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Barcelona Face, Roy Lichtenstein

The colour and size of the sculpture Barcelona Face make it impossible to miss. Everyone has their own opinion about this piece of public art that has decorated one end of Barcelona's Port Vell since the Olympic era, and blends in with the maritime past and present of one of the city's main leisure areas.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Barcelona was undergoing a transformation designed to modernise the city's infrastructures and reclaim its many dilapidated areas. The old harbour, the Port Vell, was completely redeveloped and new works of art were placed around the area. One of the "letters of introduction" for the Olympic Games was this sculpture designed by the North-American graphic artist and sculptor Roy Lichtenstein, which was made by Diego Delgado between 1991 and 1992. The imposing sculpture stands 15 metres high on the Passeig Colom, very close to the main post office, its outline silhouetted against the blue Barcelona sky.

When viewed from different angles, you can spot a face or head poking out from a background of red dots in relief. The shape of the monument seems to emerge from its colourful, sweeping brushstrokes. In fact, the work is taken from the series by Lichtenstein entitled Brushstrokes. Part of the Pop Art movement, and influenced by the aesthetic of the comic strip, the monument is a tribute to the city that hosted the 1992 Olympic Games and its most famous architect: Antoni Gaudí. The fact that the sculpture is covered in mosaic clearly alludes to the Gaudiesque aesthetic.

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