We continue our acquaintance with the contemporary urban art. Another city, whereas in Minsk special attention is paid to the contemporary art, is Barcelona.
Despite the large number of historical, cultural and architectural monuments in the city, authorities decided to modernize the image of the Catalan capital for the Olympics 1992. Barcelona streets are filled with unusual sculptures of Spanish, American, Colombian and other artists who delight residents and tourists to this day.
I think the whole life is not enough to get around and understand all of Barcelona sculptures. I’ll tell you only about those which I was able to come across.
This sculpture is probably familiar to every tourist who visited Barcelona. For more than 20 years it has been decorating the second terminal of the Catalan El Prat Airport. Its author is Fernando Botero who calls himself «the most Colombian of Colombian artists».
The works of the sculptor are very characteristic, and you can always find them by the lush and swollen forms and unusual alloy.
Cheap flights to Barcelona
By the way, the horse sculpture is not an only work of Botero, belonging to Barcelona. Back in 1987, the Municipality has purchased a huge bronze sculpture of a cat, length of 7 meters. Heavy legs, fleshy hips, and a massive tail say that a sculpture was made in the traditional manner of Botero. Actually, it is quite pretty and elegant.
This chubby cat changed many places in Barcelona but finally settled down on La Rambla where it pleases residents and visitors of Barcelona today.
Strolling along the promenade in Barcelona, it is impossible not to pay attention to a huge, 30-meter sculpture, which is one of the main decorations of the city. This “floating fish” belongs to the authorship of a talented architect Frank Gehry.
This sculpture, representing the intricacies of metal structures, has been manufactured specifically for the Olympics. So that fish looked more impressive, Gehry conceived to make it in golden tones. Thus, the flecks of the sun make the statue look bigger and grander.
«Smiling shrimp» is one of Barcelona’s most famous sculptures, an outstanding work of modern art.
The author of the monument is the famous Catalan sculptor and designer Javier Mariscal, that’s why the official name of «shrimp» is La Gamba de Mariscal. In fact, the sculpture depicts not the shrimp but the giant smiling Norwegian lobster with claws outstretched, comfortably perched on a small colonnade with openwork roof.
Javier Mariscal has created a monument, which was ordered by Gambrinus restaurant on the eve of the Olympic Games, but after the games, the restaurant was closed, and the shrimp became the property of Barcelona City Hall.
«El Cap de Barcelona» is one of the most famous sights of the Catalan capital. Many tourists come to the embankment just to make memorable pictures in its background.
The sculpture is made in the style of surrealism. Its author was an American painter, a graphic designer and a sculptor in the pop art direction, a close friend of Andy Warhol – Roy Lichtenstein. Under the influence of the Gaudi mosaic tradition, the head was decorated with blue and red ceramic tiles.
The author, commenting on his work, said that they were only the outlines with no shape for him. It is believed that the sculpture symbolizes the new face of Barcelona after the Olympic Games 1992, but there were those who tried to find the faces of celebrities in it.
Woman and Bird
Another striking example of surrealism is the creation of a great artist and sculptor Juan Miro. This is a 22-meter high sculpture «Woman and Bird».
This sculpture remotely puts in mind of the female forms, decorated with colored pieces of ceramic tile, just in the spirit of Miró. Initially, it was known as «Mushroom woman with the moon cap». However, after the completion of the work the author himself called the creation «Woman and Bird». Although I prefer the first name!
Cloud and chair
Continuing the theme of the absolute surrealism, we encountered the work of the Catalan painter and sculptor Antoni Tàpies.
To some, it may seem that this abstract wire composition successfully emphasizes the façade and gives it charm. But I am still far from this fine cultural perception.
Bull and Giraffe
On both sides of the boulevard, Rambla de Catalunya have housed two unusual sculptures of Catalan artist José Granier – «Bull-thinker» and «Resting giraffe».
The sculpture «Bull-thinker» is located at the beginning of the boulevard and depicts a bull sitting in a meditative posture. He was absorbed in his thoughts and did not pay any attention to the world around him. Some people believe that the author of this creation is inspired by the image of the sculptor Rodin’s «The Thinker».
«Resting Giraffe» flirtatiously sprawled at the end of the boulevard Rambla de Catalunya in 1972. And since then it often appears on the photographs of tourists.
American sculptor Claes Oldenburg Swedish origin makes the most ordinary household items into giant sculptures. In Barcelona, in front of the Pavilion of the Republic is one of the most famous of his works – «Matches» which, like the heroes of the comic book or cartoon, one by one jump out of the box and scatter on the ground.
The sculpture «Memorial Book» was designed by the sculptor Joan Brossa commissioned by the Catalan Guild booksellers. The ceremony of opening the monument took place in 1994.
It is having a rather unique approach to the choice of materials. Unlike our usual plain stone or bronze statues, Barcelona Book impresses with its multicolored pieces.
On the polished surface of the grey pedestal, a blue cubic cup is mounted up. It is placed in a half-opened book with a burgundy cover with white pages. This book cover is made very texturally and pages nearly «flutter» in the wind.
Recently, unusual sculptures appeared on the streets of Barcelona – «Hands». This series of works was created by such artists as Serra Octavio, Mateu Targa, Daniel Lyugani and Pau Garcia.
«Hands» has a big variety of sculptures, arranged throughout Barcelona in the most unexpected places. Sculptures very clearly depict the consequences of the financial crisis in Spain. Some of them beg, some delve into the street phones in search of the forgotten coins, some try to rob a man who came to the ATM and some even hold a loop, because they couldn’t find a place in society, left without a source of livelihood.
Finally, a little bit more interesting photos.
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