César Manrique, Lanzarote

If you’re a real art buff, the name César Manrique might have come up in your studies. Or not. It will come up if you ever visit Lanzarote and rightfully so.

Manrique was an artist and architect whose greatest piece of work is Lanzarote itself. Having seen the future and the effects of tourism on the island as early as the sixties, he was an activist and demonstrator against different hotel constructions. He also propagated for a “traditional” style of architecture and materials instead of new and cheap materials. You can also see his sculptures and wind toys at dozens of locations all around Lanzarote.

As an artist, he was one of the first contemporary artists in Spain and used recycled or old stuff for his art, scrap metal and such. While a lot of his public sculptures get your mind reeling, the home he built for himself is something worth checking out. With visitors pouring in, César donated his home to the foundation bearing his name before his death, and moved to a slightly smaller place.

The house is set in the midst of a lava field and features pretty unique quarters. I could see myself hosting a party here. As a museum, it has some interesting pieces, not only by Manrique bur others as well.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself. Modern art might not be my thing. Throwing paint on a canvas and scratching it off, leaving some kind of marks might have had you in a state of extreme inspiration. And the purpose of art is supposedly to make you think. Contemporary art just makes me think: why, oh why, did this piece have to become real? I can sit around watching insects, rocks, trees, even flowers and definitely the sea for hours and always be equally amazed by colour, form and symmetry. That said, there were a few pieces that were intriguing.

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