I share my studio in Sotogrande, Southern Spain with Argentinians Osvaldo Lobalzo and Marcelo. More than a year ago, Marcelo started working on a funny-looking horse, something almost Etruskian, old Roman, with a Chinese terracotta hint somewhere, sculpting for almost three months until he got it right. For three months, I looked over his shoulder and asked him if I could have one just to give painting my very specific way a try.
My approach in art is extremely abstract, but I’m surrounded by polo on a daily basis that different forms of horses attract me—including the very first model Marcelo made. I was drawn to it and it made me smile and curious of what my painting would look like on the stone horse. It looked beautiful—and I knew from the beginning that I had to do something different with it and make them come to life.
So I woke up a couple of days later with the idea to give the horses names, a family tree, and to create an actual pedigree. From there, L’Ecurie de Marcelo was born.
L’Ecurie de Marcelo is a worldwide art project of us three—me, Osvaldo, and Marcelo. Marcelo acts as the sculptor of the horses, while Osvaldo and I operate as the brand’s creative minds.
Every bloodline is created out of each artists’ fantasy with full freedom in design and name giving. The pieces are also a reflection of our surrounding society with all its flavors and colors, its successes and flaws, and more importantly, it’s pure beauty.
Our main mares and stallions come from different backgrounds and continents, each one of them fed and led by a different stroke of color which makes them come to life. Each one of them is a mother or father to their specific pedigree for many years to come. Every pedigree or even family tree has specific characteristics as a visualization of their own bloodline.
It’s exclusive—every piece is unique. The process and structure specific to our work makes it impossible to copy, so every horse we create is a one of a kind. Plus, we only make a few horses.
We made just five and I took them to an exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium and they sold within a couple of hours. If you want a family tree, you need foals—and we got reservations on all the foals to be made on the same day.
We claimed success in a short amount of time that artists can only dream of. Something in the form of the horse made it well-loved. It doesn’t matter if you’re into art or horses, it simply makes everybody smile. And then you tell them about it and show them the family trees and the fact they have names and everybody gushes about it.
Everybody wants one of our horses, including my mom who’s been asking me for one. But I had to let her down a couple of times as we make only a few and they’re all reserved before we get to make them.
Eventually, we found a perfect polo match with fashion brand Scapa. Scapa is owned by Arlette Van Oost and her daughter Patsy Redding who used to play polo back in the 90s. The Scapa team played all over the world and the Scapa Sports department was all inspired by polo.
So we created a real Scapa family tree for L’Ecurie de Marcelo with the paint pattern based on the polo shirts the team used to wear. This is how the Scapa Polo Heritage project was born, with all their polo ponies having identical patterns, making them distinguished from other breeds in the Book of Pedigrees.
And now we’re creating new godfathers and foals, new polo ponies or maybe a new Arabian bloodline, a triple crown trophy to be named after an MVP. Who knows?
And remember: they’re real, they’re alive.