Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wanderlust - 5 More Barca ...

In the process of "absorbing" city life, we toured the La Sagrada Familia - Anton Gaudi, the greatest Modernisme architect the world has known. The Familia is his piece de resistance, an as yet incomplete work - left so because of his untimely death due to being run over by a tram. What an ordinary death for so extraordinary a man. It is said that in the last 10 years of his life he became so obsessed with his work that he no longer cared for food or clothing. His hair had grown to disguise his face beyond recognition and it took over a week for his dead body to be identified.

The work in itself is like no other. There contains not one straight line in the whole structure, everything is a series of curves. The stairways are winding and steep to the point of inducing vertigo, each tower leaves your mouth gaping and head aching with the unusual. Its funny how we marvel so much at variations of the same structure time and again. In Italy or The UK, different versions of the same gothic design are photographed copiously for their "architectural brilliance".. Why?! They are al the same with a tower or a spire placed in a slightly different location. Here we have somebody who literally invented a whole style from his own imagination. And more than half the world has barely even heard of him. That, I think is a great tragedy. In fact people have gone as far as ridiculing his work-in-progress as grostesque and lacking all aesthetically pleasing element.

I think if they came to see the Familia at night-time, they would beg to differ.

This evokes another interesting question on art - is art about innovation and creativity and creating something that's absolutely fresh and new and never seen before, or is art just about pleasing the eye. Unsettling things are hard to get used to , so now there is a contradiction born.

However, once a new, refreshing idea is used time and again, it grows on the eye and becomes pleasing to watch. In my opinion, art should be more about innovation even if it lacks a certain beauty to it. But that, i think, is a question for artists to resolve.

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