Joan Clapes

The exhibition aims to stress the importance of creativity in the course of the development, the realisation and the happiness of the individual.

It is decisive that over the course of our lives there should be room for the many forms of expression linked exclusively with personal determination rather than academic achievement or Manichean judgements because it is only when creativity and the imagination are allowed to flow freely that reality is never prosaic but rather an adventure where liberty is the single most important ingredient.

The recognition of the capacity to change the everyday where this is contrary or negative needs enthusiasm. Only this attitude is able to convert everyday life, not into a succession of events nor into a struggle or a resigned acceptance of the unexpected but rather into something conscious with an authentic and profound meaning.

All of this is learned and achieved for example through drawing.

Joan Clapés was born on the 18th of March 1920 in Can s´Argent (Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, Balearic Islands) the third of five siblings. When his father passed away the family moved to the city where Joan began to work in a bread bakery at the tender age of 7, before moving on to confectionery. He still tells the story that Joan Costa Suñer, a teacher at the School of Arts and Crafts, on seeing the little marzipan figures which he made, suggested that he should enrol in his school and at the same time recommended him to the artist Joan Tarrés who was full of praise for his technique and offered to give him classes free of charge.

However and in spite of graduating from the School of Arts and Crafts, he was unable to achieve his ambition to become a painter.

He did however design the molds for the plaster casts which can be seen in this exhibition. The drawings have been jealously guarded over more than seventy years by the artist himself.
Joan Clapés refused to allow himself to become discouraged or frustrated and with a great deal of courage began to direct his creativity and artistic potential into the confectionery business, contributing enormously to the renown and prestige of the Casa Vadell thanks to his creations, formulas and innovations and where he continued working right up to his retirement. It was at Casa Vadell where he came up with the recipe for the San Ciriaco cake, refined the texture of puff pastry, molded the ´magdalena ibicena` (Ibizan fairy cake) and for the first time ever produced the marron glacé.

His contact with drawing in the course of his youth, although quite modest, was sufficient to awaken an awareness in Joan of his own creativity and from that time onwards he knew that it was possible to disrupt the daily routine with discovery and the common or monotonous into an adventure. It was drawing which helped him to become aware of the parts of the whole, of the textures, the colours, the contours and light, using his dexterity to realise what appeared before his eyes and to refine his senses and his capacity for realisation.

Drawing is fundamental to cognitive development and consequently contribute to the optimisation of our personal development.

We are grateful to Joan Clapés for permitting us to get to know and share his history and we invite you to start to draw in the very room which he may well have liked to have had himself.