Mercat de Sant Antoni - Barcelona, 2020
MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI - BARCELONA
Probably the most special place in Barcelona for me, as the Market is not only a beautiful piece of industrial architecture but also a place of "meeting" or "a cross of destiny lines", "sign of the cross". Its' symbolic shape and reflective glass, the octogon gaining light inside all with the inspiration of Romanian singer Antonia, whose witchcraft of cryptic and mystic songs inspired me to take more into the biblical Saint Anthony and find out more.
After that, I had the "Walk of my life" in the blistering Sun, chasing a ghost-like idea of Antonia, but in a special connection that inspired me to draw I think the best Sketch Series I ever did so far, and very fast. I ended up at Carrer de Marina, between the two tall buildings, to aim a "symbolic" wish towards the heart of the Dacians / Romanians ... maybe we will finally wake up from our "Death Sleep", and start to think and unleash that high-energy spirituality we were born into, before Christianity.
St Anthony is known by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things. The Franciscans allowed Anthony to go to Morocco, to be a witness for Christ, and a martyr as well. In Barcelona morocco is very present, even close to Mercat Sant Antony, a lot of immigrants and a really nice culture into the melting pot of spanish-catalan-arab influenced cosmopolitan capital city. More here : https://www.stanthony.org/who-st-anthony/
Saint Anthony was "cannonized" (...pun intended), that is "Sanctified" in Romanian on 13 May 1232, Saint Anthony of Padova or Portugal (where he was born). He is widely known for the "Universal Saint" and of course me and Alis Olea have a really special relationship with Saint Anthony :
Saint Anthony church (here a "cried" snow version) in Bucharest is the place where my two parents had their marriage, and the same Saint Anthony church near the Old Court of Medieval Rulers (close to the "nexus" of our city) was the place me and Alis Olea first met, at an Urban Sketchers Session in winter time. Of course we went there again, and I had a blast drawing with arch Mircea Corcodel of the AAA (Watercolorist Architects Association), him too a member of the Urban Sketching group and a dear friend, fellow biker with whom we had nice trips to Arsenie Boca - Drăgănescu church as well.
Here is the Sketch Marathon I did back in Barcelona in April, under the Sunny free Skies. Of course my "Manic Disorder" (as I was diagnosed for being too intense) as opposed to "Depression" means high-mood most of the time (high energy, sexual activity, artistic endeavour, laughter etc. but most of all an extremely intense fast-connecting ideas, networking like). So, sometimes I may think and draw extremely fast to the point of frenzy, other times I really understand my gestures after I finish the artwork, without extrastimulents (external drugs, or too much caffeine). That is why I will try to explain, bit by bit every scheme in the relationship with my life-events - maybe they connect mentally better, with the rest of the articles also. Sure Sex is good, but wait until you see how good it feels to enter a "deep-state" of intense artistic catharsis. Its spiritually lifting and mind refreshing to the point of ultimate high. Why not ? In a "depression" filled world that only wants to "stop thinking" whats wrong in being too high energetic ? The 666, Bomb like techno energy type one-too-many women. So, in slow mode :
here I pictured Sant Antoni Market as "the Distributor" of faith Anthony was for Jesus, but in a Solar manner. Like taking the Sun from above, and pouring it through the architecture, into the world.
instantly I connected it with the "Sun Homage" (click the link for separate article) of Radu Adrian - a sculpture I found out in Babadag with Alis and her family, and later searched for its author ( i even talked with him on phone ! i like to go all the way... always), meaning, decrypting the message. Also, the negative-positive features of the sculpture marked the same like free flow, Sun Energy to distribute. I found it quite similar.
Ok this is the "plan view" like of Sant Antoni Market. Seen from above, the "point" in which the sun enters the "distributor" is visible.
Of course, the first sketch was not conclusive (perspective view) so I tried to make a 3D isometric view to better understand myself, how the light enters from above and goes down to the world, or spreads.
Having the "better" image in my mind, I instantly connected it with the "El Born" Market, a similar one with Mercat Sant Antoni, but I liked the name (In romanian "Born" means like in English "Născutul"). So, as we were living close to the "Casa de Lactancia" maternity I was feeling like "Born again", turning my visions and ideas about "The Team" into something I was really afraid of myself. In fact El Born market is where I had my first Stop with Alis during Dragobete 2019 (Romanian Pagan Holiday) - at "La Paradeta" (which literally means - the Stop), a seafood restaurant. Paratrăsnet ești Trăsnet is a wordplay actually on the Thunderstruck and Thunder Protection Systems you usually use on buildings.
