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The Original Mash-Up Artist_RAY JOHNSON invades the MACBA

2 Nov



Ray Johnson will be rolling in his grave next week when the MACBA presents a retrospective on the ART World’s most  famously unknown artist: RAY JOHNSON

I came across his work 6 months ago when reading The Accidental Masterpiece: On The Art Of Life And Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelman, a book written about  the most staggering geniuses the world never knew.


Ray Johnson was the first to revel in POP ART. The original Andy Warhol, he manipulated his public image as an artist/celebrity, no one really ever knew the man behind the artist. The fact that he died with 400,000 in a bank account when most people thought he didn’t have a dime, is a true tesitimony to his secrecy. He increasingly became hell-bent on blurring the line between what could be considered art. The ANTI ARTIST, his specialty was mind games, puzzles and clues.

One of my favorite Johnson anecdotes is the one where a bargin-hunting art collector offered him 1/4 of the price of the canvas. Johnson then took his check and cut out 1/4 of the canvas.


The grandfather of mashup and sampling, he became interested in MAIL ART, a project in which he would mail unfinished pieces of his art to other famous people, friends, and strangers with the simple instructions to: “Please ADD to and RETURN”. 

His Final OPUS was an art performance he called NOTHINGS inspired by the number 13. On a cold winter’s day he checked into a hotel, room 247 (2+4+7=13) to be exact. He then drove up the highway to the bridge where he completed his final work by jumping off a bridge into the freezing waters of Sag Harbour in New York on JAN 13th the day of his birthday. No coincidence then that he was found dead at age 67 (6+7=13).

ray_johnsonThe exhibit in Barcelona curated by Alex Sainsbury in collaboration with Chus Martinez  is simply called: “Ray Johnson. Please Add to & Return” and opens at the MACBA on November6th. This retrospective of Johnson’s collages and mailings will mark the first time that an exhibition dedicated to the artist will take place in Spain.

The exhibitions Ray Johnson: Please Add to & Return and John Cage and Experimental Art: The Anarchy of Silence will be simultaneously on view at the MACBA, affording an opportunity to explore the relations between the work of  both artists.  Ray Johnson, frequent reference is made to the figure and work of John Cage. His work reflects an in-depth interest in the idea of chance applied to the artistic approach developed by Cage.


For more information on the Johnson exhibit @ the MACBA click {HERE}

Sonimagfoto & Multimedia show

11 Oct


son-imag-foto-2553-1The crisis has effected all sectors, but this year Sonimagfoto focused on the experience. With several booths allowing the crowds to interact with the products and artist at hand.

One of my favorite exhibits was Argos,  a space that allowed visitors  to sit back and watch a slide show  of 8 different artists. The space it’s self was a disappointment. With Argos, being sponsored by Panasonic, it was obvious that the director of marketing had no idea what an oppertunity this could have been for the company to reinvent themselves.  Handing over just 2 televisions for the exhibit and a flimsy banner , Panasonic just ended up looking like a cheap big brother for a show specializing in multimedia.

The possibility of partnering up with 8 of the most promising photographers  was something that was not taken into the equation, especially when the majority of the attendees were being wowed by more complete spaces such as CASIO and CASSNOVA

However, the exhibit still was one of the most eye catching and refreshingly raw talent at the show. Focusing on human rights and social issues this space curated new images by 8 outstanding photographers and artists that brought together photography, video and music.  Below are a few of my favorites…


“Forced Identity”. Pep Bonet. New exhibition The life of homosexuals and transsexuals in Honduras, viewed with respect and sensitivity, forming part of a series of photographs on AIDS in the world today. This Majorca photographer won the second World Press Photo Award in 2008 with these images.



“The forestman”. Daniel Loewe. New exhibition An impressive series of photographs documenting the life of an old hermit who lives in the Collserola mountains near Barcelona. Loewe has photographed him over the last four years and the results are now exclusively presented at this year’s show.




 “Barcelonaskyline”. Sergi García Panoramic views of Barcelona taken from the mountains or from the sea, at dawn or at sunset. Barcelona in all its splendour.

All in all it was a pretty tame show however, it would be nice to see companies stepping up to the plate and really showing the support behind these shows and what they can achieve as far as showcasing new technologies and new ways of displaying what lies ahead.

