Art on the Street
We are used to seeing the art in the museums and monuments in the city. But there is much more than just this. We will show you the unconventional art, different from what you’ve seen already. We will see how the greatest artists of the epoch have changed the look of Barcelona and our perception of art as well. We are talking about unusual sculptures, friezes, and mosaics that don’t only decorate the city but convey the history, past deeds, and a deep symbolic meaning.
The Kiss Wall
(Where it can be found: Plaza de Isidre Nonell, near Plaza Nova and the Cathedral)
The World Begins With Every Kiss (El Món Neix en Cada Besada) is the name of the ceramic photo mural created by the artist Joan Fontcuberta, made of 4000 images sent by the people of Barcelona, interpreting the theme "moments of freedom". The project is part of the commemoration of the Tercentenary of the Catalan defeat in the War of Spanish Succession, in 1714. Although this installation was meant to be a temporary work of art, the Barcelona City Council decided to keep it permanently.
On the plaque that is next to the mosaic, there is this quote:
“The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
(Where it can be found: Plaza Nova, to the right of the Catedral)
Do you think that you can only find poetry in the books? That’s not the case! Here in Barcelona, there are visual poems, an unusual combination of sculpture and poetry! The most famous one is Barcino - a visual poem created in 1994 by Joan Brossa. Brossa is a Catalan poet, Catalan playwright, and plastic artist, internationally recognized, mainly by his visual poetry.
This work consists of seven large independent letters that form the name Barcino, six made of bronze and one made of aluminum (the N). This way Brossa wanted to pay tribute to the origins of the city of Barcelona: when the city was founded as a colony Roman, in the 1st century BC it was named Colonia Iulia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino.
Frisos de Picasso
(Where they can be found: Plaza Nova, on the façade of Col·legi d'Arquitectes)
In Barcelona, it is possible to visit the Picasso Museum, where you can find an extensive collection of his work. But few know that there is an artwork by Picasso right on the street, on the façade of a building. Three friezes by sculptor and Norwegian photographer Carl Nesjar were made on the facade of the Col·legi d'Arquitectes, based on Picasso drawings in which he represented Catalan traditions and popular festivities.
El friso de La senyera, or the wall of the Flag, on the right side, represents Els cors de Clavé, an organization of choirs founded by Josep Anselm Clavé during the 19th century with the aim of raising the culture of the workers through music.
El friso dels Gegants, or the wall of the Giants, located in the central part, represents the tradition of the Castellers, the Gegants or Capgrossos and the Palm Sunday.
El friso dels Infants, on the left side, represents the Sardana, a type of circle dance, typical in Catalonia.
(Where it can be found: Rambla de Barcelona, Pla de l’Ós, near Gran Teatro del Liceo).
While walking along the Rambla, it is possible to see, under our feet, the work of a great Catalan modernist artist Joan Miró, and you can even find his signature. In 1976 the circular mosaic was installed, with the elementary colors, yellow, red and blue, and simple forms, so typical of Miró.