Talking with my far-cousin from Oltenia (Valea Rea - Bad Valley, Filiași) now residing in UK about "oriental" music and "manele" he told me about how "genious" this Antonia singer is, from Romania. Actually I didn't know shit about her, I always prefer heavy-metal or die-hard manele like Șușanu, Techno yes ... but lame Gay-Pop with beautiful girls whining about lack of love and perfect dream lovers ? Cut the crap. This sketch is inspired by her song Hurricane. Or love like a Hurricane, something like that.
But why not, I knew one or two songs from her -not bad- category and lets give it a try. Well, her song Marabou resonated very much with my feelings and I felt her like she was almost there, perfect connection and a wild witch-hunt. Also a very beautiful woman, with some trash package background of family drama combined with famous status that brought her tons of hate and envy (mainly because of her deadly looks).
Well, thats actually how we discovered and explored Mercat Sant Antoni more - in fact this video sent by my cousin, where you can see the Popstar Antonia not ashamed of the guys trolling with manele, but instead giving them class by raising the bar. Also, they put a favorite of mine : Șușanu and Florin Salam : Ești Bombă (someone else put this at a party for me too). One of my favorite tracks all time is 666 - Bomba, spanish techno. Well, it connected somewhat. And Antonia in that clip was raising the bar with Narcisa and Cristina - Dai din Buci (oriental, ultra wicked stuff there). But Antonia was really unstoppable in that epic interview and brought the heavy cavalry with Leo de la Kuweit - Mamma Mia. Well that was literally the bomb, as I was having second thoughts of posting random weird stuff on facebook for everyone ... because of getting assaulted and harrassed with "Medical issues" because of my "Bipolar Disorder" ( I had literally *tons* of explanations to give about why I am smoking, why I have a profile picture like a robot, whily I am writing in Mongolian or Arabic, Why am I posting upside-down photos , Why this, Why that - you dont take your pills - i was just fucking up with everybody to see how idiotic they became, in arts also - not knowing that Dali even challenged other artists by painting with shit also, why not make Facebook or Instagram an Art in itself , random and wild ?).
So what is Crazy right ? :) Leo's song said basically "Do your crazy shit". And I did. "Pantera System" was closely tied with Antonia's deadly looks so why not ... lets all go deadly dead !
Risky, but It worked ... to quote Alis's genious collegue. I didnt get into hospital or arrested, but man that was some wicked stuff I did back in Barcelona playing with limit-limitless and no-limits while listening to Leo, risky stuff.
This was one inspired by "Total Recall" and the refreshing restart of the Oxygen reactor that "Free Mars" was intended for. And the idea that someone has to push a button, to give it a start. Both architects and dear friends Viorel Hurduc and Mircea Corcodel (once partners in the same team, while doing international competitions) said, separately that I should make this images bigger and make an exhibition. Dont know what exactly did they like about small 15x15 sketches done in super speed.
This one was much more hardcore. After all that crazy solo-running around Barcelona trolling everyone, sketching, searching inspiration and basically just evading that tight-isolation that has terrible damage on the psyche (but also good stimulation input on artists) ... i somehow managed to heavy damage my foot nail. Because of the "manic spike" I felt (quitting the pills and powerful withdrawal, spring burst of energy, mental compression due to covid and Bonus! : an unprecedented assault resulting in death threat and harassment from my wife's family) ... well I did not realise I hit something that hard.
I had this problem before and if you ignore it, you will end up in hospital. And you dont want to end up in hospitals in Spain during a CoronaVirus crisis taking its toll with over 700-800 and raising to 1000 maximum deaths/ day. That was something not to go there. So while in 2015 Lavinia said go to the hospital, more crazy-insane Alis said ... yeah, do it yourself. So I went Robert DeNiro style in his "Ronin" movie doing a dangerous self-surgery, in our apartment in Barcelona. To be more precise it was a subungual powerful hematoma that had my foot nail all-black. If you dont get that solved, you will have an infection for sure - like I did before. So I heard that is a solution to "insert a needle" in your own nail and "release the pressure" of blood there. You can find Youtube tutorials, like here.
Its a pretty risky stuff to do on your own, had to drink a bit of alcohol and do pauses between stabbing sessions. Had to listen to Prințu de la Cluj reggaeton, much more hardcore (cutting himself with the knife, out of love) ... to do it. Șușanu was fun fun, but too light for this delicate situation. But the sensation was great, blood was coming out and I felt released of pain. And I thought , yeah push more ! ... why not? Alis was almost sick of the image, she was working something around while I was torturing myself for pleasure. Thats a nice self-estocada (where you cut yourself open like). And while she was not watching I said, yeah why not ... something will surely go complicated. Like If I took all that pain, why not ... take it ALL ? And I decided on my own, not telling Alis even ... to take it all off with the small scissors. Yes, I took all my nail off, it was the second one (not a big thumb one). After that I poured some alcohol, to extreme pain ... and took care of the wound.
