Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

The other day a friend shared by e-mail the enchantment generated by her current visit to Barcelona, especially by the art work of those she deemed geniuses. She added: “One wonders what it took in their genes and/or their shared environment to produce work that’s continuing to create a mark in time and across space.….

A thought that came to my mind almost immediately, triggered by my own treasured memories of Gaudi’s miraculous creations, was the irony of it all. I replied “can you even imagine that, at least here (in the US), it is a common misconception that the word “gaudy” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gaudy) that expresses tastelessness, tackiness, is a direct reference to the work of Gaudi?!? 

I heard this confusion so often, including “seen it on TV”, that I was appalled and researched its origins. I was pleased to see the origin of the word well preceded Gaudi. But then, why would anybody assume this word was inspired by his work?!? Because it’s so different! Gaudi drew from the Gothic and Spanish architecture and mixed in his love of nature to invent his own new architectural style. He used his extraordinary imagination not only to design visually magical buildings, but also to come up with unconventional designing tools, using photography to capture and later to reproduce results of physics experiments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaud%C3%AD).

Millions continue to travel from afar to be enchanted by Gaudi’s creations.  One of his master creations, La Sagrada Familia, towers the city, unfinished, still daunting today’s builders, yet it attracts and wows more visitors than most nicely completed cathedrals. How many of us are familiar with the work of Gaudi’s contemporary who were considered at the time to create with great subtle taste?  Standing out in a crowd is hard. Next time when someone offers something that is not our everyday thing, maybe even uncomfortably different, we should stop and consider adopting a fresh way to look at it. What if it is not just out-of-the-ordinary, but actually extraordinary?

Sagrada Familia towers over Barcelona


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