Sunday, January 19, 2014

Arrival toValencia

I arrived in Valencia to begin my "Hogera" project Friday night, January 17, 2014. I am eager and excited to start working on this sculpture. I've been in Valencia for 2 days wrestling with jet lag and trying to find an apartment for under 400 euros a month. Valencia is definitely a sculpture town; from what little i have seen I can honestly say I am beyond humbled.

 I have been working on the design for this piece along with Alvaro Marin, a Valencia designer, for close to six months. we have communicated over email, Facebook, and sent designs back and forth to each other. The idea was to create an homage to the spring goddess using the spring sprite from Disney's Fantasia 2000 as reference. The piece is to be titled, "Story of a seed" "historia de una semilla" and presented as a 10 foot sculpture for the Fallas celebration. the following are images of the design in progress and the final design itself and a bust study of the Spring goddess.

These are turn around images of the Spring Goddess bust done in 'Chavant: Le beau touche' she measures about 14 inches and sculpted in three days.

The flight over was 11 1/2 hours from Los Angeles to Zurich, Switzerland, then Zurich to Valencia, Spain. I was fortunate to have had an empty seat next to me from LAX to Zurich and to have had a window seat over the wing. Over the wing is supposed to be the least bumpy of places on the plane. I watched movies the whole way and got very little sleep partly in due to the needy Italian woman sitting in front of me who farted the whole way. She also took my extra pillow from the seat next to me when I tried to knock out for a few minutes. The flight from Zurich to Valencia was great in comparison!

Upon arrival to Valencia, I was met by Alvaro and his Friend Amadeo at the Airport. I checked into a Hotel and had an awesome Spanish dinner of Tapas, Calamari, and Beer. I tried to rid my jet lag with whiskey but after a couple of days here Jet Lag is starting to get the best of me.

All day Saturday I spent looking for an apartment here in Valencia. I am looking for a place with extra rooms so that I can sculpt in one and sleep in the other. They are fairly affordable compared to Los Angeles Prices; a 3 bedroom apartment runs around $500 U.S. dollars a month. Ive had no luck contacting anybody yet and hope that this Monday morning it will be easier to get a hold of someone. For now I am staying at a 20euro a night Bed and Breakfast for a few days.

 Saturday night, after a whole day of apartment hunting I went and explored the city by night. I found a cafe/ restaurant and had chicken croquettes and a pork sandwich. I then went bar hoping to some odd bars. I saw a Goth/ Punk looking group of friends and decided to follow them to wherever they where going. It turns out the part of the city they went to is in a neighborhood called Carmen in the city of Valencia. Its where the "Alternative" crowds hang out. Its a mix of Jazz lounges, Rocker bars, gay bars, pubs, and everything in between. I ended up at a bar with no name that advertised Guinness in the window and had Jameson whiskey rubber bar mats. it looked like my kind of place. to my disappointment they had neither. I am a little disappointed about the limited selection of beers some of these places had, it almost seems like Amstel beer, Carlsberg, and CruzCampo have the city held for ransom. Also, the only place I noticed that sold Jameson whiskey was the hotel bar where I stayed the first night...oh man.

It is hard to not feel intimidated by the great sculptures of this city. Just with in a mile radius of where I am at I have already seen some awesome sculptures that I plan on studying over the next few days. The city of Valencia truly is a Sculpture town and I cant wait to dive head first into this place. 

January 20, 2014 -Red Rooster/ Juan Balandran