All posts tagged: Ciudad Real

“Titanes” at Work; New Murals and Social Inclusion in Don Quixote’s Land

“Titanes” at Work; New Murals and Social Inclusion in Don Quixote’s Land


“Every man is the son of his own works” ~ Miguel de Cervantes.


The greatest writer in the Spanish language was inspired by the character of this region and its arid but fertile elevated plateau when creating his greatest work Don Quixote, a true titan of historical literature and one of the world’s most translated books after the Bible.

His central character is a delusional would-be knight who calls himself The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. His absurdist but imaginative self-regard is echoed in the sheer scale of the grand new Titanes (Titan) mural project. Given the camaraderie among artists and organizers here you may say that the heart of Titanes is more likely aligned with the earthy wit of his sidekick Sancho Panza.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Naturally when these characters are intermingled by an imaginative multi-disciplinary artist like Okuda San Miguel you are not surprised to see the image of movie director Pedro Almodovar co-starring along with Quixote; Okuda’s silo is seated in the filmmaker’s town of Calzada de Calatrava and Almodovar’s richly drawn characters have captured a generation of Spaniards happily. As a rainbow splits the storm clouded sky behind him, it’s precisely this painters intuitive alchemy of reality and fiction that may shake a viewers’ conscience while entertaining them, revealing Titanes as an enormous vehicle of communication.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The past and present are seen through my geometric and surrealist filters,” says Okuda, who is a principle architect of this audacious public mural project in La Mancha. In an era of perplexing social, political, and economic upheavals, it is comforting to see modern artists take on the messages of the classics, reinterpreting and re-presenting them.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

15 or so more murals on silos are on the way here from top talents before the year is complete. The societal outreach is ground-breaking in its own way with an uncommon integration and engagement with the neighboring communities.

“It’s an interesting story,” says photographer Martha Cooper, who shares her images with BSA readers today. “Okuda is working with organizations who help people with disabilities like autism and Down Syndrome. The part of the mural at the base of each one of the silos was painted by a number of these participants,” she says. “And they all seemed to be having a great time.”

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Startlingly original and indelibly context-specific, Titanes is a mural/public art project that resides at the intersection of social responsibility and community participation. Organizers say that the goal is not only to bring a roster of well-respected artists here to paint but to be completely inclusive of societal members who aren’t typically thought of as artists.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From now until October, a number of artists from the urban art scene will be transforming silos into art all across this region, including Bicicleta sem Freio, Daniel Muñoz, Demsky J., Equipo Plástico (comprised of Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4814 and Sixe Paredes), Fintan Magee, Hell’O, Smithe, Nychos, Ricardo Cavolo and Spok Brillor. In an unprecedented program of social inclusion through public art, 450 members of the Laborvalía association will also be working alongside the artists on various creative activities.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Already the program has proven life-changing in many ways, say participants, as perspectives and relationships are evolving during the initial painting program. “Okuda worked with one boy with autism while painting his mural,” Martha tells us. “He began to speak and interact after starting to paint – much to his parents’ delight. This part of the project gave it more weight than just the usual “artists-painting-walls” event.”

Organizers say that they hope Titanes will be an epic project that will go down in history as one of the world’s biggest events to promote social inclusion. At its core are Okuda’s own multi-faceted art agency called Ink and Movement, the Laborvalía organization, the Provincial Government of Ciudad Real, and a number of other municipalities and civic and tourism-related fields who are supporting the art and its message throughout society.

Laborvalía says in its mission statement that its principal goal is to promote the integration of people with disabilities in society and the workplace.

Titanes looks like it is the perfect project to make a big impression.

Hell’O, Okuda collaborates with Hell’O and a client from Laborvalía organization helps the artists with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Hell’O Our idea was to mix abstract shapes and figurative elements in a colorful environment. We enjoy playing with the balance between different shapes and finding a homogeneous composition. We wanted to give it an optimistic, pop, fresh touch, something that speaks to everyone

Hell’O and Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bicicleta sem Freio “Os Gigantes de la Mancha” (The Giants of La Mancha) represents the power of creativity and imagination and its indispensable role in the ability of human beings to make sense of the world and others, especially among children and people with disabilities.

Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio and clients from Laborvalía organization help the artist with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio and clients from Laborvalía organization help the artist with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Daniel Muñoz & Spok Brillor:

There are a number of concepts behind our intervention. First, it represents 15 years of working together as artists and friends: each medal symbolizes a story from some of the projects we’ve worked on in recent years.

It also reaffirms the building from an architectural standpoint: “decoration” in the sense of an award or honor and not just ornamentation. For us, it’s important to reaffirm the object in itself and not its political history. Finally, there’s an irony in the use of gold and its contrast with bread, a basic product produced by the silo and one that, in reality, was always represented as luminary and powerful in the imaginary of the 20th century.

Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. (Equipo Plastico on the right) “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Equipo Plástico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes)

“Meseta” (Plateau) is a homage to the countryside, to the intractable space surrounding these silos. The tones and patterns of the surrounding areas, their textures and shades, cover every centimetre of the wall like a blanket, giving the building a round, almost sculpted look. Ignoring the limits of the building and symbolically camouflaging it in its environment accentuates its current invisibility after years of neglect and helps lighten the weight of its history.

Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Demsky & Smithe

In “Parábolas del Pensamiento” (Parabolas of Thought), we have unified our style, based on the phases of the brain for creation and thinking: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.

Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Windmills at Campo de Criptana. Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. It is at the windmills that Quixote’s famous adventures begin, starting with his attack on the windmills, because he believes that they are ferocious giants. (photo © Martha Cooper)
An artist’s interpretation of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza. Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Okuda presented Ms. Cooper with a portrait of her.
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