Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Barcelona & Patrick Thomas

So, we returned from Barcelona a few weeks ago and this post is a little late in coming.

The visit at STUDIO LA VISTA to meet Patrick Thomas was an interesting insight into how an independent illustrator lives and works. I think I became more interesed in the surroundings than looking at the presentation he had prepared for us though. It was a intriguing to see how he will sometimes take the first thing that google brings up and pretty much use that to form his image. There was a heavy use of screen print in his work and he was eager to stress the amount of process that goes into the final production of his work. The images were kept very simple and there is little or no evidence of drawing in his work, most probably due to his beginnings in as a graphics student.

The Picasso Museum was awesome. Really giving me a much fuller appreciation of his talent and ability and his cause throughout his carreer. I found a little out about myself I think and was inspired by his ability to change his style and outlook and really too change the face of art as we know it. Truly he deserves the moniker of genius with which he was associated.

I thought it was important to write up some of the notes I gathered on the Miro museum we visited there (considering I managed to almost fill an entire notepad with notes!).
Not really having a lot of prior knowledge on the artist upon entering the museum let me really immerse myself in the place and approach it with an open view.
Inside we are exposed to a really wide array of artworks, from sculpture and (extremely large!) weaving, to carvings and of course the many paintings. I thought of him more as an illustrator of ideas and really began to appreciate the (somewhat cryptic) message of his work. While it took a lot of thinking about the semiotic references contained there when it bagan to filter in I was astounded by the sometimes vivid message towards the establishment which he despised. His feelings of disgust for the war and commentary on the other great themes are more than adaquately displayed within the exhibition.
It was interesting to read how he thought that his work; 'reduced life to a more simple time,'
and to observe how people would look at the scribblings comtained within the work and mockingly observe the reference to the male genitalia, deliciously unaware of the irony and their ignorance of the piece as a whole.
All in all he gave me more of an appreciation for the visual language he employed and as peer of Picasso provides an interesting juxtaposition as an artist that certainly never developed the degree of draftsmanship evident in picasso's earlier work, but did however communicate to anyone with an appreciation the newer ideas in art and some of those possibilities.
He explained himself that, 'I have always evaluated the poetic content according to the visual possibilities'.

Whilst in the city we also managed to visit the Segrada Familia, the project begun as the brainchild of Gaudi and then later adopted under Franco's regime and subsequently wrecked by introducing completely different design ideal. One has to wonder how it would have looked if Gaudi's design would have been allowed to come into fruition.

We also managed to visit the MACBA gallery. Here however I believe we reached saturation. Whilst there was some interesting commentary on the culture of spain and indeed the last 100 years or so, and some great spontanious shots captured within, we all decided to try to absorb the cuture more directly from here and went and explored the city on foot.

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