Saturday, October 28, 2017

In Catalonia, a church becomes a place of artistic pilgrimage

By Katie Chang
An interior view of St. Victor as it prepares to reopen to the public after three years. In this section, overlooking the altar, the muralist Santi Moix included verses by the Catalan poet Josep Vicenç Foix. Credit Ricardo Labougle
As a child, the Barcelona-born painter Santi Moix often made weekend trips with his father to Saurí, a remote Catalan village of 16 people perched high in the Pyrenees. Now, at 57, Moix is perhaps the closest thing Saurí has to a local celebrity, having built a career exhibiting work at the Brooklyn Museum and Milan’s M77 Gallery, and at Prada’s SoHo store (a 2013 commission) featuring his abstract, hypersaturated flora and fauna murals. Five years ago, the local government and bishop asked if the artist might come and paint the interior of St. Victor, the village’s 1,100-year-old Romanesque church, whose plain stone walls had become dull and decrepit over time. Moix, who isn’t religious, was reluctant. [More]