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Brooklyn Street Art

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The Weeknd: Fer Alcala in Cardedeu, Granollers and Baladona, Catalunya, Spain.

Posted on January 4, 2018

Today we take a random walk around some of the most interesting street art in the metropolitan area of Barcelona with photographer and fervent observer of the scene, Fer Alcala, who shares with BSA readers about his own participation in the scene as a documentarian and vibrant part of the street ecosystem. An insatiable chaser of Street Art and murals, Fer doesn’t let a recent back operation keep him down for long and soon you are off discovering more in Granollers, Cardedeu, and who knows where else!


– by Fer Alcala

2017 was a weird year for me. It’s been more than 6 months that I’m trying to learn how to live in pain as I have a problem in my backbone which is healing as a Work In Process (WIP). At the same time, I’ve had the chance of collaborating with lots of artists, taking part in very interesting projects and shooting tons of photos. However it has not always been easy for me to find the motivation and the energy to go out there and hit the streets.

Roc Blackblock. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Apart from all this, you know how it works; There’s that spark, that unavoidable feeling that pushes you to do what you love to do despite everything else. So, this is what happened to me some weeks ago while being alone at home: I HAD to go for a walk, yes or yes. So, I did.

I had the need to go to Badalona and check some of the latest pieces of Spogo out. Spogo’s work is familiar to the BSA readers:  One of the finest abstract artists in the country, Spogo opens walls in his hometown and gives the chance to other artists to paint in his playground, developing a homeland legacy that is appreciated by neighbors, pedestrians and fellow artists. In these times when street art and gentrification are becoming almost synonymous, Spogo’s personal effort contributes to beautify the city through collabs with Elbi Elem, Tayone, Ángel Toren, Lost Optics, Kazzius or Nico Barrios & Toni Cuatrero.

Aryz . Gurtel. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In the meanwhile, it’s nice to find a big wall by H101 by chance, almost feeling it as a tribute to the defunct Sixe wall in the opposite side of the highway which was replaced by some useless gardening ad. It was also a great pleasure to find ‘Inocente II’, the great mural by Mohamed Lghacham and Iván Floro, two friends that hadn’t painted together in 6 years and whose figurative skills are reaching mastership levels.

So, in order to keep on feeding my hunger for art, I decided to visit the always interesting city of Granollers with about 60,000 inhabitants which is 40 minutes away from Barcelona by train, after seeing online what Velvet and Zoer had created for ‘Murs que parlen (Walls that speak)’. Murs que parlen is a project promoted by Granollers’ town hall, a project which they say is seeking to give life and color to some medium and large scale walls of the city. The result of the work of the French artistic duo, who were advised by Aryz on the occasion, is one of my personal faves in Catalunya this year.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I love how Zoer has explained the whole process in his IG account:

‘One month ago, Velvet and me started painting this mural in Granollers / Catalunya. Relating an artistic action to its close environment and context is a big question as: Does the mural/ public space/ art have to make a clear connection with its time or to a special meaning? The population of Catalunya expressed recently its will of autonomy and most generally the possibility of reorganizing the society around a strong regional and cultural defense. As foreigners, we can only watch and interpret the information from a certain distance.

The Can Bassa district in Granollers is a very quiet district, let’s say mostly Castillan, or inhabited by people from all of the country. We were invited to take a look at the academic system here, by giving a class to young art students and by visiting the primary school though the high school. The focus is set on the personal development and awakening in creative fields, developing an atmosphere of exchange and curiosity.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In a dance class, where children were training, we found dozens of drum sticks in a blue plastic basin. Besides that we had the chance to meet Toni Cumella and to visit his splendid ceramic factory. Their ceramics are designed for architecture mainly, where a million single pieces can shape an ensemble, become a pattern, a second skin to a concrete structure.

Well known for having designed this sophisticated ceiling ceramic map for the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, they worked as well with Renzo Piano on the Centro Botin, creating a sensational floating pattern from thousands of ceramic disks modeling the facade and reflecting the light. During the inauguration, musicians were playing percussion using the ceramic facade as a giant drum with thousands of pads’.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s great to see how interacting with the locals and taking into account the neighbors’ participation is becoming so important and giving meaning to the artist’s work, even becoming a norm in several projects all over the world.

My next stop was another Murs que parlen wall. It’s strange because almost no one out there has taken pics of this colossal Sixe Paredes piece. I tried to shoot it from the courtyard of the school, but the place was closed and nobody was working that day. To know more about this beautiful work, please check this nice documentary that a local TV filmed for the occasion.