Healed up perfectly, a bit radical ... but It worked. I thought it was similar with OUG 13 law in Romania that cut myself in two, but also released me to understand myself better. Weird enough, I pictured it at Sarmizegetusa Regia ... I thought the "Heart of Romanians / Dacians" ... unleashing "Love" to bring Peace to the world. Like "The Needle of Destiny", someone to rip-up all the layers of indifference, like in the INNA Video (around 1:40) the girl breaking the glass - a nice metaphor of crushing all worlds inequities. Inna was for me always not only a very beautiful woman, but a high-accelerated artist with a great intuition and fast-paced songs. Her songs are much more than "whining dream-lover" commercial stuff, as I like "Come back and Set me Free" to think as a nice metaphor for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ bringing peace into the world, or a equally powered Deity - something to melt all into one. And her song "Yalla" also inspired by the arabic world she is very fond of means "Hurry Up" as in "Hurry up the World is Burning, come and help Us" ... but my favorite is still the "Club Rocker", maybe the character she wishes to "Rock the whole world". Yes Inna was a great, great ride partner, as I found out ... she was living in Barcelona ! ... but i found out that later.
Then I thought, why not make an incision of the "nail type" surgery ... into the "head of man" or the Sfinx of Bucegi Mountains. There are legends about underground tunnels I never checked, but read about ... but I think a nice metaphor. To enter "the truth" through the head of a man. It may be literally, the head of the statue / rock molded by nature or maybe symbolically ... crack open the skulls of fellow idiot humans, to "broaden" their perspectives on life : such as gay marriage, swinging, multiple lovers, tattoos etc. Barcelona is a very "open mind" cosmopolitan city prone to new subjects, culture and political views, extremely lively ... not like old fashioned România, being also fucked up by Orthodox Church nowdays even violent views on life. If you are not like them, you are getting beaten up.
Of course, the same "light emitting energy" can freeflow through the "bell towers" of the Orthodox Churches. These sketches were done like one after the other in super-speed and intense idea-connections, they may not have that much of a meaning. This one reminded me of "Jimblăria" of Călui Monastery, the head monk told me about this word meaning "Oven" or Stove, in which I think he was cooking orthodox christian energy I envisioned could be released into the world, freeing up humanity. This inspired me to do the DRAKARYS series as well as the SUN AGE / SOL EDAD drawings - inspired by solar energy and The Cult - Sun King or Fire Woman.
As you can see, Barcelona Sun and Sant Antoni Market while simple, were very inspiring and giving a zoom-out, better outlook on all symbols. Even Thracian, Dacian and everything ... here I went from the church double - gemini (Twin Peaks like) symbol to the tree I once saw in Sarmizegetusa Regia mountains of Orăștie while on a trip to Fețele Albe citadel. I saw this "multiple arms" nature extending to the human, man-made metal strings ... it was quite an image, I related it to our "Roots".
This one was a much more simple approach, of Yin Yang and that in every darkest night there is some light while in the lightest joy there also might be some sadness. And "Perversă" in Romanian means "Wicked", like excentric or twisted mind with different ideas - not in a bad way. Just different.
While working for conservation-restoration I was very fond (and still am) about symbols and semiotics, like understanding from a graphic idea more than from a word or many gestures. Take it simple or how the japanese have symbols with deep meaning etc. This one was inspired from a cross I saw at the Murfatlar - Basarabi complex in România, where I always thought the geto-dacian spirituality met christianity and mixed or blended perfectly, maintaining ancient hidden meanings. This cross is "condensing" the energy into a single focal point, a spiritual nexus maybe ?
Sexual energy was blending in with the "All-Blacks" and Pagan Rituals of the New Zealand folk, I always loved a good "Haka". They even do it at weddings. Ancient, pagan but ... what a show to watch, everyone connected, in a network of perfect syncronicity.
The mirror symbol reversed, I just randomly played with ideas not knowing what I really want. Just play play and play more.
And while playing I thought, hey why "stab" physically when you can "Call a Symbolic Thunder" from remote, a Projectile or a fly-by-wire electric ark right towards the center of the Dacians to "light em up". The text "Liniștea mea" is a metaphor for Depeche Mode "Enjoy thy Silence" or "Silence must be heard", a feeling I had in 2017 before taking pills and a desire I had to silence all these voices of hate, misunderstanding. A world in chaos and yelling its end, seeking its eternal silence and ... peace. Opel is thrown in for the sanskrit idea that Opel means NewBorn or baby, while Opel's name history relates in fact to its founder : Adam Opel who initially had a ... Sewing Machine company. In Romania we call it "Război de Țesut", awkwardly enough meaning "A War of Weaving" - maybe the reason I liked Amaia (Maia of Tango) singing "Soy el Tejido, el Tejedor" (I am the Weave, I am the Weaver).
