Art on Fire: Giant Sculpture by Okuda San Miguel Set Ablaze for Fallas 2018

Best known for his vivid geometric murals full of fantastical
animals, which brighten up everything from
derelict churches
to
fleets of freighters
, street artist Okuda San Miguel has

crafted a massive 3D sculptural centerpiece for the annual
Fallas celebration
in Valencia, Spain. The 100-foot-tall
cardboard sculpture stood for just four days before it was
ritualistically burned, along with the rest of the art created
for the festival, in a celebration of ephemeral human
achievements.


The festival, honoring Saint Joseph, sees three million
visitors descend upon a city of one million to dance, celebrate
the beginning of Spring, drink sangria in the streets and watch
a bunch of things burn. Among the sculptural ‘sacrifices’ are
traditionally a series of giant ‘ninots’ (puppets or dolls)
including satirical figures. This year, it was Donald Trump,
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Just before midnight on ‘La
Crema,’ the last day of the festival, the crowds begin changing
and the streetlights are turned off before fireworks explode
and everything is set ablaze.

Asked by
El Periodico
before the festival whether he was ready to
see the piece burn, Okuda said, “No I’m
not. I think I’m going to have a sentimental craze,
because it’s the most amazing piece I’ve done in 3D and I’m
freaking out with every piece that comes out. I’m going to
cry. With the cool thing that we have built, I’m sure I
will not understand very well that it’s going to burn, but I
think the millions of people who are around this and who have
such a strong feeling will make me understand.”

“This is one of the great traditional festivals of Spain
because, to start, it’s art, it’s not just bulls running and I
do not know what. Fallas are constructions that artisans
make for a year and with a history of more than a
century. I find it incredible.”

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