A much-loved couple

Detail of bronze heads of male and female figures, showing Lautaro Diaz’s passionate expressionism
Lautaro Diaz’s passionate expressionism is equally as deft in his sculptural work as in the way he applies paint to his very tactile canvases

Strolling further along the Moll de la fusta (timber dock), you’ll come across this congruent couple by Chilean artist Lautaro Díaz Silva, another photo favourite for those interested in the free sculpture which Barcelona beaches have to offer.

Slightly abstracted yet perfectly conveying that intense intimacy born of long trust, these figures in bronze, finished in a greenish patina, depict a couple, possibly lovers, observing the sea. An interesting detail is the man’s feet, which almost resemble a fish’s tail. Is he a merman who has come up out of the waves to woo his earthbound lover, or are they both mer-folk, who have come ashore to watch the sunrise together? Díaz’s decision not to raise the pair onto a pedestal works well to bring them closer to their public.

Photo showing Lautaro Diaz’s figures from below, revealing the intimacy of their spatial relationships
Vaguely reminiscent of Giacometti’s spindly forms, Lautaro Diaz’s figures convey an intimacy in their spatial relationships, emphasised by the lack of any plinth or platform, which brings the work closer to viewers

The artist’s passionate expressionism is equally as deft and sculptural in the way he applies paint to his very tactile canvases. His figurative work is similarly pensive. The motif of a male and female couple is recurrent, whether convulsive and passionate, or in repose. In his abstracted works and videos, he makes vibrant use of colour and iconic forms that recur in an almost ritualistic manner while the basic elements of water, air, fire and earth are always in close proximity.

Image showing the abstracted couple from behind, Barcelona's Port Vell marina in the background
The couple, possibly lovers, observe the sea. Lautaro Díaz Silva’s work maintains a close proximity to the basic elements of earth, air, fire and water

Now resident in Germany, Lautaro Díaz Silva focuses more on oils and video, exhibiting regularly in Berlin and Barcelona among other cities. Other Barcelona works include a homage to Salvador Allende, installed in plaça Salvador Allende, on 11 September 1997—to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the coup d’état that replaced Allende’s government with Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship. You can see an identical version of it—Allende’s head mounted on the wall—in the camp de Mart, in Tarragona. Another installation, To Victor Jara, is located in Barcelona’s Plaça Karl Marx.

La Parella (The Couple) by Lautaro Díaz Silva, 1998. Moll de Bosch i Alsina (Moll de la fusta). Coordinates: 41.378394, 2.181269




Get the guide BCN Free Art 01: The Port and Barceloneta! Go to www.poblesecbooks.com to purchase a print copy.


  1. A beautiful poem, Brigette. This is one of my favourite spots in Barcelona, especially in the evening when the crowds have died down a little.


  2. Sitting side by side
    looking out to the sea
    Chile far beyond
    hopes lost in the past
    longings reaching out into the future
    but not forever
    reach out for the hand beside you
    a gesture
    never in vain

    then get lost in your dreams again


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