Sixe Paredes. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It has been approximately four years since I had the chance to visit Roca Umbert. This cultural facility keeps some almost hidden gems by Aryz, Zoer, and Daniel Muñoz ‘SAN’ and Roc Blackblock, among others. Born as a tribute to Ferrer i Guardia and the modern school, with 250 students taking part in the process, this is what Roc said about it on his FB page at that time: ‘We arrived to the conclusion that education, knowledge and wisdom are the real superpowers that allow us to face all the challenges with success’.

One of the things that I love about Granollers is that it has everything: big walls, random ones all over the city, abandoned factories…and the ditch. Home of a superb, but now buffed old smoking bird by Aryz, this never ending urban canvas offers tons of great art by some of the biggest and more interesting names in da house: Aryz, Rostro, Cinta Vidal and Peeta, Japon, Treze … this list could go on forever, so here you have an small selection of what you can find down there. And, please, be careful if you decide to cross the river.

Velvet. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

As I was on fire, I decided to take the train and go to Cardedeu. This almost 13 km2 village is a creative gold mine. Aryz’s and Cinta Vidal’s homeplace, Cardedeu’s outskirts gives shelter to one of the most admired abandoned factories in the biz: Ofidirect. I’ve been here several times with lots of different friends, artists and colleagues and everybody loves the place.

It was the first time that I was there alone and I have to say that I was almost overwhelmed by the silence and the majesty of this concrete and brick space. Being some kind of a private playground for the MixedMedia Crew and other artists and graffiti writers, Ofidirect is still alive preserving its urban decay beauty and charm. It was funny for me to see how Zoer, Velvet and Aryz had got some fun in there apart from the big Wall in Granollers.

Zoer. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

After a 40 minutes walk to go back to Cardedeu, some beer, and a train and back to Barcelona, I was at home editing pics and speaking with friend artist @elbielem. She asks me about an Aryz mural in Cardedeu. ??? I had no clue about what she was talking and Aryz painting in his hometown on kind of a big wall? He’s one of my favorite artists and I had been there for hours and I haven’t got any f*cking idea about it? Well: sh*t happens. Best street art hunter (hate this title…) ever.

I went back to Cardedeu the next day very soon in the morning, but that, my friends, is a different story

Velvet . Aryz . Gurtel . Zoer. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Treze. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Ratos. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Sergi Marqués. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

KIKX. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Japon VLOK. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Rostro. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz . Rostro. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Cinta Vidal . Peeta. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Mohamed Lghacham . Iván Floro. “Inocente II” Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

‘This wall is the second part of another one that I painted two years ago about the same issue,” says artist Mohamed Lghacham who painted this wall with assistance of Iván Floro.

“Its main character is a friend of mine who was born on December 28th which is the ‘Santos Inocentes’ day in Spain (note: this is the equivalent of the April’s fool day in the States). Basically, it consists on playing little jokes on your friends and relatives. When my friend was a little kid and it was his birthday his classmates didn’t trust him, thinking that he was just kidding. There’s not a big concept behind the piece: it’s just something anecdotal that seems funny to me.

The idea about painting that mural came from Badiu Jove Badalona as one of the activities of Conect’Art which is an art fair for young creators that takes place in the city.” Lghacham says he would like to thank his assistant Floro.  “Everything went great and I guess that we will work together often in the near future.”

Spogo . Nico Barrios . Tony Cuatreros. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Spogo . Elbi Elem. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

H101. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


Instagram handles:

Sixe @sixeparedes, Spogo @spogo15, Elbi Elem @elbielem , Tayone @tayone.abz , Ángel Toren @angeltoren , Lost Optics @lostoptics, Kazzius @kaz.zius or Nico Barrios @mrnobodysmind ,Toni Cuatrero @tonicuatrero, H101 @h1_01, Mohamed Lghacham @oiterone, Iván Floro @van_vuu, Velvet @velvetcsx, Zoer @zoerism, Aryz @mr_aryz, Daniel Muñoz ‘SAN’ @danielmunoz_san, Rostro @rostrovalseca , Cinta Vidal @cinta_vidal & Peeta @peeta_ead , Japon @japonvlok , Treze @acidcollapse, Peeta @peeta_ead , Japon @japonvlok , Treze @acidcollapse

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