Tarragona can be a bit of a damp squib when it comes to contemporary art, it is therefore refreshing to see an exhibition of an artist of the calibre of Antonio de Felipe at Tinglado 1.
This old warehouse is more used to used the company of maize, cod, almonds and hazelnuts than having Marilyns and Audreys on display, but its now empty shell make for the ideal space to show gutsy work of art.
Born in 1965, Antonio de Felipe is the king of Spanish pop art and to walk in his exhibition is like taking a leap into a multicoloured universe of iconic references you have met a thousand times but never quite seen like this.
A few steps in and you are already meeting eye to eye with his two favourite muses: Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, one the personification of sexuality, the other aloof and elegant. Yet none is set in a predictable contest. There is always the tease, the visual game, the provocation like the rendition of David’s “Napoleon crossing the Alps”, the face of Napoleon now obliterated by a big yellow smiley, a reference to the simplification of current communication perhaps or a modern snapchat interpretation of a classic. There are metamorphosis, from banality to something much more complex and dark yet very recognisable. Whichever way you look at it de Felipe’s work is a must see.
The exhibition at the Tinglado 1 del Moll de Costa del Port de Tarragona runs from the 21 December 2016 to the 26 of February 2017.