Wednesday, April 28, 2010

barcelona signos

an assortment of signage spotted around my barcelona wonderland::

Friday, April 16, 2010

barcelona arriba

from a lacy bridge that stretches unexpectedly between two buildings above a hidden back street, so whimsically evocative of amorous prowling in the deep dark night...

to the exposed patchwork of interior walls looming over the demolition site now being excavated for its Roman foundations...

 "Not palaces, an era's crown
Where the mind dwells, intrigues, rests;
Architectural gold-leaved flower
From people ordered like a single mind,
I build.  This only what I tell:

It is too late for rare accumulation,
For family pride, for beauty's filtered dusts;...

 ...Leave your gardens, your singing feasts,
Your dreams of suns circling before our sun,
Of heaven after our world.

 Instead, watch images of flashing glass
That strike the outward sense, the polished will,
Flag of our purpose which the wind engraves."*

[*selected verses are from "Not Palaces, an Era's Crown" by Stephen SPENDER, 1909-95]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

casa malaparte

 Casa Malaparte
oil and acrylic on canvas;
40 x 50 cm

for well over 20 years now I have been enamored with this ran aground "ship" on the rocks of Capri -
[a slight diversion from Espana for this painting post!]
the Casa Malaparte [completed in 1942] is often noted as one of the most provocative houses of the 20th century built by the enigmatic and iconoclastic writer Curzio Malaparte [1898-1957]
his "casa come me" ["house like me"] may appear as a block of minimalist sculpture implanted on some craggy plinth a whole era ago, but to this day it continues to throb like an inflamed sacrificial heart on that primitive altar still arousing the most primal metaphysical responses...

"Odysseus-like, he commits her to the epical voyage across the Bay of Naples to the isle of Capri,
where they are hailed at the heroic Casa Malaparte...
Stranded on a rocky spur, the dramatic "casa come me" had been presented by the daring writer, invoking the muses and olympian gods to descend upon his roof theatre playing to the sky and sea."*

[*lines from "Come to my Casa..." [by g. verster, 2004] - a light homage to Curzio Malaparte, who had this formidable casa built; to Jean-Luc Godard, who made the movie "Le Mépris" so brilliantly filmed on location here; to Alberto Moravia, who wrote the novel that inspired the movie; and to Brigitte Bardot, who oh so gloriously imbued them all - house, movie, men, books - with her much too easy sexiness...]