7º International Meeting of

Experimental, Sound & Visual Poetry




Gustavo Vega, Creation And Theory of Visual Poems

By Ana Alvarez Grijalbo (Spain) *



Gustavo Vega, born Spain is one of the most creative figures of visual peotry. For many visual artists he is a point of reference for his investigation on Visual Poetry as well as on his own creative work. Precisely, his doctoral thesis, is titled Poéticas de Creación Visual en España, 1970-1995.


Using his his interdisciplinary background (Philosophy, plastic Arts and Poetry) Vega juggles them to their extreme verbal limits, exploring the dimensions of liturature at the same that he experiments their plastic possibilities avoiding the bareness of certain types of convensionalism and leaving aside dividing traditions that seperate  knowlege and creativity. Moreover, Vega uses numerous resources and techonologies: as such combines traditional methods ( i.e. painting, serigraphy,etc.) and new technologies ( i. e. video, computergraphics,etc.).


In his book, Prólogo para un Silencio (1) for example, poetic and plastic intensions coincide. There the sentuality of plastic forms merge with the body of literature generating significant microcosmos creating an interrelation beween words and images.


In reality, Vega‘s book is a summary of his work; on visual poems of great importance elaborated by him in the late 70s and early 80s, as well  the poems published in another book  of his, Habitanto Transparencias, 1982. His work puts us on the path of Mallarme, Apollolinaire, concretistas and other vanguardias that have seen in the whiteness of a page a signifier  molding along way his own form of plastification.


At the same time, we have to add that, in creating emotions from thought and from  thought emotions, Vega transcends all philosophical pre-supposisions in order to be a poet extracting the essence of everyday life and transforming it into a body of  poems.


¿Quién no conoce el placer de ser de la forma perfecta pensamiento? underlining, with irony the pages of his other book  El placer de ser (2). ¿Quién no conoce...? El placer de ser is history of chain presents, re-elaborated in order for Vega to re-create himself.


Warm, ironic, transcendental or banal, the universe of Gustavo Vega is filled with magical stars and mystrious black holes as well as gods and godesses. In liberating the rigidness of accademic language through breaking, pulling, isolating,.. he dislocates the verb in order to make a verse. The page, the word, the typograph, the image and the emptiness orchestrate , reconfigure a new language. These experiments of visual poems is the result of investigations that Gustavo Vega has developed with computergraphics  and also some traditional methods.


In the prologue of El Placer de Ser, professor J. M. Balcells, describies Gustavo Vega as one of the most important representative of visual creators in Spain and adds that for decades he has been a untierable  investigator of visual poetry.


Finally we can not leave out Gustavo Vega´s role in promoting visual poetry through his lectures and workshops. As such under his guideship University of Leon of Spain has recently established a course Palabra e Imagen: Poesía Visual which is presently tought by Mr. Vega.



(1) VEGA, Gustavo. Prólogo para un silencio.  Barcelona: Ed. Zendrera Zariquiey, 1992.

(2) VEGA, Gustavo. El placer de ser. Ed. Endymion. Madrid, 1997.



* translated by Madeleine Essalat