IMAGINARY SEAS - Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, March 1996

October 1996 - Can Felipa, Barcelona

From Organ for Tramontane
to Imaginary Seas

This title wanted to express an escape from standardizing and often excluding guidelines that were imposed subliminally from the capitals of the global village of art.

I felt like a soldier that, terrified by the bombs, only knows where he is escaping from: an absurd internationality of art. That is what I was looking for: my own way, with its roots in this provincial city, land of barbarians, on the confines of the Empire. That is what I was looking for: territorialize art in place and matter.

Therefore, Far from New York came to be a continuation of the concerns of Imaginary Seas; and presented a large selection of my work until then through the six halls of Can Felipa.

There, I also presented small clay figures – which I love because of the immediacy of touch with the material, even though I haven’t been working with it lately. Afterwards I had the same feeling hammering lead.

Three years after presenting the model of Organ for Tramontane in L’Ateneu Barcelonès, I had a dream. A convulsed sea was ripped like an immense curtain, torn by two large cracks of sulfur and fire. The fears of the sea appeared to me; when you look at it in the dark of night and hear its sound – which comes and goes inside your bowels. They were the inner fears that I thought that were conspired by the querulous cry of the organ’s pipes; and now resurfaced across large canvases with echoes of Poe, Eliot and Valéry, Géricault and Turner.

They were the fears of going deeper and deeper in the convulse world of art; of climbing on the train of modernity without losing the roots of myself and my country; of trying to embrace the vanguards without subjugating me to the new academicism of an alleged international art.

The upheaval of my seas reflected the inflection of my work – just like it was shedding its skin – and an inclination to sculpture (the first version of Utopia). But without renouncing to go deeper with the brushes in the cesspools of eyes and cracks that cross the faces of my often disturbing figures.

ORGAN FOR TRAMONTANE - Ateneu Barcelonès, October 1993

Organ for Tramontane is born as a rash idea, perhaps given by the delirious gales of Empordà. But it emerged as something more immediate while sticking my harmonica out of the car window, running on the motorway. It sounds! And organ pipes driven by the wind would sound too!

So I built this model over the years; and now I wonder if it is still mine, so festive and perhaps naïve. Maybe it is just because of this that it still captivates me, although my work has become more austere.
Clicar per power point Years after presenting it to the audience and registering it, I knew that Salvador Dalí had a similar idea, also in the Empordà. He never wrote it or even sketch it on paper, but there are witnesses who reported his idea. Dali wanted to install a wind-driven organ in Quermançó Castle.