ULLS FESTIVAL 09- Art For The People.

11 Oct


The ULLS Festival takes over the streets of Barcelona, October 14-18,  invading the city with four days of  Dance, Music, Film and Theatre.  This week the  ULLS Festival  sets up shop at the Palau de la Virreina and various points around the city. 

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 This festival is one of  Barcelona’s most radical and alternative of cultural festivasl  which the city hosts.  Now in it’s third year the  emphasis of this festival is placed in the performance of art.  All of the events are free of charge  in order to generate an open access to ART.

Imatge ULLS 2009 (2)A  festival to be enjoyed by all who call the “cuidad condal”  home, regardless of money, social class, or citizenship.

The only requirement is to be one of an open mind.

The four day event will host a total of 8 theater performances, 5 concerts, 5 workshops, 3 film screenings and 2 performances by alternative artists.

Among the other events are art workshops for the kids  as well as an art exhibit.

 14 countries are participating in this forum, which is meant to act as a cultural exchange between Latin America and Europe revolving around artists  sharing their concept of life and art between the two continents.

For a complete listing of events and location check out


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Cine Ambigu_Film Series OCT 2009

11 Oct


Back from their summer break  100.000 retinas <> pick up where they left off, bringing you the best independent movies every  TUESDAY  in OCTOBER 

 Their commitment in screening the best movies without commercial distribution and major works of international festivals, that rarely see box office success. This time around they  present 3  underground movies in the indie movie palace known as VERDI PARK in the Gracia neighborhood<> the cities epicenter of all things indie.


Tuesday OCT 13 – YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (2007)

Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola returns to the director’s chair after a ten-year hiatus with this adaptation of Romanian author Mircea Eliade‘s tome detailing the arduous journey of a professor whose life is thrown into chaos as World War II looms ominously on the horizon. When the 70-year-old scholar is struck by lightning, his age begins to reverse as his mind grows infinitely more brilliant. Now determined to understand the origins of language and consciousness, the fugitive professor leads authorities on a wild chase through Romania, Switzerland, Malta, and India. Tim Roth, Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Marcel Iures star in an ambitious low-budget drama trumpeted by Zoetrope as a “return to personal filmmaking” for the revered Godfather director.

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Tuesday Oct 28-OF TIME AND CITY(2008)
British filmmaker Terence Davies pays homage to the city of his birth in this visual essay on the seaside town of Liverpool. Described by Davies as “a love song and a eulogy,” Of Time and the City uses vintage home movies and newsreel footage to paint a portrait of the Liverpool he knew as a child, a tough working-class community where decay and resilience walked side by side, even as many of the efforts to “improve” Liverpool in the ’60s accomplished little beyond robbing it of its character and rough-hewn beauty. Combining a variety of found images with music and poetry, Of Time and the City explores how this slow evolution of Liverpool impacted the people who lived there, and how the people also became part of the city’s ups and downs. Of Time and the City was screened as a special presentation at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

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Tuesday Oct 27- THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD (2009)

Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are “The Yes Men,” two guys who combine political activism, performance art and the love of a good prank in the name of demanding the private sector take responsibility for the damage it’s done to the world and its people. Bichlbaum and Bonanno specialize in setting up realistic looking mock web sites that claim to represent famous and powerful multi-national corporations, and when they’re contacted to speak on the companies’ behalf, they deliver absurd satirical presentations that sometimes fool their audiences into believing they’ve seen the real thing. The exploits of Bichlbaum and Bonanno were chronicled in the 2003 documentary The Yes Men, and their further adventures have spawned a second film, The Yes Men Fix The World, which follows the radical pranksters as they claim responsibility for a major environmental disaster in Bhopal on European television, demonstrate a new corporate rescue orb, “defend” corporate interests in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and publish a mock edition of The New York Times that declares the end of the war in Iraq. The Yes Men Fix The World received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

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Foto Del Dia

27 Sep


The Wonderful World of Dani Torrent

23 Sep


In 2008, illustrator Dani Torrent took on the project of adapting Hans Christopher Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid”. The result is an adaptation that dives deep into the darkest corners of the so called  “fairy tale”.

