Brooklyn Street Art

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Aryz Says ‘Adios’ to 2017 in his Hometown of Cardedeu, Spain.

Posted on January 3, 2018

Today on BSA we have the photographer Fer Alcala to share his experiences and photos as he was capturing the newest mural from Aryz in his hometown in Spain at the very end of the year.

– by Fer Alcala

La cultura, by Aryz

– or, “How I almost missed the chance of shooting part of the creative process of this wall by one of the top names in the business 40 minutes away from my home.”

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

So, yes: this is how stupid I can get. After spending a big part of the day in the Cardedeu (the hometown of the artist Aryz) area, I had to find out after returning to my home. It was thanks to a friend, the artist Elbi Elem, who told me that Aryz was painting his, let’s say, ‘1st official large scale mural’ in his village, 10 minutes away from the place I had had lunch at that day. This is what happens when you are a digital dummy and the obsolescence of the iOS on your shitty mobile phone doesn’t allow you to see the Stories and Moments on Instagram.

I felt so embarrassed that I decided to go there the next day in order to calm my feelings of guilt down. First time in the morning. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit for dramatic purposes, but trust me: I felt like a complete dumb ass.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Anyone who shows a minimum of interest about street art or, as the main character of these lines prefers, about contemporary muralism, knows who Aryz is. So, I’m not here to write a deep essay about his prolific and outstanding work all over the world. I prefer to share with whoever will be reading this my personal experience with the artist throughout these last years.

I have to say that, although I admire Aryz’ work, we aren’t friends or anything. I think that maybe we have met personally 4 or 5 times in our whole lives and this was the first time that I had the chance of taking some shots of him at work. Once said that, I’ve been lucky enough to visit his studio twice, due to 2 principal reasons: the mediation duties of common friend Anna Cammany (aka @troballola), and Aryz’ hospitality. One of these occasions was really special for me as we were accompanied by Martha Cooper and Jay ‘Terror161’ Edlin, two legends of the photography and the graffiti world, who were in town as lecturers for the Openwalls Conferences 2015 edition.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Not being a mitoman, I’ve asked for only 2 autographs in my whole life: to Danish pro skater Nicky Guerrero when I was fourteen and to Martha Cooper, after I was already a grown man. So, yes: maybe that moment was kind of unforgettable for me. And, what can I say? You don’t everyday have the chance to be shooting in an abandoned factory in the middle of nowhere with friends and with artists who you have admired since years ago.

Plus I enjoyed witnessing the nice meeting between Martha, Jay & Aryz at his wonderful cabinet of curiosities in the presence of the artist’s mum. I have pics of this day that won’t be ever published as I think this was a private moment that should remain just in the attendants’ hearts and memories. And I got a couple of good stories in my pocket from that day too.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

One of the reasons why I’m explaining all this, it’s that I want to emphasize the fact that we are speaking not only about a great artist, but also about a great human being who trusted me and was super generous with me even when he almost didn’t know me at all. And, excuse me: you can be the greatest artist on earth, but if you suck as a person, my interest is gone. Well, as I’ve said, this isn’t the case.

Going back to my visit to Cardedeu, it was easy to find the wall after some searching on the Internet. What I wasn’t expecting was that Aryz was already there giving the last touches to the piece. Yes: both of us are early risers. So, after saying ‘hi’ and some small talk, I started to shoot from the ground. I liked the location of the wall, but speaking from a ‘photography’ point of view, it was a pain in the ass for taking pics because of the fences, the signs, the lights… At least, there were no shadows.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

I asked a neighbor from the building in front of the piece if she had a good angle of the mural from her balcony. The answer was negative, but she kindly offered to me the keys of the rooftop. This was like pure gold for me. Gracias Eulalia.

As it always is, it was nice being up there. The view was great and I had a nice perspective of Cardedeu’s landscape. You could see how Aryz’ color selection was harmoniously matching the surroundings, creating a beautiful composition. A pedestrian asked the artist about the meaning of the piece. Aryz answered that his work is not about that. He almost demanded that the viewer make a personal effort about thinking and getting his own conclusions.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

And I agree with that. As he has said in the past, his dialogue is not with the citizens: it’s with the wall, the building, the architecture, and the city… We are just spectators of his artwork, but he is not working for us. Although there can be a deep meaning and sense behind his most important works, maybe we should get involved. And this is challenging and enjoyable.

There’s this very well known saying here in Spain that says: ‘Nadie es profeta en su tierra’ (ed. note; roughly, ‘no man is a profit in his own land’). Well, when Jesus Christ supposedly said that, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thinking about Aryz.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

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