Hot tuesday, weather is very hot in Barcelona. Worldcup is everywhere… everywhere!!! and these are perfect days for a beer in a terrace. After findind different models of the same flyer in the past days around the hip neighborhoods of Barcelona announcing ROJO®smart launch event, I got curious of attending the opening event of the new ROJO® project. Not because only of curiosity, but because the flyer promised a free copy of a limited edition magazine plus many surprises and presents… and I love gifts.
This time the new ROJO® project is held in two art galleries in two different cities, Barcelona and Berlin, at the same dates as supercool Bread & Butter Eurovision fashion tradeshow takes place. ROJO® teams up with smart to create ROJO®smart – open your mind.
So there I was, together with 3 other people going up on a roof less elevator to the 4th floor of an industrial building in the very heart of Raval neighborhood… It was hot but as closer the elevator got near to the event, I could ear the maravellous noise of many people enjoying a vernissage… soft music I never heard before… feels like I got to the right event.
After going through the corridor, KBB gallery receives all its visitoris with a beautiful broken bottle lamp on the roof and a very tall blond guy asking for the invites to access the vernissage… luckily I find a friend at the door that gives me one of his… so lets see what this is about.
Even though there is loads of people, I can see there must be around 40 artworks exposed on a red wall, half of them are pictures of car door pannels painted by the same 20 artists that also created original works for the ROJO®smart limited edition printed magazine… all well linked and very ROJO. Music comes out from a smart unmounted cockpit… this guys are really something… I must go to get a drink… It is so hot.
While I wait for my turn to get anything cold to drink, I see there are several TV monitors playing videos… I ask to the barman what is playing right now and he does not seem to know but he says that in few minutes the monitors will play the world cup semifinals. I do not know if it is the heat or the news… but I need some fresh air…
There is a huge waiting line to go up to the terraze, so I decide to wonder around the show for a while… I recognize some of the work’s authors… Boris Hoppek and Tvboy are easy to spot… but there are other works that really call my attention that I cannot recognize…
While wondering I see at the end of the room a girl handing out white or red bags… the mag! I almost forgot… so I get mine… the bag includes, as promised, a copy of ROJO®smart plus some gadgets and presents from smart… great… I open the mag and I find aditional artwork to the exhibition… specially exciting the works of Neasden Control Centre, Les Mentary Brothers and Diva.
This is really a very special issue of the magazine… with superb pictures of the painted doors by Javier Tles that become an artwoirk by themselves (and that decorated the 10 different postcards promoting the event) and with a range of works so eclectic that fits perfectly.
I need to go upstairs… the game just started and I need some fresh air… get another drink and go.
Upstairs the people are more relaxed, sitting around everywhere and eating fresh mexican food… the game is taking all attention… but there are still spaces at the terraze where to sit down and look at all the presents I got.
I go to the bar and I get introduced to Segismundo, the owner of KBB. He is working behing the bar, serving drinks and controlling… he looks happy… actually everybody at this event looks happy… very relaxed and very happy… so I decide to relax and to smile too.
I go down to check how the exhibition is going and I find a very joyfull crowd… the event is getting more crowded than before, and it is not even midnight. Music is a little louder and beers have run out… fun is in the air.
Germany loses against Italy in the last minutes and sun starts going down in Barcelona. I stay until late in the terraze looking at the skyline of Barcelona and having one more drink. This city at this time and from this privileged spot is unbeatable. This is a gift. Impossible not to love Barcelona. ROJO® does it again. Keep it up.
Date : 4th July, 2006
Place: KBB gallery
Address: C/ Joaqu’n Costa 24 4t, Edificio Industrial, El Raval, Barcelona
Text: Irene Serpa