But for peace, you sometimes have to have a bit of "war", even if its verbal or on facebook, with ideas ?
After "hitting" symbolically with AC/DC high powered Thunder things got messy in the drawing, and spreaded around, like I graphically opened up Pandora's Box. "Hate a bit" is the Black moon still clinging to the sun, but "Baro, Baro, Baro" are words from Blondu de la Timișoara and Șușanu's song "Sunt Barosan" I was listening while drawing. Actually "I will take you to Amsterdam" I thought It was a nice metaphor to take România, Dacia or ... even the whole World to a symbolic "Amsterdam" or "The Sun".
Who cares if you take a beautiful woman like Cristina to Amsterdam, when you can virtually take all ... to a new Sun Age / Sun Era ? And everyone will be happy and at peace ... these guys are talented artists with catchy songs, not only beautiful women dancing their asses of. As "Chel to Chel" I like not to think of about a woman that needs a replacement lover (low battery and fixing her), but the "symbolic" battery of Ancient Dacia ... who would of thought "manele" can get you inspired like that ?
The Lion, King of the Jungle as always ... heating up everyone. My zodiac sign, just to make it clear, lol but the right symbol means "Wolf Totem" out of a talk with Uncle Rainer saying that the Sun is the Wolf or something like that, he is a bit off duty much like me, or even more.
Other interpretations, with Romania First in the middle of the things, heating up the world.
Well, then I thought what if we really pull this off in a perfect Grid / Eixample or Network / Mental Hub like the Tăblițele of Tărtăria were meant ? Whats next ? Moon, Mars, the stars? Alien contact ? ... should we move forward ... ? and connect with other life-forms or just try. Like lets take the vision flying even farther away ... lets dream a bit
"Înțepătura" means the "Sting" or like a venomous sharp needle of destiny. Actually I was sometimes running out of inspiration in the same series and repeated previous ideas, but different graphics.
Like just writing down random thoughts, to reflect upon later ... i usually do that.
While the mind was resting with quick-sketches I remembered about "Săcărâmb" and Cristian Roman, an archaeologist talking to us about ecumenical hills of this village with many churches, and the catholic church being "torn" by a lighting ... some fascinating facts. The church had the "surge protection" aquired but was not installed yet, got Hit by lightning to fatality, went to rubbles. I loved the idea.
Lightning Striking a Church is not a pleasant sight, but it is common in the villages. And if the church is made out of wood, its game over. In conservation-restoration projects we had "a blast" in mounting new systems on old churches, basically fucking up their image because, the most ideal way to solve it was to make a "surge protection" in the shape of a cross. You cannot have a cross on top and a PREVECTRON near ? its just plain wrong - yet our engineer said it is the only solution, my father. I always asked him ... why are we damaging the image of the churches and not asking these companies to design special equipment to look like a cross, keeping the cross on top always ?
Powerful, pain-striking things like nail surgery and lightning brought to my memory this really insanely painful intervention I had, actually it was a type of medical investigation I did awhile back ... yes, it is a Penis and they enter it (3-4mm) with a small not sharp needle. Now thats some pain there.
Well it was Corona Virus already when I did these, yet not wearing masks outside (April 2020). And I thought the "Storm" or romanian "Furtună" was quite necessary for mankind and It had to come, let alone some electric discharges that would shift the world away from its self-damaging ways of crooked politics and corruption.
Explosive ideas went even farther, as to "Tie" virtually everybody up like a dacian "wolfpack" and then ... blow up the whole world. "Fascia" is the Fascism symbol of : one stick may break, but many tied up are stronger, a powerful identity graphic sign used in the Roman Empire.
Well Cristian Roman had ties not only with Săcărâmb, but also Cetățuia Dacică Ardeu. Phonetically it can be shifted to Ard Eu or ARD EU which translated goes something like "I (eu) BURN (ard) ". Like in Burning for You, or Burning for an idea ... an internal combustion is always good for self evolution I think.
This was the trigonometrical sense, reversed clock-wise to turn-back time to years of joyful peace.
Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue's wavy market in Barcelona (Sancta Caterina Mercat) was reminding me of our project with the "Wave of Change" I wanted to see in the world, the need for a Revolution ...
