Today we return to community murals for a minute, just to check on the progress of Barcelona based artist Laia. She says she started as a graffiti writer in ’99 at age 14, eventually gaining respect from peers for her serious skillz with tags, pieces, and style on underpasses, trains, walls, and freights.
Two decades later, she’s redefining her style, she says. Here you may think more of street art motifs and when you look at her new wall for community group Contorno Urbano in her hometown Barcelona.
She says she’s looking for positivity these days for herself, and she wanted to create something that reflects it to the neighborhood of Civic Center Cotxeres Borrell. Maybe something kid-friendly.
She’s calling it “Magic Avenue”. “There is no negativity, no sad colors, no violence!,”
“You must have rocks in your head if you think that you are going out with your friends dressed like that!” says your mom as you add more gel to your hair while pouring over every detail of your magnificence in the mirror. Honestly, your parents are so square.
“Rocks in your head” is an idiom meant to infer that someone
is thoroughly stupid, crazy, absurd — and with world news combined
with a firehose of entertainment and disinformation flooding you from every
direction today, sometimes you wonder about the thoughts, emotions, and
memories that you have to process inside your head just to remain “balanced”
That’s what artist Cristina Daura was thinking about when she created her new public art mural for the Contorno Urbano community mural program called 12+1 in Barcelona. She went to MICA in Baltimore for illustration, and spent a few years working in dead-end, unfulfilling jobs until she struck out on her own drawing comics and illustrating about things that interest her most for music and publishing clients.
“Her artwork plays
with the mind, using primary colors in harsh, punk and somehow macabre
illustrations, where decapitated or faceless people are often protagonists,”
says Contorno Urbano in a recent email.
“As if it were
an x-ray, the artist has represented a head full of things, thoughts, and emotions.
On the one hand, the flowers symbolize the illusion and the deepest dreams of
human beings. On the other, the rocks are destructive and cause a
The community based Contorno Urbano
continues to provide opportunities to local and visiting artists to access
public space for their explorations on walls in a suburb of Barcelona. Not
necessarily from the graffiti or Street Art world, they none the less are
examining the practice of putting your stuff up to a general audience of
passersby. Today we bring you some shots of their textile-influenced midsomer
walls with Allessia Innocenti from Chile and Mariadela Araujo who is originally
Innocenti studied fine arts and painting and spent much of her early career
teaching children and adults. Here she’s still working collaboratively to
install a grouping of geometric shapes of yarns that take their influence from
fractals and studies of symmetry.
Ms. Araujo presents a study for a new textile pattern she has created- a
repeating pattern of subtle shading that has similarities to sixties optic art.
Having completed projects of embroidery on a large scale in Caracas, Rome and
Helsinki, here she presents a piece of embroidery in large format as a mural, in
all of its chromatic variations.
They don’t call it World Pride for nothing, and many artists are creating new public artworks this month to commemorate the 5oth anniversary of the modern rights movement for LBGTQ+ people in many cities.
Artist Mr. Sis is in Barcelona painting this pair of full figured females
going in for the kiss on this billboard for Contorno Urbano. The community
powered initiative invites all manner of artists to participate and this
illustrator who also is formally trained in dance and theater is gratified to
have the opportunity to create a public painting. He calls this “Sol Un Beso”
or “Just a Kiss”.
As we recognize that not everyone around the world has the freedom to love who they want, in fact face violence and threats from state and civil entities, Mr. Sis says he would really love it if people use his new hashtag #SoloUnBeso.
Post a kiss and tag it! Your image may go a long way.
The artistic duo just brought two new pop culture inspired billboards last week to this small town in Catalonia to entertain you with their hybrid brand of graffiti, video games, and sports references. Like many today they’re using the free association split-attention style of memes and the Internet that is now our lingua franca – or should we say linqua españa
intersection of graffiti, the Internet, and cute things, Imon Boy has developed
a fun-centric database of pop-cultre references merged and interplayed in
scenarios from many a ‘00s teen memories surfing YouTube and catching tags –
and showing his work in a gallery setting in Munich, Hamburg, Phillipines,
Miami, Sydney, and New York. He says this game is typical of writers and cops –
but it looks a lot more fun from this perspective.
native of Badalona (Barcelona), Dagoe is similarly well travelled
geographically as well, taking his illustration, design, and animation powers
to France, Tunisia, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Here he namedrops Cope
and references Tupac and Drake – with the sensitive Canadian rapper wearing a FC
Barcelona team shirt and crying into a phone – that’s a mashup, bro.
out to the 12+1 and the Contorno Urbano
Foundation for hosting this duo.
The 1990s lo-tech graphics of glitches and gifs and simplistic digitized objects continue to find their way into Street Art and murals, including this new app-activated chromo-keyed mural by Vic-born Degon.
A part-time post-rapper and a co-founder of his own graphics studio for creating beautiful-ugly logos, Degon says he began his first forays into graffiti in ’99, eventually becoming a bonafide crew member of the NGFX.
