An Artist’s Journey, 1991-2001 - Can Serrat International Art Center

An Artist's Journey, 1990-2001

)Are we strong enough to look past the greed of the art world and the mediocrity and ego of the artist, we may discover that the "Artist's Journey" is far more important than the art that comes from an artist's hands?)

Having finished an art education in California, the artist returned to Europe with the intention of travelling and working with art. Enrolling in a private art school in Oslo would be destiny-changing for this young artist. The art school had been planning a 3-month stay in Spain to create art and live the easy Mediterranean life. This 3-month stay would turn into a 10-year artistic and human voyage for the artist. Jeff remained at the "farmhouse" after the school departed to help the young group of Norwegian artist build, create, establish and run the burgeoning art center-slash-art school. Throughout the 1990s, the young man developed as an artist and became a vital member of the art center as it grew to become an international residency for the arts. Art was a daily part of life at the farmhouse-vinyard-art-center, as was interacting with the thousands of artists, writers, poets, students, bohemians and euro-trash that drifted through the house during that decade.

The house had to be managed, Spanish language learned, shopping, materials, art products were needed. Meals had to be made, and the ruins had to slowly be built ground-up within this 1000-year old haunted mansion. Wine, dance, song: croquis, group paintings, absurdity-festivals and garden parties. Then back to the art studio, more drawing, more painting searching for one self and one's expression. Personal artwork is the starting point, satisfying the soul, out of need. Doing what God does, creating ex nihilo - from there all else is freedom. Endless flow of visitors from art schools and academies around northern Europe: tourists, musicians, poets and euro-trash hippies. Gather around the table for food, wine and conversation. Head to "The Cave" for a late-nighter. Naked in the moonlight perhaps. They came, and they went - boys and girls. Men and women. Friends and not-so-friends. I must have participated in more than 40 different workshops on various techniques from photography to stained-glass, esgraffiato to fresco, welding - moulding - stone-carving and authentic hand-made oil paints. Trips to Barcelona to explore Picasso, Dali, Tapies, Miro: ancient fresco painting and Gaudi. Rambling down La Rambla again, into Bar Boadas or Pastis, absihthe at Bar Marsella. Pilgrimages to the Black Madonna atop Montserrat Mountain. Forming loving bonds that will last a lifetime.

Bohemia as the ultimate goal
Truth, Beauty, Freedom and ... above all things ... Love. As an artist, fulfilled with one's work and little need for urban falsehoods, the true artist needs little more than his work. The only quests higher than art are those four tenants of the Bohemians of Paris at the turn of the century 1900 - Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love.

Masía Can Serrat, 0 S/N (El Bruc), 08294 Bruc (El), Barcelona, Spain

feb. 1991, on the way from Oslo
The Rune Series