And looking at El Temple Expiatore de la Sagrada Familia or Cathedral of Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) I thought ... wow thats some nice spires there, why build a bigger central one. Why not make a "negative" inversed one right to the center of the earth, to make a stark contrast between "Rise" and "Fall" two concepts of human nature less exploited in religious buildings. Like you have to go "down down" in order to "lift" others up, or a metaphor of fighting your inner self, ego or similar.
In this double piece I imagined my "flight" or "escape" to Barcelona only to collect the best out of "suns" on the way, gather up all ammunition and then, flying to my never-ending dream, crashing inside lets say ? Sagrada Familia and just finding the best "sweet spot" to take some good wicked sniper love-shots at the heart of the Dacians. Sometimes making a zoom-out can help you clear your mind and see things from outside, like the orthodox joke of a circus this country was slowly turning into.
Oddly enough while in this 2-3 hour walk I did all these 40+ pieces, teacher Savu of highschool special mathematics crossed my mind and his remark "Hey Florică băiete - did you ever saw those Gothic Churches in Sibiu ? like the big Evanghelical one ... how -straight- it is ?". I was very emotional when he talked to me, like he never went personal with the pupils. Well actually I was really surprised he was interested about architecture but he made me think ... how did they Do those cathedrals so straight, with almost no technology ? It was like a mystic question, about self-reflection ... how can you make something that perfect without CAD, with the help of God ? what does that mean. Cathedrals were the "mark" of God's presence, living and standing proof that the "Divine" clearly existed and people died for it ... as I always love the Gothic dark side of christianity, I found myself in the inner turmoil of Enigma's songs like : Sadeness or Gregorian Chants. Western shades of "love and devotion" were a bit different then Eastern shades of belief, it was quite clear ... but why ? I had the same degree of dark inside, maybe "Paftaua Negru Vodă" and its gothic features may be a link between east and west belief systems ? The Darkest Prince of Romanians. Maybe an answer for Vlad Țepeș or Drăculea (Dracula) fierce opposition of the Ottoman Empire and his ruthless ways ?
Later on I absolutely fell in love with Gothic Churches and even did a Project in the 3rd year of University : "ArDealu Frumos" in 2007.
Of course The Steyr Scout was not my weapon-of-choice in my favorite PC game : CounterStrike, but a good cheap sniper and ... more important : the most precise one in the game. Most precise, light and mobile, like just what you need to get good clear headshots if the weather is good. Deadly if you know how to master it.
As you can see, near the end of "my walk" in that day ... ideas were getting random and almost depleted. Started wondering, why did Mihai Rainer with his Ecumenic Pyramid Project gave me as a wedding gift a suitcase full of knives ? He said that in arab culture has some meaning, but I never found that (i asked everyone even my friend Kurtuluș from Istanbul). In orthodox it is a "bad omen". I thought there are good to "cut down loose and useless connections" or make a "Power symbol" giving you some ammunition for the fights to come.
"Cuțitele" means "Knives" as one of my Mother's favorite church in Bucharest is "Biserica Cuțitul de Argint" - the "Silver Dagger Church" or Silver Knife. She was always fond of cutting things down and demolitions, giving me the book "Vedere din Parfumerie" about the pains of the Bucharest citizens in front of the Communist urban re-structuring of the City. That book was so Good, by Silvia Kerim ... I even found some friends doing a Cultural Center called "Hearth" (like Vatră or Heating up - a Heart Place) inside Silvia's house later on, in Traian neighbourhood near us.
Just a Lightning ... like Enigma's song goes, maybe there are some thing Beyond the Invisible.
Writing on-the-spot poems towards the end of the trip was like an afterparty. I always had this fascination with Cadiz, not knowing what is there. I liked the name, maybe from somewhere far apart ? I dont know ... later on I discovered it is in fact in the Arabic (ex-Reconquista) part of Spain where Paco De Lucia was born as I loved flamenco and mostly Mediteranean Sun Dance.
Actually in a "barrio" or neighbourhood with some gipsy (gitano) folk as well. I also like very much his "Entre dos Aguas" (Between Two Waters) much the same as I like Heroes del Silencio "Entre Dos Tierras" (with an Epic video almost exactly depicting the violences between me and Alis in Barcelona - talk about coincidences) and both songs sounding like they talk about a passageway between two worlds, a tight Valley of the Damned (or Valea Rea) we have to cross in order to get to the other sunny side.
And some self motivation in Spanish language, to finish up the day ...
Who ever thought that Antonia and her Marabou (Ma ra bou or My hea Boo or My Heart Boom) can feel the same like some internal combustion of love and get you inspired like that ?
Exactly , maybe we are closer to the happy-end of the New Age of Earth then we might believe.