Monday, July 2, 2012

Field Trip: Catalunya En Petit

Let me begin by singing the praises of Outsider Environments Europe. This blog is a labor of love by a man named Henk Van Es who is just as passionate about art environments as the artists who created the places themselves. If there is any art environment in Europe, you can find it on his blog! And that is exactly how I found out about Catalunya En Petit...

This art environment is off of a street so tiny, Google maps didn't bother documenting it. It's in the middle of a residential area near the Saint Andrew of Palomar Church.

A man named Isidre Castells (b.1920) spent his retired years decorating the courtyard in front of his apartment. He created a mosaic recreation of the city's biggest landmarks- This is how Catalunya en Petit came about.

Castells apparently had a troubled childhood, which included a bout of typhoid, time in a concentration camp, and the loss of his family. In his old age, he just wanted to be alone. So, he made art.

The street where this treat resides...
The view you get from walking up the street

Peeking over the gate, you get a feast for the eyes

His recreation of the Citadel Fountain is really cool!

Castells' version of the Sagrada Familia, along with the olympic rings representing Barcelona's hosting in 1992
Parc Guell

Castells even made a sculpture of his beloved dog!

Castells' recreation of Saint Andreu church, which is a 5 minute walk away from the site

The tiles on the outside of the fence were just beautiful!

Detail of the mosaic work

How fitting! Spain played France in the Eurocup the night after this was taken!

The plants' pots are even mosaiced!

Poor birdy!

See the Outsider Environments Europe page about Catalunya en Petit.
See another blog's little blurb about the art environment.
View a 2003 article by El PaĆ­s about the environment and the artist.
Also, see more art around Barcelona at this post.

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