And It Is One Of The Things I Love Most In Life Therefore, I Consider Myself An Artist-Stevedore
Would you define yourself as a stevedore-artist or an artist-stevedore?
I am an artist by vocation and it is one of the things I love most in life therefore, I consider myself an artist-stevedore.
What are the topics you are most interested in painting?
Sport is the topic that interests me the most as it contains many of the important values that I believe in, such as effort, passion, sacrifice, enthusiasm and, above all, the joy achieved by the best athletes in the world when they reach their goals. In the past, they used to paint members of high society and the monarchy, considered the most influential and important people at the time, … today, the great athletes are the people who inspire new generations and have become world-wide icons.
My goal is to capture all those values and emotions in my paintings.
Painting has led you to meet many celebrities. Who has impressed you the most?
I have been fortunate to meet many top-level athletes and celebrities and they have all been very kind and friendly to me however, if I had to highlight one it would be former football player, former coach for Spain's National Team and Real Madrid: Vicente del Bosque. He conveys an incredible personal kindness and humbleness, and has managed to reach the top in world football and still comes across as a friendly down-to-earth individual, something that he is known for.
Editor, Marine Strategy
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