Madrid Redux

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June 9th 2011
Published: June 11th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

0 World Press 20110 World Press 20110 World Press 2011

Amazing Photo Exhibit
I left Valencia behind this morning and headed to Madrid. I was looking forward to seeing Madrid again. I was here in August 2008 and had really enjoyed my short visit. I knew that I would enjoy the sense of familiarity.

The train left the Joaquin Sorolla station (who I would later learn is an important Spanish painter) and I did not realize that I was actually taking a high speed train. I kind of distractedly noticed that the time, temperature and speed were indicated on a small screen. It is only when the train slowed down to 127 km/h and that it felt like I could walk faster that I really got the sense of how fast we were really going. At one point, we clocked in at 240 km/h.

I found my hotel with no problems. The area around the train station was so familiar to me that it was easy to get my bearings (which has not always been the case in some places on this trip!). The hotel is called Chic & Basic and it is just that ... no fuss, no muss but with a great sense of humour. The registration card says something like "I will give you candy if you sign this form". My room key also would apparently rather be a star's credit card!

I quickly headed out and my first stop would be the exact same first stop I had the first time I was here ... Museo de Traje ... the fashion museum. I even remembered what subway station I had to get out at! It did mean a connection at the Sol so I decided to pop out to see the Plaza that is found at that stop first. What I found was another demonstration where people had gathered and set up a makeshift camp. Because of my limited spanish, it is a little difficult to know what it is they are demonstrating for. It looked exactly like the group I had seen yesterday in Valencia. I would learn later that violence had actually broken out in Valencia today. Eight police officers were wounded and five arrested.

So then I was off again to reach the Museo de Traje. I got out of the subway station and noticed a huge sign advertising the exhibit of the World Press Photos 2011. I had seen the photo on
2 Manifestations2 Manifestations2 Manifestations

Same as in Valencia who unfortunately turned violent today ... 8 cops were hurt. Madrid was thankfully peaceful
the banner before (it's a woman whose nose was cut off of as part of a retaliation from her in-laws) and that is what drew my attention. It said that it was a free entrance at the Centro Culturale de Moncloa. Pero donde esta el centro culturale???? After whipping out my best spanish, a lady answered that it was just around the corner. Yay!!

There are thousands of photos submitted every year by hundreds of photographers and these are the winners for the year in a series of categories. Each is accompanied by a story. Sadly, the most poignant or touching photos are those that were taken during human suffering and tragedy. The security guard had a case of the giggles when I was looking at one photograph of what just looked to me like a matador during a bullfight. It took me a bit to notice that the photo is at the exact point when he is impaled in the jaw by the bull's horn. I may have reacted out loud when I noticed it ... I am guessing that he was waiting to see how long it would take me to notice!! Not pretty ... good news is that the man recovered from his injuries.

So I finally made it to the Museo de Traje. The computers were not working so the guard let me in for free plus he gave me an audioguide. Last time I was here, I was seriously jet lagged. The museum has very dim lighting in order to preserve the clothing and I remember it being a little painful at times ... I was just so out of it. So this time ... bright eyed and bushy tailed ... I was ready. I actually remembered quite a bit of it from last time. It is clothing after all so it does perk my interest even through the worst of jet lag!! The exhibit shows the evolution of Spanish clothing and it ends with more contemporary designers like Balenciaga. One thing that had not struck me last time though was the small collection from designer Pedro Rodriguez. The reason that it caught my attention this time around is because of the small exhibit of his work that I had just seen in Barcelona. There was also a temporary exhibit of a series of wedding dresses. There were beautiful dresses and many belonged to Spanish personalities.

From there, I headed towards the Museo Reina Sofia. Madrid has a number of art museums. I had not visited them last time I was here. I've said it many times, I do not know much about art. Throughout this trip though, I have certainly learned a bit more and because of the sheer number of museums that I have done in a short time period I have been able to tie certain things together (like seeing pieces by Yves Klein in about five different museums!!)

This particular museum focuses on contemporary/modern art. There are the outlanding and outright odd art of Yayoi Kusuma (she covered stuff with phallic shapes or with macaroni). There are a number of Picassos (including the Guernica which is the star attraction). There are also a number of Dali. I only know him for melting clocks and there are definitely those types of pieces. But there are also the more traditional pieces which was a surprise to me. The discovery was James Castle. His collection included drawings often drawn on the back of cardboard boxes and even some regular lined paper. His artworks only came to the art world after his death. There was just something very interesting in his drawings.

And so ended my first day in Madrid ... I am loving watching TV here. I understand barely nothing but I am definitely picking up more and more every day. On my to do list in the next day or so ... buy a notebook so that I can start writing down new words and sentences. I also find the people much more open to showing you new words or speaking more slowly when they see that you do not speak the language ... was not always the case in Italy. Definitely more of a laid back feel in Spain ... love it so far!

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 26


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It's a room filled with furniture that have these dayglo dots all over it. There's also a blue light

Same artist ... she also covered stuff in macaroni and other pasta
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12 Detail of Dali

It's a little Hitler

From this side the eye looks closed

And this side opened

His eyes were glass which made him look so real

I saw these same pieces at the museum in Barcelona

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