Tribute poster to the painting “Ramon Casas velocipedist” (1889) by Santiago Rusiñol. A young Ramon Casas, the first hipster in Barcelona, with his fixie (one of the first safety bikes, the mother of the modern bicycle), looking at the camera of his BFF.
- 58 x 100 cm / 22,8 x 39,3 inches
- Premium quality print – UVI, metallized and coated print
- Sybol Matt Pluss paper 170 g/m2 – Fedrigoni
- Environmentally-friendly ECF paper & FSC Certificate
ABOUT THE POSTER
As 2016 is Ramon Casas year (150th anniversary of his birth), this poster wants to immortalize his legacy. Painter, drawer, caricaturist, poster designer… Ramon Casas is maybe the greatest artist Barcelona has ever given to the world. We revisit the portrait that his friend Santiago Rusiñol made of him (“Ramon Casas velocipedist”, 1889), and make the scene, the character and the moment, come to life. This portrait shows a young 23 year old Casas, with his bike, one of the first “safety bikes” that arrived to Spain. Casas taste for the automotive is well known. Bicycles and later cars were one of his passions. We must remember that automotive was a status display for the bourgeoisie in that time. A very elitist hobby totally popularized today.
The composition is quite modern: subject, framing, slightly high angle view… This is a typical Catalan and Barcelonian Art Nouveau (Modernisme) painting, regarding the subject, the approach, and the social portrait that makes us go back to that artistic moment so linked to the Barcelonian cultural identity. We picture quite a swagger Casas in that time’s fashion. A young bourgeois posing, stylish, with his bicycle. A few hashtags come to mind to describe this young Casas: #style, #fixie, #swag… Sure he was the first Barcelona #hipster.
The type of bicycle featured in the painting is the safety bicycle, the mother of the modern bike we all know. From the safety no major innovations have occured to the bicycle design, only technical improvements but the concept is still the same. In that time it was such a revolution: reduced height of the seat, same size for both wheels, chain drive to the rear wheel… made the safety completely different to what was seen until then. Specially different to the dangerous penny farthings (or velocipede: front wheel drive, huge front wheel dimensions, and totally different seat position), the name safety comes from the drastically reduced amount of accidents and fatal consequences of them, specially at high speed (not only for the driver but for the pedestrians). Today these tech specs are irrelevant and we all take them for granted in this vehicle, but at that time they were revolutionary and were the way how this bicycle was marketed. In the Casas model we also appreciate pegs on the front forks for stability. Even though we positively know he got several crashes with serious wounds. Maybe that’s why he eventually changed the bicycle for the automobile.
You will find the WOW effect scanning the poster and witnessing how the scene comes to life. Casas legacy will never die as his work was really huge and is well preserved in different museums world wide. We at Wöwster want to contribute to keep him alive in our imaginary, and in our main rooms, in a newly, technologic, modern way, just the way he liked.
About the artist: Santiago Rusiñol
This poster is a tribute to Ramon Casas and to the man “behind the camera”, Santiago Rusiñol. One of the main Art Nouveau (Modernisme) leaders in Catalonia. Writer, journalist, playwright, painter and art collector. Very prolific in all fields. Man of the Renaissance in the Modernist times. His friendship with Casas is well known. Also their numerous adventures and professional collaborations they both did in Barcelona, Paris, Sitges… One of them was the series of articles they wrote for La Vanguardia (Spanish newspaper) called “De Vich a Barcelona en bicicleta” were a diary while riding this new vehicule through the Catalan territory. Casas gave Rusiñol some riding lessons and this painting is, maybe, a payment method.