For those who like looking without truly seeing, walking without thinking and see themselves as mere useful cogs - benches are, in fact, useless objects in a big city. However, for many Spanish people, benches are the last paradise for contemplation and hope in places where there is no time for such ‘waste’. Benches are an invitation to stop. They are a place to turn our backs to cars, buses and motorbikes and watch inwards. Benches take us to invisible places inside our heads. They help us watch passers-by as if we are watching a movie. A movie featuring real, everyday characters. And those sitting are actors as well. They become both audience to and player in a huge live theatre. The drama is built frame by frame, minute by minute. This is the way that life passes for those who contemplate the invisible. The bench helps us to look outwards to the city and inwards to ourselves, and to watch the great cinema that is the city. And a city like Madrid is full of amazing stories. foto by Eneida Serrano
Benches of Madrid,, Madrid, Spain
Current city: Madrid
Lucas Levitan is an illustrator today, filmmaker last week, photographer last month and art director last year. A new cycle might start again soon. A few years ago, whilst lunch break walking on Redchurch Street in East London, a brick fell from the 4th floor scaffolding of a building site and missed his head by millimeters. It made him think he should be doing more or what he loves, drawing. It was a turning point. That same moment he went back to the office he used to work for and resigned. Now he’s lost and happier.

More Places in Madrid 22

One of my favourite places to enjoy a beer bathed in orange lights and layered walls. They used to give concerts downstairs. Unfortunately they got recently banned due to boring local regulations - hopefully, live music will return soon amongst their palm trees and tropical lights.
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School, exhibition hall and place to discuss photography. Catalyst of Madrid’s photographic scene. Around them, there is a community open for everyone who cannot live without seeing through the hole of a camera.
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Museo ABC de Dibujo e Ilustración is a building with history. It is located in Amaniel street, one step away from Conde Duque Center, in a building that in 1891 would be the first Mahou beer factory in Madrid. It was designed by José López Salaberry, an architect who was intensely and extensively linked to the new city planning of Madrid in the beginning of the 20th century. Forms part of the city’s historical essence and it is in direct relation with the neighborhood, so that since its beginnings, it is thought as a center which is dynamic, open to society and in charge of disseminating and preserving its art treasures.
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Though you might say the city is full of colors, from Velazquez's tones of greys to Miro's vivid strokes and shapes. From Goya's darkness to Picasso's blues, Rastro's potency and variety of people and fabrics, or even shop windows for tourists full of Sevillanas and colorful magnets - the biggest canvas is above all of us. It's hard to beat the intense blue of Madrid's sky. I have no idea if Giotto has been here, but I'm pretty sure he was inspired by Madrid's sky to paint Padua's chapel's ceiling. The smoothest blue of Madrid's sky lies in contrast with the dryness and ocre buildings and landscape gives me torticollis. The colors may vary from mediterranean sea, Yves Klein Blue and Pantone 293C. It doesn't matter how it's defined - it is, for me, a boost of cheerfulness in any place and mindset I find myself in. I won't be able to touch or reach the blueness of this sky, but it touches me. Deeply. And I happily allow it.
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The city’s old slaughterhouse, now an art centre. It’s a monumental project that somehow manages to survive the financial crisis. They organize interesting exhibitions, talks and other activities. The perfect excuse to go for a walk around the southern side of Madrid.
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