3 Library Rats from XAV for Contorno Urbano 12 + 1

“I was a library rat. Libraries are the mainstays of democracy. The first thing dictators do when taking over a country is close all the libraries, because libraries are full of ideas and differences of opinion, all the things we say we want in a free and open society.”

– novelist David Baldacci


XAV. “The 3 Rodents” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

Spanish graffiti writer and tattoo artist Xav gives his own literal interpretation of the saying ‘library rat’ here in his new mural for Project 12+1 in Barcelona. Beginning with graffiti as a teen in Asturias (northern Spain) in the mid 2000s Xav has since honed a photorealist style on walls that has given him many commercial opportunities and taken him to participate in Street Art and graffiti festivals.

XAV. “The 3 Rodents” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

But that doesn’t mean Xav doesn’t appreciate the folks who hang out in libraries and the value they have to everyone – he actually studied and taught himself most of what he knows about his craft. He also gives respect to the graffiti tradition and to his peers; if you look closely you may see the name of the recently passed graffiti writer Treze hidden in the mural, along with a shout out to his hometown of Asturias.

XAV. “The 3 Rodents” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

XAV. “The 3 Rodents” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

XAV. “The 3 Rodents” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

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