Collage date with Fidel Iranzo

Impromptu collage show with Fidel Iranzo.

Fidel was my roommate during my MA program in Barcelona and since then we’ve kept in close contact… Let me tell you about the story of how Fidel & I met:

I was living in Florence, Italy applying to MA Programs. I was 100% sure I was going to go to the University of Paris. And then this MA Program in Barcelona fell into my lap - it was a serendipitous sign and long story short, that is the program I chose…

The life decision was starting to skink in, I was preparing to leave a place I called my home for a foreign city and a rigorous 1.5 years of academia ahead of me. Think MA Program condensed into 1.5 years + graduate internship hours + oh yea, the whole program was taught in Spanish and I didn’t speak Spanish!

For whatever reason the panic didn’t set in until that last week in Florence. Up until then I seemed to be nonchalantly-mentally-preparing to float between two cities. I hadn’t found an apartment in Barcelona, I had no idea how I was going to get there (flights aren’t an easy option when you have 4-5 suitcases of your life), and I didn’t select an exact move date.

As panic set in the week I knew I needed to transport my life, I began to look at apartments in Barcelona on Craigslist. I naturally wouldn’t have waited this long, I actually did look up apartments the week I found out that I was accepted in to the program but everyone was looking for immediate roommates and I learned I’d need to wait until the week-of with Barcelona…

Here enters Fidel, who had a room listed for his apartment just off the beach in the neighborhood of Poble Nou. I was hesitate at how distant the apartment was from the city center but he quickly assured me that Barcelona was a public transportation-savy city. I loved that his apartment was by the beach and that the third roommate who would share space with us was also an international student.

Most importantly, I stalked Fidel online.

I found his website and scrolled through his art. He has the most amazing photographs from previous travel, some video work, some graphic design work and these incredible collages.

I admit, I selected Fidel’s apartment more because of my love for his art than for the love of the actual apartment. There was something familiar I recognized in his artistic visual language that reminded me of my circle of artist friends in Florence. His artwork made me feel safe and understood, even when I was going to a new city where I did not speak the language…

Fast forward…

I now visit Fidel every time I am in Barcelona after one of my Smithsonian lectures. Last night we had an art night as I’ve been encouraging him to create more art. Us creatives get into waves where we create like crazy, which can be balanced with pulls of gravity that make us stand still and not produce at all.

Reviewing past work and discussing inspiration behind previously made creations I think pulled the plug on a period of creation pause for both Fidel and myself.

Now back to the drawing board! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be bringing many of his works back to the USA to exhibit. A few of these will most definitely be included in Latela Curatorial’s debut exhibition.