“To wake up everyday with a paint brush in your hand is a life not many people can imagine. Being able to have a newly restored energy running through your artistic veins and urging you to create new original paintings can be explained quite easily by where I am in the world. With my art I’ve never felt stuck and have always loved to experiment with new inspiration which I draw from elements around me.”
Paul Ygartua in Sitges, Spain
“I’ve always considered myself privileged to have been inspired by the places in the world that I visit and draw energy from the people, their culture, the architecture and history. Deconstructing each one of these elements and piecing them back together in my art is something you can re-live in my Neo-Cubism “Martini Ladies’ subject.
By ignoring the concept that art should copy nature and its perspective, Cubist painters instead wanted to highlight the two dimensionality of the canvas. Like glass being shattered and pieced back together Cubism art has relied on geometrical shapes that in some ways breath energy into my Neo-Cubism paintings.”
Over the past 34 years Paul has visited Sitges, Spain with his family during the summer month of August. Sitges is a small town only half hour down the coast from Barcelona, the town only half hour down the coast from Barcelona, the hometown of famous architect Gaudi and frequented by Dali and none other than Picasso who have both inspired Ygartua’s artistic styles over the years. “Painting Sitges has always been interesting; the challenge is to capture the Spirit of Sitges, the excitement of the night life, the fireworks and the fiestas celebrations.”
Sitting predominantly over Sitges waterfront is their magnificent Church perched at the end of the beach that stretches for miles. This scene alone caught Paul’s eye the very first time he visited in the late 60’s. The Church of St. Bartholomew and St. Tecla is Sitges’ most instantly recognisable landmark, thanks in part to its dramatic location on the Baluard headland, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The church has existed since medieval times on the same site, the present building was constructed relatively recently in the 17th Century, but retains two Gothic tombs from its previous incarnation. Visible all along the Passeig Maritim, its lofty presence mean that locals refer to it simply as ‘La Punta’ or ‘The Point’.
How Sitges has inspired Paul’s Neo-Cubism style of art?
“It is truly a wonderful town, with the charm of the historic buildings, from Renaissance to Art Nouveau, the never ending beaches with Garraf Massif as a backdrop-it is a perfect setting.
It continues to retain a cultured ambience, the baroque church, that Paul painted over the years, is the focal point for the amazing Sitges fireworks, arguably the best in Europe, using the church as a backdrop.
Although painting was Paul’s priority during the summer days the evening was absorbing the catalan culture and the people. Evening would start off at 9pm at the 100 year old Chiringuito (cafe – family owned on the Maritim Paseo), where we first would congregate. First one aperitif before going over to eat at the waterfront Santa Maria restaurant – it was a tradition, and we did that most evenings.
The real party though is when fiesta (holiday) weekends occur over a few days of festivities. Anything from live beach parties, musical bands playing all night and of course the famous fireworks can inspire just about anyone to imagine. Life is bigger than everything around you and watching the movement of people walking down the famous paseo, all ages from babies to grandparents is real European life, it is entertaining and never a dull moment.
For a small town, there is so much, from galleries to museums to historical buildings, to grand fiestas, and the great thing is the Catalans are there. It has a culture of its own, and it always remains the same wonderful, exciting, fascinating town which inspired me to paint many paintings. Wherever I am, I paint daily, I like to live in the country-we are not used to visiting for a short time, we like to experience everything, the culture, the people, the surroundings, we emerge ourselves completely and enjoy being part of the local scene.
This has always been important for my work and probably why my subject matter is so varied, it is the changes that I like, in countries, in my work. I feel an urge to keep changing and with our continued travels, having studios in other parts of the world, it is not only inspiring for my work but it becomes a buena addiction that I can not live without.”
This small town of Sitges gave birth to Paul Ygartua Neo-Cubism collection entitled “Martini Ladies”.