I remember spending hours in this market as a child while my father figured out how he wanted to paint it. The funny thing is, he had spend hours there as a child, and that’s why we were there – he had always wanted to paint it. Of course, everyone else is impressed by the beautiful displays and fantastic assortment of foods, while my father, true to form, was drawn to the workers, and the debris. Here’s what he had to say about it himself:
“This is the market where my sister and I were taken as small children. Years later, when I returned to Valencia, the market looked just as I remembered it. But viewed through adult eyes, it was even grander than the picture I had carried in my head. I was particularly struck by the beauty of the special diffused light; it was almost church-like. The market was built in the days when craftsmanship was prized. Even the windows of the building boast delicate wrought-iron designs.
The market bustled with activity, offering unlimited opportunities for composition. There was a wide variety of human subject matter in interesting poses as people stopped to examine the displayed merchandise or to pass a few words with friends and shopkeepers. There were vegetables, kitchenware, fruit, fish, chickens, fabrics, ceramics – an almost infinite inventory of shapes, colors and textures constantly shifting and changing with the play of light and movement of the crowds.
The market is old and remains the same. But here and there a jarring note appears: a pile of plastic toys and pails, a few plastic awnings, aluminum spotlights, an occasional fluorescent light.
All in all, I like to visit markets best after they have closed. Then only a few people remain. Some of the stalls are covered, awaiting the next day. Sometimes the tile floor is hosed down and sparkles with reflections. A lone man is sweeping up refuse. An old lady in black scavenges for a few pieces of bruised fruit or a fish that accidentally slipped to the floor.” – Excerpted from A Gallery of Paintings by Clark Hulings