Putting together the concepts "Hydroelectric power station" and "Work of art" in the same sentence can be certainly strange, even more, if finally, both elements come together in reality. This is the result of the work of Joaquín Vaquero Palacios, an architect, painter and sculptor who tackled some of the most ambitious projects on the Spanish scene.

Joaquín Vaquero Palacios, Miranda.

The ICO Museum hosts the exhibition "The beauty of the extraordinary", dedicated to the work of this multifaceted and multidisciplinary creator through five of his largest projects: the Asturian hydroelectric power stations of Salime (1945-1955), Miranda (1956- 62), Proaza (1964-68), Aboño (1969-1980) and Tanes (1980). All of them are the result of a collaboration for more than thirty years with the Cantabrian Hydroelectric Plant.

Joaquín Vaquero Palacios, Proaza.

But why do we talk about total work of art? Joaquín Vaquero was a prolific and ambitious author, obsessed with seeking and creating beauty with his work. His production is very extensive, and this was already the first obstacle to narrow the scope of the showing. Finally, a geographical criterion was chosen: bringing together the five projects developed in Asturias. Though, we are not only talking about an architectural approach to civil construction but a global conception of these structures, in which to combine various artistic disciplines and transform the space.

The Cantabrian Hydroelectric plant approached these projects from a completely innovative perspective for the time. It wanted to break the cold and exclusively functional idea associated with this type of constructions and turn them into a visible symbol of contemporary change, into a work of civil engineering that would bring together the best of artistic disciplines. This totalising effort gathered painting, sculpture, architecture, landscaping, sound, industrial design.

Joaquín Vaquero Palacios, Tanes

The exhibition recreates the artistic richness of these projects with an exhibition design that moves away from the purely architectural approach to emphasise the visual load of the projects. Do not forget that these huge constructions are today a testimony of the peninsular modernism, a style that is appreciated inside and outside every room and that nourished by an unstoppable creative pulse like that of Vaquero Palacios. The exhibition will be open to the public until May 6th.

In the year 2020 in the heart of Barcelona a wandering gallery was born, the same one that in February 2021 would debut at Art Madrid with an exhibition proposal focused on contemporary portraits; with this subject matter it would manage to create a powerful dialogue between artwork and audience and make the seal Inéditad remain in the history of the event that contained it.

Jean Carlos Puerto. Protección. Oil and copper leaf on wood. 60 x 48. 2021. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Since that first time and until today, the wandering gallery has managed to build projects on otherness, has repositioned in the spotlight the discourses on the LGTBIQ+ collective, has consolidated a group of artists who share its principles of resilience and empathy and the best thing is that it continues to bet from the professionalism and commitment to give voice to the difference.

Claudio Petit-Laurent.. El Joven de la Perla. Oil on wood. 30 x 30 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Inéditad Gallery, thanks to its founder Luis López, its collaborators and the infinite possibilities manifested in the works of the artists it represents, is a gallery that has demonstrated its capacity and courage to stimulate the sensibility of the public through art and seduce a generation that moves between the glass window and the analogical story. Inéditad is a nomadic gallery that has gathered around it a community of artists and has moved the context with exhibition projects that think about LGTBIQ+ art without prejudices.

Pepa Salas Vilar. Las marcas del arcoiris. Oil on canvas. 40 x 50 cm. 2022. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Pride and Prejudice was inaugurated. An exhibition that brings together the works of sixteen artists: Abel Carrillo, Alex Domènech, Carlos Enfedaque, Silvia Flechoso, Jamalajama, Daniel Jaén, Claudio Petit-Laurent, Jean Carlos Puerto, Fernando Romero, Pablo Rodríguez, Pepa Salas Vilar, Jack Smith, Pablo Sola, Bran Sólo, Elia Tomás and Utürüo. Painting, illustration, photography and digital art are the manifestations that bring into dialogue around fifty neatly threaded pieces, in a discursive line that discusses such a latent phenomenon as discrimination. To achieve this, the artists invited to the exhibition question themselves whether: Does discrimination exist within the LGTBIQ+ collective?

Pride and Prejudice Official Poster. Image courtesy of the gallery.

With approaches on and from the body, the proposal invites to celebrate diversity, proposes to question and self-question the prejudices and attitudes of society against the collective. Pride and Prejudice is a space for dialogue about the constructs imposed on us by society. It is also an oasis in which to deconstruct with tolerance and respect the subjectivities that sometimes prevent us from approaching the production of the participating artists, simply because "the beautiful" does not fit in an androgynous body. The subjugation of stereotypes are pressed with determination to find the beauty of diversity in other palpable facets of reality.

Pablo Sola. All men are dogs. Photography. 2014. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Throughout these three years Inéditad has stimulated the vindictive projection towards bad practices, has questioned estates around the LGTBIQ+ body and the most admirable thing, is that these capacities have resurfaced around the dialogue and the visual narrative of the stories that are told from the visual: Artworks that are people, art that is, per se, humanity. Overcome impositions and accept what is different in order to continue fighting against homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia or transphobia and defend the equal rights that all the acronyms of the collective deserve in our community.

That's Pride and Prejudice: One creature, the happiest in the world. And maybe other projects and other people have said it - or felt it - before, but none so fairly.

Silvia Flechoso. Hola, soy maricón. Oil on canvas. 73 x 54 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

From June 8th until June 22nd you can visit Pride and Prejudice. Carrer de Palau núm. 4. Canal Gallery space. Barcelona.