Friday, December 30, 2016

Farewell 2016...and to Barcelona

We've been very lucky to have traveled to many great places in the last few years; London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Cairo, Prague, Milan...the list is long.  Barcelona is at the top of the list however; whatever could be desired from a vacation destination Barcelona can deliver.  Beach holiday?  Check.  Shopping? Check.  Restaurants?  Museums and Galleries?  History?  Ease of access and public transit?  Barcelona pretty much offers it all.

To close our 2016 and this short series of photos from this trip I offer this roof top photo of Gaudi's Casa Mila with Sagrada Familia in the distance.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Nativity Facade - Sagrada Familia

This detail photo of the Nativity Facade on Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona features the three wise men carved in stone.  They are depicted with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the new born King.  We all know what gold is but what about the other two things?

Myrrh is a natural gum-like resin from the Commiphora Myrrha tree.  It was used as a perfume and because it was thought to have an intoxicating effect it was also used medicinally.  Frankincense is also a sap like substance taken from the Boswellia Sacra tree.  Like myrrh. it was used in perfumes it was also as incense.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Urban Abstracts

At the end of trip I always seem to have this weird collection of photos that aren't really 'of' anything in particular.  Sometimes they are of more industrial objects (I have some great black and white close ups of an old locomotive in Milan a few years ago of anyone is interested...)or just simple details taken in the street - like this photo taken somewhere in Barcelona.  I like everything about it - the strong but subtle rectilinear forms, the texture and the colours.

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.