It’s not just the airport in Barcelona that is connected. Taking a radical approach to cultural enterprise, the interlinked venues of creative entrepreneur Emilio Álvarez offer a glimpse into the artistic side of Barcelona. Angels, a contemporary art gallery, Carmelitas, a restaurant featuring locally sourced food, and Room Service, an avant-garde furniture design shop, all feature something unique.
Located in El Raval district close to Las Ramblas, this cultural trio is applauded for connecting various factions of the Barcelona contemporary art world and keeping it vibrant. Decide for yourself when you visit Angels Barcelona (c. Pintor Fortuny, 27) with the current exhibition of work by Peter Downsbrough, whose photographic work of New York streets evokes a sense of nostalgia, while his room pieces divide and reconfigure the space using simple text and black lines.
Sister restaurant Carmelitas (C/Doctor Dou 1) shows video art during meals and promises seasonal menus based on freshly picked ingredients, direct from nearby La Boqueria Market. The food is complemented by wine and liquors from the Catalan region, with a personal invitation from the chef to explore the day’s specials.
Shopping at La Boqueria Market leads to the discovery of the “Bonica” eggplant. Its dark purple color, white meat and soft flavor make it one of the most wanted dishes in Carmelitas. You can find Bonica eggplants in the Alt Empordà and Baix Empordà. The season ends in November, so make sure to go to the Carmelitas to enjoy an escalivada (grilled eggplant with peppers and onion) or eggplant chips. Mmmmm.
The Álvarez trilogy continues with companion Room Service Gallery of gorgeous designer furniture, next to the MACBA, where you can check out the latest in contemporary art. The LOOP Festival for Video Art (directed by Álvarez), specializes in the moving image and this edition features the work of experimental luminary filmmaker, Michael Snow.
The dynamic festival aims to connect the city with local and international artists, institutions, and festivals to reach a wide and diverse audience. Hopefully you will be among them!