First published: Fall 2007
Maximo Rojo, Alcolea del Pinar, Guadalajara
Close to Bueno's house lies Maximo Rojo's sculpture garden. Born in 1912, Rojo educated himself while doing his military service. It was not until he retired from work in 1979 that he made his first sculpture from cement on a wire armature, thereby beginning a frenetic period of activity during which he made hundreds of rich and colourful works. Using an expressionist style Rojo recreated many episodes from Spanish history, literature and Christianity. The works form an exceptional visual encyclopedia in which traditional knowledge coexists in an unusual juxtaposition with figures and episodes from popular culture.
Francisco González Gragera, Los Santos de Maimona, Badajoz
In Los Santos de Maimona, Badajoz is one of the most surprising and spontaneous constructions in the whole of Spain. The artist and owner is Francisco González Gragera, an imaginative and enthusiastic master builder and talented draughtsman, who since 1988 has been building himself a 'weekend' house in which organic curves and intense surface textures predominate. Gragera demonstrates a clear preference for trencadís, a technique much used by architect Antonio Gaudí which consists of cladding walls with a mosaic of broken ceramic tiles. From the outside several turrets, curved stairs and a hemisphere forming the bathroom can be seen, finished off with a royal crown. Flowers and trees of ceramic and cement are scattered around the surrounding area, and the site calls to mind illustrations of distant paradises in children's storybooks.