Because of the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona has undergone a radical change. One of the most transformed areas was the port. The Face of Barcelona or The Head of Barcelona, perhaps because its height of 15 meters makes it possible to see form afar, is one of its symbols.
Pop-Art in Barcelona
The face of Barcelona is a work of graphic artist and sculptor Roy Lichtenstein, who, like Andy Warhol and Richard Hamilton, is one of the greatest exponents of Pop-Art. It was made by Diego Delgado between 1991 and 1992. The sculpture is formed by 8 pieces of concrete that are joined by stainless steel staples and the coated with ceramics.
Barcelona’s face is part of a series of faces that Lichtenstein calls Brushstrokes. The rest of the pieces that make up the series can be seen in New York, Tokyo and Zurich. Thus, in the sculpture there are parts that emulate the brush strokes, which transmit the painter’s energy at the time the work is done.
Lichtenstein is also an artist heavily influenced by comic book aesthetics, which is often reflected in his works. Thus, the points are one of the features of this works. These points, enlarged, remind printing techniques used in comics. Also primary colors, which are used for printing, are very common in their creations. In the context of Barcelona, these colors bring us closer to Joan Miró.
Miró, but also Gaudi and Picasso
The coating ceramics are a tribute to Antoni Gaudí. They are made using the trencadis tecnhique, the broken ceramics that the Catalan architect used so much in his works.
The sculpture wants to represent the face of a woman, Barcelona. But this face is presented in three dimensions, as if it were a cubist face, which can be seen from different points. Not a coincidence, so, when Picasso came with his parents to Barcelona, he lived in the building just in front of the monument.
You can see The Face of Barcelona walking around in the harbour or in our visit Discovering Barcelona too.
In the meantime, from home you can browse the Internet to see what the other Lichtenstein Brushstrokes look like.