Saturday, February 12, 2011

La Seu in Palma: ArtTraveler experiences Miguel Barcelo and asks if he is a 21st Century Michaelangelo?

Too much talent, too little time could be Mallorcan artist Miguel Barcelo's conundrum.

Barcelo's a painter, sculptor, performance artist and more, but he's anything but wild, as some suggest.

I see him as a Renaissance man with an extraordinary palette of artistic disciplines and technical skills who has the work ethic of a Norwegian farmer. (I lived with them in a small town in northwest Minnesota.)

In 2009, I consumed the visual magic and scope of his imagination and creative energy inside the cavernous Le Seu Cathedral anchored high above Palma, Mallorca's port.

Seven months earlier, Barcelo completed this masterpiece: 300 square metres of ceramic mural in Le Seu, reforming and transforming the Capella de Sant Pere (Chapel of Saint Pedro).

Barcelo wanted to develop a theme consistent with the chapel, dedicated to San Pedro, patron saint of Mallorca: the Last Supper.

Barcelo probed the sixth chapter of the book the Gospel of St. John, focusing on the exponential effect of fish and bread multiplying for the masses.

These photographs I took while in Palma in 2009 fairly represent his mural.

As Vincent van Gogh said, "Painters are creatures with feelings." And the emotion pours from these walls in wonderous shapes, natural light spreading highlights and shadows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Barcelo's 21st C.ceiling--completed in Geneva in 2009--presents a cocophony of in-your-face bright colours on thousands of plastic stalactites hanging (solidly) from the ceiling of the Cupula de los Derechos y de la Alianza de Civilizaciones de la ONU.

Taking a break from these rigors, Barcelo recently sculpted a tree into whatever you think it is, in Avignon, France. Barcelo calls it "Gran elefant dret."

Make sure you check out today's hyperlinks.

You'll see videos and more and perhaps better images of his Chapel San Pedro and of course, his emotional response to the world's cry for human rights in Geneva.

Rock on and practice peace and love.

See ArtTraveler videos on YouTube and follow Dutch walkers Rob and Joost on their two-month pilgramage (Via de la Plata), from Seville to Santiago de Compestelo, 1,000 kms. And if you're interested in sculptor workshops or walking the mountains where I live, check out

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

La Seu Cathedral (circa 1401) from the port in Palma, Mallorca. Photo by S. Van Drake

Detail from Miguel Barcelo's mural in Capella de Sant Pere, Palma, Mallorca

All above photos by Stefan van Drake.

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