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Posts Tagged ‘artists refuge Spain’

Watch This Young Artist

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One day in 1770 when Captain Cook was sailing past a little island on the northeast coast of Australia his compass started misbehaving. He presumed it had to do with deposits of magnetic minerals found there and named the place “Magnetic Island.” (Those were the days when the Brits could name and claim territories just by sailing past them.) In the end it turned out not to be magnetic, but never mind. 

Two and a half centuries later Chelsea Candy was born there and grew up to be one of the most authentic people we have ever met. Her effortless manner of just being herself makes the people around her feel more like themselves, a delightful event when it (seldom) happens. Twenty-nine years old now, she’s built a studio beside her house and has decided to become a printmaker. After working with her for 10 days I’m sure she will succeed.

Chelsea showed up here a couple of weeks ago to extend and polish her printmaking skills. I have seldom seen an artist so well centered and hard working. Driven by an overriding enthusiasm to learn as much as she could Chelsea was in the studio every morning and afternoon turning out traditional acid etchings, solarplate and liquid-metal prints (See below, though her best prints, made on the last day, missed getting photographed.)

So busy she was making prints that she didn’t even get to see the Alhambra, the one excursion here that nobody misses. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ll see the Alhambra next time.”

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Wall mural by El Niño de las Pinturas on the Cuesta la Escoriaza in Granada

Granada doesn’t have a contemporary art museum, but it has one of the finest grafitti artists in the world, Raúl Ruiz, El Niño de las Pinturas. (Here’s his web site.)  Raúl started painting on Granada’s walls in the 1990s. Over the past two decades, besides adorning his home town with a distinguished collection of wall art, always while dodging Granada’s municipals,  he’s been invited to take his work to the walls of Portugal, Holland, Italy, Venezuela, Hungary, Belgium, France, among other places. Well-documented followers calculate that Raúl has more than 2,000 murals all over the world.

El Niño de las Pinturas, grafitti in Granada

His work is both idealistic and poetic, and tends to feature brief prose poems done in exquisite calligraphy along with evocative scenes of infancy and adolescence, scenes which sow tenderness and solidarity wherever he works. These human elements are contrasted with the voracious metaphoric gears and train wheels that permeate industrial society.

Grafitti by Raúl Ruiz, El Niño de las Pinturas, on the Cuesta la Escoriaza in Granada
Raúl says:

“Cansado de las mismas respuestas,decidi cambiar mis preguntas”
“¿son números lo que tu alma nutre?”
“¿quizás el materialismo se está apoderando de nuestras almas? ”
“¿Qué hacer con juegos que siempre se pierden?”
“…sólo quien a renunciado a la victoria y a la derrota encuentra su camino… “
“…y haciendo cosas que rompo para arreglarlas y volver a romperlas paso mi tiempo…”
“y el tiempo se acaba…y la vida no espera…”
“el mundo está oscuro…ilumina tu parte…”
“Y donde miro si ojos no tengo…”

Tired of the same old answers, I decided to change my questions
is it numbers that your soul nourishes?
Perhaps materialism is devouring our souls,
What shall we do with games that are always getting lost?
only one who renounces victory and defeat can find his way…
making things that I break, just to mend them, then break them again, I spend my time…
and time runs out… life doesn’t wait…
the world is dark… enlighten your part…
Where do I look if I don’t have eyes?

What’s a Gallinero? And why would you want to stay there?

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