Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ArtTraveler meets John Barrett and discovers Federico Garcia Lorca

I've talked about art and nature that thrives within art, bipolar components of van Gogh's erratic creative process that produced so many masterpieces even though he only sold one painting during his short lilfe.

"I cannot help it that my pictures do not sell. The day will come, however, when people will see they are worth more than the price of the paint and my living expenses, very meagre on the whole, which we put into them." Vincent van Gogh, 24 Oct. 1888 in a letter to brother Theo.

I am fixated on van Gogh because he epitomizes the soul and persona of the struggling artist.

Van Gogh, ever the exponent of culling through layers of landscapes, digging deep into nature's reservoir's of mystery and inspiration, sketched, studied and contemplated his subjects deeply and with passion.

A couple of years ago I met an artist, illustrator and painter--John Barrett--who became infected with the words of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who died at the hands of fascist militia, murdered with 2.000 others on 19 Aug. 1936 in the  small village of Vizcar a few kilometers outside of Granada.

John Barrett for his masters  thesis or project, got carried away but quite successfully. He sought over a periiod of 15 years to visually translate most of Lorca's poems, creating more than 300 images: ink drawings, acrylic paintings, illustrations, prints and art photographs, dividing them into two periods: Lorca - A Dream of Life (1919 - 1928) and Lorca: Poet in New York (1928-1936).

John is a friend. He launched his Dream of Life exhibition in August 2009 first in Canillas de Albaida where he's a seasonal resident with his wife, Jen, owning an historic Moorish townhouse about 460 years old, and then later that month, a much larger exhibition in Competa at the town hall's Salon de Actos.

It was a first for Spain.

We'll learn much more about the enigmatic and rather prolific senior, tull-time lecturer at the Institute of Art and Design at Birmingham City University in England, John Barrett, as we navigate the art of these relatively unknown but extremely gifted artists.

I would like to share with you this Lorca poem, Landscape:

The field
of olive trees
opens and closes
like a fan.
Above the olive grove
a foundering sky
and a dark rain
of cold stars.
Bulrush and penmumbra tremble
at the river's edge.
The grey air ripples.
The olive trees
are laden
with cries.
A flock
of captive birds
moving their long long
Tails in the gloom.

This olive tree I photographed a couple years ago below Corumbela must be at least 300 years old. This is Lorca's Spain.

Rock on and practice peace and love. See ArtTraveler's videos:

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

No comments:

Post a Comment