Cesar Manrique pt one
This wonderful man had seen the world as an artist and architect of international repute and could have seen out his days in New York or Madrid but instead chose the prettiest village in the Canary Islands, Haría.
After a stellar career in painting, mixing and matching with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miró etc, he returned to little-known Lanzarote with a mission, to try and protect his beloved island from mass tourism and the ugly developments that have ruined so much of southern Spain and parts of some Canary islands.
Finding much sympathy with the government of the island he, in conjunction with the Cabildo, set about utilising his architectural skills and married them to the natural beauty of the landscape.
He and a merry band of friends and supporters began the huge task of building those iconic attractions which now draw thousands of visitors a year to gawp and exclaim. The attractions don´t look man made at all because of how they sit naturally within the rugged and dramatic landscape.
The stars of the show being Jameos del Agua, Mirador del Río, Los Cueva de los Verdes, Jardín de Cactus and a real piece of magic, his Fundacíon.
Cesar´s actual art shows he was clearly influenced by Pablo Picasso but his Lanzarote work (my personal preference) is cheeky, (see below), irreverent, bold, happy and colourful and can be seen all over the island.