Torrent,  beautifully creates a fairytale for adults , weaving his own personal vision and intertwines them with childhood memories of gypsies, fishermen, and vagabonds. The story set in a post war Barcelona,  places the main character in an industrial setting where chimneys replace trees ; and abandonded power plants substitute palaces.


 “The Mermaid”, which took over 18 months to complete has yet to find a publishing house.  Dani, whose version has stayed true to the text by Anderson, wanted to explore the darker side of the story. ” I was intrigued by the parts in the story that are never talked about, the things that are brushed under the rug.  Disney never tells you that the Prince would only allow her to  sleep outside his door, on  the doormat”


Inspired by this image, he began creating an androgynous looking mermaid, one without the perky breast and the perfect smile.  A soul that drifts quietly between two worlds, who is willing to change everything about her, and will suffer miserably, in order just to be loved.


Dani Torrent a native of Barcelona,  found his passion for art at an early age. He studied art in Bologna,  but moved back to Barcelona to pursue a career in film.  At the same time he began taking classes on illustration and decided he felt more at ease creating the storyboards. His work has been commissioned by lawyers, greeting card companies and was selected by author Jan Beltran to create his book cover. Up next for Torrent, is a children’s book as well as an upcoming exhibit in the fall.


To fall through the wonderful  world of  Dani Torrent please click below:

*Portfolio_ The Intrusive Eye Of Biel Capllonch

21 Sep


Fotos by_Biel Capllonch

Barcelona based photographer Biel Capllonch , has been shooting images for nearly 15 years.  His body of work is extensive as it is diverse, he has shot campaigns for Ikea as well as covers for LeCool.  A master of composition, his work leaves you questioning what is at the periphery of his lens.  Both intense and shrouded in mystery his images are quietly chaotic and conceptually well restrained with a calm force of candor for his subjects at hand.

When looking at his images one gets the feeling of being an intruder in a world that only Biel has stumbled upon and one which only he knows what really happened that day. Are we voyeurs? Do the subjects know we are watching? Do they like it? Did we get there to late?

 His photography evokes a certain kind of awkward silence; a journey behind closed doors of the suburban, the glamorous and the elite.  It is a study in human emotion, fears, and the peeling back of veils. Nothing is what it seems. Nothing will ever be same.


The Art of Irene Bou @ ARTEVISTAS

14 Sep

gotico street

Tucked into a quiet street in the Gothic Quarter ARTEVISTAS flies under the radar of  the hundreds of tourists looking for mosaic plates, T-Shirts and mugs. The only hint of this bohemian space is the metal sculpture hanging from the entrance. A simple calling card if there ever was one. 

Representing local artists working in Barcelona,  Artevistas has represented Irene Bou since the opening of the gallery gallery two years ago.

 “People are absorbed by her paintings. Her art is very different and her body of work grabs you attention and  many times it makes you think of things that you maybe have inside and only she knows how to express, with her talent” – artevistas


With only 26 years of age, this young artist has already  managed to create a name for herself in Barcelona but is set to take the international art world by storm.

Irene Bou’s work has been often compared to the  globally recognized Neo-expressionist  Jean-Michel Basquiat however, her work and style is definitely her own.  Her work  has recently caught the attention of one of the most prestigious galleries in Paris;  Galerie Lisette Alibert, a gallery specializing in contemporary primitivism. The gallery will host her first solo show in Paris this coming spring.


Like any great artist, her latest work has been inspired by her constant questioning of the world around us.  Her unique point of view and manner in which she chooses to express herself is what makes this city tick with creative energy.

Irene Bou’s newest exposition will open  September 17,  is simply titled:

” Conversaciones con Dios y con el Diablo (un clásico) “

“Like  everybody  in this time and space  I have often wondered about the existence of an infinite being, creator of all this paranoia that we fail to understand.  Curiously,  a literary classic” The Devil and God “by Jean Paul Sartre appeared in my hands; obviously it did not bring the answers to this ancient riddle but  it created in my mind a thousand and one image of a God who speaks through men and existing or imaginary creatures, from an eye that sees us with  a mute voice and other troubling eye that haunts us. “

– Irene Bou

ARTEVISTAS- Passatge del crèdit nº4 08002 Barcelona
Tel/Fax (+34) 93 513 04 65