Geometric and organic compliment one another here in “Perspectivas y Vacíos” (Perspectives and Gaps) in this new public art by Anna Tartiel in the Centre Cívic Cotxeres Borrell in the center of Barcelona.
Part of the program 12 + 1 by Contorno Urbano, this piece of work is part of a public initiative started four years ago that brings “urban art closer to people, breaking with the stereotypes and prejudices that surround this artistic expression.” In fact this kind of work and initiative occupies a rare space in cities; largely untouched by bureaucratic obstacles and corporate lust for invasion of the civic discourse with commercials – mediated by a thoughtful community-based committee of organizers.
An artist with a street practice as well as a studio practice, Tartiel brings her fascination with internal maps externally, her aesthetic perspective of her own city with its precise lines and imperfections, evoking a Barcelona “full of geometry and movement,” she says. She has also described her work in the past as a sort of internal cartography, a depiction of the maps that we each carry around inside.
Graffiti and Street Art researcher/educator Javier Abarca wrote of her work two years ago for a show she was exhibiting entitled “Antipodas” and his description of the matters at play in her work and practice is helpful to understand how she got here on this wall as well.
“Taratiel says that once she had gone in for geometric painting she started to miss the warmth of the organic and the random, a concern that is common among artists who move from the street to canvas and which stems from an essential difference between these two work spaces,” he writes. “If canvas is a blank, inert space that the artist has to fill from scratch, the street is a motley scenario full of meanings. In the street the artist is limited to proposing, and it is the city that gives shape to that proposal by the accumulated effect of many factors.”
In this case it is a defined canvas on the street, not a raw neglected wall in a marginal sector of the city. It is a challenge of blending these competing impulses and finding where they overlap, perhaps. This may depend on your perspective.