Gehry's Peix - Fish, Barcelona
When Barcelona presented itself to the world for the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, new buildings and structures appeared, but of course also a lot of art. Among the most obvious sculptures is the Peix (Catalan for fish) by Canadian artist Frank Gehry. Its sun-reflecting metal structure makes it easily visible from distance. It sits on the Olympic Port Building in front of a big skyscraper. Materials used are steel, stone and glass.
Walk south on La Rambla and you will eventually find yourself on the waterfront by the city docks. There is a seaside market with many booths selling souvenirs and food. If you walk in the direction opposite of Mountjuic (which you'll see once you're by the sea) you'll eventually get to Barcelona's beaches. On the way there, you'll most likely pass through Barceloneta, which is a residential neighborhood consisting of narrow streets and no frills buildings with laundry hanging off the windows. It has with a very homey, non-touristy feel. Walking along the beach toward the two tall glass and concrete buildings in the distance, you'll see several modern sculptures, including Frank Gehry's giant fish.
The Golden Fish. Everyone has seen it, whether looking left, down the beach from Barceloneta or being under it in Port Olimpic. The Golden Fish seems to mark the beginning of the area and lies at the bottom of two other landmarks, Spain’s tallest buildings, the Hotel Arts and the Mapfre tower. The man responsible for the fish is also one of the two architects who designed The Hotel Arts, Frank O. Gehry. Like so much of Barcelona’s public art in this area, Gehry was commissioned for the 1992 Olympics. This huge fish sculpture, measuring 35 m x 54 m came out of Gehry’s ongoing interest and fascination in fish imagery and shapes. The position of the fish looking out to sea is rather appropriate too. The sculpture is made out of stone, steel and glass and is immediately eye catching with its shiny metal plates changing colour depending on the sunlight.
I was in Barcelona in November and December, and we still thought the beaches were beautiful. If you are there during the winter months I recommend grabbing a scarf and gloves (the breeze can be cool) and going for a walk along the beach, then stopping at a beach-front patio for a glass of wine or hot chocolate!
My second visit to Barcelona was in August, and I spent several afternoons lying on the beach near Villa Olympica. The sea was moderately warm, the sun was bright, the sand was clean and I felt quite safe. There were lots of vendors walking up and down the beach selling bottled water, beer and soda. The crowds are amazing and yet everyone seems to mind their own business and respect one another. Bring your beach towel and some sunglasses!
Oh yeah, and note the giant goldfish statue in the picture. If you are looking for a V.O (version originale aka not dubbed) cinema, there is one called Icaria near the two big towers (metro Villa Olympica). The goldfish itself was designed by Frank Gehry and is 34 by 54 meters!
The beach is really long and lined with palm trees. The area behind Port Olimpic is dominated by Barcelona's two tallest skyscrapers - one is the luxury Hotel Arts Barcelona and the other is an office block. Here you can also find the giant copper sculpture Peix (Fish) by Frank Ghery.
The large sculpture in the Vila Olimpica just North of Barceloneta is one of the largest in the world and was created using computer aided design techology for the 1982 Olympics.
Near the barceloneta beach one finds the giant goldfish statue. It is 34 metres in height and 54 meters in length and was designed by Frank Gehry.