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Sasamón, Spain

Carlos Salazar Gutiérrez's Casa Museo

Salguti's live-in museum: a fortress against criticism and consumer art. 

Some art-school administrator made a huge mistake when they looked over Carlos Salazar Gutiérrez’ application and rejected it. Without any formal training and a slight vendetta against the artistic establishment, Gutiérrez began calling himself Salguti in the 1970s, and subsequently created his own live-in museum in Sasamón, Spain.

After achieving a fair amount of success and financial leeway during the 1960s and early 1970s, Salguti staked out a small plot of land in rural Spain. There, he began work on a project that he wouldn’t have to sell, or exhibit for approval. A short walk out of the center of Sasamón, Salguti made a decision to create a Casa/Museo, that would house him as artist, and all of his works.

With his inspiration and plan set, he began to translate his ideas to the structure itself. On the exterior, Salguti began by building a circular, castle-like building made out of concrete. Always with a focus on himself, he worked to sculpt a self-portrait right into the outer walls. Like a great statue of Neptune, Salguti’s portrait features a 13-foot high bearded face and two stoic eyes that seem to penetrate the landscape.

Besides the bold relief on the outside of the building, the two-story art museum on the inside holds a place for Salguti to live and many of his sculptures. Despite living alone on the outskirts of a small town, Salguti welcomes visitors to his property, and the structure is hard to miss. It’s the only bubbling-concrete home in the area, and its located prominently on a hillside.