My Dinner with Strambotism
A magical evening it was.
We arrived to a warehouse in an industrial district. We knew that we were going to an artist’s studio and, having been to a few, I knew this location to be normal. I knew what to expect. Except that I didn’t. This was the studio of Quim Hereu, the world-renowned Strambotic artist.
We were greeted at the entrance by Quim and his colleagues. Behind him was a curtain stretching the width of the room. We walked through the curtain and what first drew my eye was what was farthest away.
It was the 6m x 12m painting of “The Strambotic Birth of Venus – or, the Time Factory”, the theme of which is eternal youth. This painting has been a two year project for Quim. It will be completed in just a few weeks.
Costa Brava – the home of Strambotism
As Hereu explained, Strambotic art “looks like surrealism in the result but is quite different in the creative process” which requires “seny i Rouxa” in equal balance – a thoughtful approach to the subject injected with a crazy imagination. You can read more about it on Wikipedia. Hereu was introduced to the movement when he met Joan Fuster ten years ago. Fuster, from Costa Brava, started the movement in 1973. In a poem written to Quim, Fuster left the legacy of Strambotism in Quim’s hands. Unfortunately, Fuster passed away in 2011 so he will not see the completed “Venus”.
A Chef’s interpretation of Strambotism
Sitting down to dinner with the artist in his studio was more than just one stop on my tour of Costa Brava organized by Costa Brava Tourism. It was much more. It was a gift. How often does one have such an opportunity. And the food created by chef Gonzalo Martinez, inspired by the painting, was exceptional. Before each course of the five-course dinner, Gonzalo explained its connection to the painting.
Sometimes I’m solo only some of the time.
Solo Traveler, this blog, has allowed me to do more travel than I expected when I started out. Trips like this one allow me to present more parts of the world, and more unique experiences than I otherwise could. So that you know, I arrived early in Costa Brava so that I could have my solo experience as well. More to come on this fabulous trip.