Thursday, 23 August 2018

Barcelona Guardians II

This trinity of grinnin' fools combines statues from St. Petersburg and Barcelona – one in a museum, one on a street corner – plus a little typographic ingenuity to produce an essence of smiley-ness. Can you imagine holding that expression long enough for someone to photograph, let alone sculpt it in marble? Come to that, can you imagine feeling the need to sculpt some local notable in marble? Somewhere along the line, public life lost the urge to memorialise itself. I'm in Bristol at the moment, and I'm struck by the busts of city and university notables from the 19th and the first half of the last century that clutter up various niches and unvisited corners of the city museum. No-one, now, is likely to pay to have a mayor or vice-chancellor immortalised in stone. Assuming they could even find someone capable of doing the job.

I forgot to note which particular saint the benign-looking bearded fellow below is (the one with the sunglasses), but he's clearly in a relaxed mood. The other (smaller) one is my go-to guy for "contemplative, fashion-forward male with shaven head". You may have noticed him before around here, pondering the great mysteries. Saint Shades of Barcelona clearly thinks he's doing a good job.


amolitor said...

I confess that I am finding the backgrounds considerably more interesting than the statues. I mean, you've got to have something up there, otherwise the good bits aren't background they're foreground and they don't work as foregrounds.

I am reminded of a story about Art Tatum. Many jazz pianists will improvise variations on the melody while maintaining the harmonic structure, but Tatum would from time to time go the other way about, improvising harmony in the left hand while maintaining the right as-is.

Mike C. said...

Yes, in many ways that is the point. In simple mechanical terms of Photoshop layers, the figures will typically be one or two layers, perhaps three, whereas the background and surroundings could be anything up to 20 or more layers. It's like creating elaborately rich settings for beach pebbles. (And don't think I haven't thought about that...)