I've wanted to visit Barcelona since first seeing the work of Antoni Gaudí in art history books when I was a student. Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Park Güell, the Sagrada Família—I had seen enough photographs of these places to build considerable curiosity and establish a strong desire to experience them firsthand.
I suppose I expected some kind of mad-genius hybrid of Walt Disney, Theodor Seuss Geisel and Frank Lloyd Wright—studies in unrestrained excess and over-the-top design.
The last thing I expected was to be profoundly moved by Gaudí's work but, to my surprise, that is what happened. His remarkable use of natural forms, the exquisite and uncompromising craftsmanship of his execution, and, of particular significance to me as a photographer, the way in which he incorporated light into the very essence of his architecture quite literally awed and inspired me.
Barcelona, with its diverse population, intense individualism, tortured history, and remarkable appreciation for the aesthetic potential of everyday life seems the perfect, perhaps only, place for Antoni Gaudí to have accomplished all that he did.
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