Friday, December 9, 2016

El Cap de Barcelona

Public art is almost always controversial - opinions seem to range from 'it's all a huge waste of money' to 'I can't get enough of it' with stops such as 'I don't get it' and 'It looks like a (fill in the blank)' along the way.

This pop art sculpture by American artist Roy Lichtenstein was commissioned for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.  It is titled 'El Cap de Barcelona'; in English 'The Head of Barcelona'.  If you look closely you'll see an interpretation of a female face.  The sculpture seems to pay homage to the images of Picasso and to the mosaic techniques employed by architect Antonio Gaudi; both of whom lived and worked in Barcelona.  The sculpture is right along the waterfront where the long street Via Laietana terminates and stands as a bright, iconic, whimsical and majestic element.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Barcelona Pavilion

The other day I got involved in a discussion about the virtues of Mies van der Rohe's concept of 'Less is More'; an often heard expression that outside of the architectural community is seldom attributed to the German architect who first uttered the words.  For this reason I decided to post this photo of the Barcelona Pavilion; the very essence of less is more.  Perfect proportion, perfect detailing, exquisite use of materials and completely stripped of all unnecessary embellishment or decoration.

I created this photo using one of the black and white settings on my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Barcelona Pavilion

A few weeks ago on Facebook I observed that over the last few years I've been lucky enough to see several of the world's great architectural gems.  This ranks up there with the best, German/American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion.

Designed for the 1929 International Exposition this iconic structure features marble, onyx and travertine extensively.  It's a very open and perfectly proportioned structure - being there one has a feeling of perfect order and calmness.  Interestingly, there are no light fixtures, fire extinguishers, exit signs, thermostats or other 'architectural acne' on any wall surfaces.  There is no need for any artwork because the building is work of art in itself.  It's a simple and quite perfect building.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Barcelona in the Afternoon

I really don't have much to say about this photo; we'd stopped for drinks in the later afternoon and I noticed this young lad practicing his ball control by weaving in and out of this portico.  He looks to be around 5 years old so If I'm right he should be ready for the Spanish World Cup team in 2030.  He already has the jersey.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembrance Day

I took this photo in the summer of 2013 at the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. The memoral was built to commemorate the sacrifice of the 66,573 aircrew from Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland and other parts of the Commonwealth.  The memorial was dedicated on 2012 June 28 be Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as part of her diamond jubilee celebrations.

Wikipedia has this to say about the memorial:

Aluminium from a Royal Canadian Air Force Handley Page Halifax of No. 426 Squadron that had crashed in Belgium in May 1944 was used to build the roof of the memorial, which was designed to evoke the geodetic structure of the Vickers Wellington. The Halifax, LW682 OW/M, had been removed from a swamp in 1997 with three of the crew found still at their posts. They were buried with full military honours in Geraardsbergen and the remains of the aircraft were sent to Canada. Some of the metal was used for the restoration of a Halifax in Trenton, Ontario, and the rest was melted down by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta. The Museum provided ingots for the memorial to commemorate the 10,659 of 55,573 Bomber Command aircrew killed during the war that were Canadian

Although we visited in summertime many months before Remembrance Day and not at a time when any official events were being held the memorial was strewn with poppies and cards of thanks.  Stirring stuff.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art was designed by American architect Richard Meier and was completed in 1995.  The museum itself is a piece of art and features strong, simple forms clad in white both inside and out. The floors are black granite but apart from that the only colour comes from the artwork and the views to the outside.  I am pretty open minded when it comes to art but I was not that overwhelmed by what was on display within the museum when we visited but I was quite happy to stare at the building; I think it's stunning.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Things You See on Holiday

Taking a little time out to watch the world go by is something I seldom get a chance to do at home so I take full advantage when on holiday.  Seems the weirdest stuff is near the beach - as in this case.  Not sure if the fun was ending or starting but either way that inflatable fella is going to have to pay full fair on the city bus.