NATO has decided to open itself to the world of art and has chosen a Spanish painter to make a mural inside its headquarters in Brussels. Bea Sarrias, from Barcelona born in 1978, will travel to Belgium on March 11 to paint on-site a painting of 2.35 by 6 meters, whose title Inside, underlines the organization's desire for transparency.
"In 2018," says the artist, "I made an individual exhibition in the Martin's Atelier space in Brussels, an old workshop by a well-known Belgian artist in the heart of Ixelles. I exhibited recent portraits of various iconic buildings, some of Spanish architects, such as Coderch, and others of international scope, such as Neutra or the stimulating Solo House designed by the Belgian studio KGDVS in the heart of Matarraña. " During the days that the exhibition lasted, he had the opportunity to meet some of the members of the NATO artistic committee and talk about the possibility of portraying his new building, an impressive glass and metal construction very close to the Brussels airport.
For almost a year they were working on the project, exchanging ideas and sketches. "I have been able to visit the building and I have even met with the same Deputy Secretary General, the American Rose Gottemoeller, an art enthusiast who has personally involved herself and has promoted the project," says Bea Sarrias, who says that "I paint architecture because What interests me is to capture the light. Well, the new NATO building has many light inputs, very changeable throughout the day. My main challenge is to try to capture that … Light and also the soul of the place. For this I think it's very important to paint it right there, inside the building that I'm going to portray. Something that I do not usually do since I usually work in my studio, based on photos and documentation. In addition, the exact site in which I will paint, the Ágora, is a kind of enormous central corridor, a place of passage and meeting, through which thousands of people circulate every day. Soaking in all that is very important to capture its essence. I have done many sketches and tests of light and color but I am sure that there will be something completely different ".
"I'm very interested," he says, "the materials used in the building and their different meanings. The crystal speaks of transparency, fragility, light and the possibility of being able to observe through it. The wood reflects the union with nature, with the roots. The trees that grow on the ground, the earth. Wood is warmth, humanity, touch. The passing of time, time it takes to grow a tree. Iron and metal, however, express strength, security, union, resistance- The communication of the three elements gives the building an absolutely singular character ". "Besides," he adds, "it gives me great respect to know that it is a space basically dedicated to dialogue and that decisions are made in it that affect world peace and security."
According to the Catalan artist, "painting architecture is a great excuse to catch the light and to explain stories. I usually say that what I do are portraits of buildings, since I try to capture their spirit, their history and that of the people who inhabit it. Architecture interests me because it basically talks about people, about the human being who builds his shelters according to his needs. And it also talks about cities. Architecture has a great capacity to transform cities and societies. "
The work, on oil, will be dismantled and will initiate a program of collaboration with international artists, such as Portuguese artists who will screen videos on the NATO façade.