Poema visual, 1979

Visual Poem, 1979
Graphic material, 49.4 x 37.8 cm

How does the figurative creation of visual poems and object poems differ from verbal invention? In other words, does the image derive from a verbal stimulus?

It depends on the mood and how the stimulus occurs. I can go down the street and hear a few words that will later lead to others. Or use dream material. Sometimes, reading the paper I receive a stimulus that will have a consequence elsewhere. In this respect, one can become a great sounding board. Or a magic lantern. Any event is good to fire the imagination. Always be open, a state that cannot always be maintained. I don’t need to take drugs because sometimes I see stimuli everywhere. The most unexpected event can come from everyday reality. The streets, if you know how to look, offer real ballets on every corner, not to be confused with vellets or old people in Catalan (laughter). You cross the street, you see a girl in a long dress, a car passes, then a piece of paper falls from a balcony and you have a ballet in motion. It’s a question of knowing how to look. However, art does not consist of explaining things. It is very common to see individuals who theorise really well but give them a pencil and they’re unable to produce anything worthwhile. Two plus two does not always equal four. The naïve painters, though very limited, made paintings of extraordinary poetry and great strength. The conscious is a constellation of the subconscious. A hypnotist friend of mine argued that hypnotism is real, and that’s why he practised it, but everything around him was rubbish. He wanted to expose the tricks of the deceitful. He did experiments with mediums. According to him, the most gifted mediums were abnormal people. You have to separate the two domains. It seems that the outer consciousness weakens the inner world and instinct. Art involves a little of all this. You also have to know how to exploit the wealth of chance, which obviously has its own laws but are unknown to us. Sometimes I think that chance does not exist: something happens because you need it to happen.

Lladó, Ramon: ‘Entrevista a Joan Brossa: el poeta en estat d'aventura’, El Temps (11 June 1990), pp. 76–79

Technical details

Original title:
Poema visual
Registration number:
Brossa, Joan
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Graphic material
Lithography on paper
49.4 x 37.8 cm (height x width)
Edition number:
Ed. 56/125
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Joan Brossa Fund. Long-term loan of Fundació Joan Brossa
© Fundació Joan Brossa, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.