Gaudi and Picasso – The Rock Stars of Art/Design.
Waking from what seemed like a distant nightmare of a luggage thief and long hours in a police station, I was finally ready to start exploring the wonders of Barcelona. Our apartment was situated in Barcelona’s Gothic district. The city’s newer buildings were surrounded by the old that carry a distinct sense of deeply rooted history. Our apartment was only a 15min walk from the beach was filled with locals and tourist alike. The beach was absolutely beautiful, and it was fantastic to finally feel the summer sun on my skin as I basked in all its warmth. Did I mention Barcelona is hot? I mean really hot. Most days were at least 30 degrees Celsius that offered no clouds that could offer relief from the heat.
After a daily dose of the beautiful beaches, it’s important to follow up with a visit to the original Picasso Museum. Unfortunately they do not allow cameras inside the museum but trust me when I say that this museum is an absolute must-see. During our visit there was an exhibit documenting Picasso’s self-portraits from age the tender age of 8 until when Picasso’s death. The progression of the artist’s style was astounding and the self-portraits offered a real sense of the artist’s life. The permanent collection was comprised of everything from canvases covering entire walls to pottery and pages from Picasso’s sketchbooks. I have always been a real admirer of Picasso’s work. With my experience at te Picasso museum, I feel that I have a much better understanding and appreciation of his work and of his life. A true legend.
The next day we took a trip out to the house of the famous architect Gaudi. The Gaudi house (also known as the ‘House of Bones’ – because of the unique façade of the multi-level home) is located in the heart of Barcelona. The Gaudi house has become a unique spectacle and has drawn the interest of architects and designers internationally. The façade of the home’s design was based on a small model Gaudi had made. Gaudi directed skilled trade people along every detailed step of the building process. In today’s world this type of involved oversight would never be possible. Yet, Gaudi’s involvement reinforced his attention to detail balanced with freeform expression only possible when Gaudi designed this kind of a structure.
Entering the Gaudi house, one can immediately notice the use of free forming curves the architect used to bring life to the ocean and reconstruct his complex relationship and connection to Barcelona. There are no right angles or straight lines present in any part of the house. This is not an observation but a reality that has been documented by experts. Gaudi’s intentional use and dedication to curves seems to bring entire spaces to life, creating an overall flow from space to space. Gaudi also considered the use of natural light in almost every space in the house. To counterbalance the heat of the natural light, he designed wall that mimicked the gills of a fish to allow for proper ventilation and circulation of cool air and heat in the spaces. Another unique fact is that Gaudi actually designed a typeface for the numbers and letters on all the doors in the Gaudi house achieving a design that was truly uniform in every inch of the space. Moving toward the house’s roof-top terrace, Gaudi’s love for the visual impact of mosaic tiles on curves is evident. Various shades of colours wrap around the numerous chimneys that extend outward from the roof.
We spent several hours inside this amazing feat of architecture. I still look back, almost in disbelief at the amazing accomplishment Gaudi achieved in every aspect of the design of the ‘House of Bones’. For anyone traveling in Barcelona, I would highly recommend that you check out the house of Gaudi. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Picasso, Gaudi and the beaches of Barcelona ….. what could possibly be better?!
P.S - The journey of replacing my lost clothing is revealed in my next installment – if you’re a “fashionista”, my next entry is a real gem.