Now his interventions are straddling the physical and the digital and to enjoy fully this new “Green Screen Art” for the 12+1 project in Barcelona you’ll need a phone to see the motion graphics that are triggered. Or you can just look at the animation posted here at the end.
Yes, it is Saturday. It’s also#Caturdayif you are a fan of the felines and you want to contribute to or simply scroll through the roughly 7.5 million photos with that hashtag onInstagram.
This Spanish cat named Tommy looks like he could have belonged to Matisse, due to the overlapping abstract collage method, but British artist Christina Lina says he was her grandmother’s cat – so we guessed wrong. The artist and educator often creates props, temporary sculpture, and installations for kids and places they frequent, and finds her work easily moves from public to private space and back again.
work as artist and my work as educator are not easily or tidily separated,” she
says of her work. “Mostly I work within a sort of collapse between the two.”
This mural part of a public art program done in concert with local Ferran Sunyer school (so-named after the mathematician) in a neighborhood of Barcelona and students had the opportunity to create puppets during the final phase of the program.
Artist Anna Repullo is bringing the excitement of attraction to the street in her new mural, “El Beso” (The Kiss). It’s her sentimental contribution as part of a 3-woman program for walls here in Sant Vicenç dels Horts, curated by Contorno Urbano.
The figurative painter who loves to hike and explore nature lives in Granada Spain and is comfortable painting on canvas or walls. Her worko often depicts acts of intimacy and refuge between people in romantic or platonic embrace; sometimes even between people and pets.
This particular kiss is well timed for Spring, where many a passion is stirred by the caress of a warm breeze in the sunshine, the sounds of birds arriving with their song, the sight of trees bursting with their fresh blooms everywhere.
“You kissed me! My head drooped low on your breast With a feeling of shelter and infinite rest, While the holy emotions my tongue dared not speak, Flashed up as in flame, from my heart to my cheek; Your arms held me fast; oh! your arms were so bold —
Heart beat against heart in their passionate fold. Your glances seemed drawing my soul through my eyes, As the sun draws the mist form the sea to the skies. Your lips clung to mine till I prayed in my bliss They might never unclasp from the rapturous kiss.”
One of three female artists keep these walls on lockdown right now in Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Capdevilla says she’s calling into question our classical comparisons of our own bodies to those ideals of Eurocentric sculptures and painters from centuries ago.
She says “the plaster bodies are a good analogy for the rigid canons of beauty we’re used to,” and you can see exactly what she is talking about, from many angles.
of the parent project “Contorno Urbano,” itself a grassroots run collection of
public and Street Artists and their admirers, say work like this hits one of
their many people-fueled goals. “We keep working every day to normalize women’s
participation in Street art projects, because art belongs to all of us.”
With a nod to La Danse by Henri Matisse and many human tribes’ rites of Spring, artist Falvita Banana creates her new “Juntes sumem” (add together) here on the façade of Cotxeres Borrell in Barcelona.
Her illustrations have been in magazines, books and on public walls, often with the most basic and courageous technique at play; the simple stroke in monochrome. Humor, absurdity, melancholy all are intertwined. Here the expansive commanding of space and convivial craze infers the spirit as well as the movement of these celebrants.
But as with many of her humorous works, she says that this new wall completed Wednesday has a sadness – the clan-like closeness on display is for safety as well as intimate sisterhood.
This is a feminist ring-around-the-rosy says the artist. “At any
time and situation, women have to be alert and united. We have to protect and
help each other; unfortunately, even when we’re having fun,” she says of the
jovial scene. “Above all, we have to remember that we are stronger together.”
Created in conjunction with the public art project Contorno Urbano in Barcelona.
Saturday fun today from local Barcelona graphic designer Núria Toll, who’s sort of new to the experience of doing murals and art on the street.
Translating her own history with illustration and typography, Ms. Toll finds that humor is a welcome antidote to the negativity that is produced by our invasions of animals’ natural habitats.
Here with “Veïnes” (female neighbors in Catalan), her seagulls are meant to remind us that the natural world was here first, and we should make a home for all of us. The seagulls are rather good at integrating, and Toll here is giving them their due.
Núria Toll paints here for Contorno Urbano, the first foundation in Spain dedicated to street art and graffiti.
Part of the experience of making art in the street is the interaction with people passing by. Other times it’s about being out with your mates or peers, hitting up walls that are near each other – sharing opinions, jokes, paint. Of course when you are in your own creative zone you also may be able to block out everything; people and sounds and smells. You escape into the paint, the movement, the physicality, the shapes and colors.
This month Musa71 and Siro hit a tunnel together in in Rafael Casanova in Barcelona, each painting their own piece. They say they liked it and today we have pictures from their dual project – which turned into a friendly competition.
Writing graffiti since ’89, Barcelona local Musa71 says she’sa self-taught artist who is passionate about the letterform and exploring a number of styles just to get an appreciation for ways to manipulate them while keeping them legible.
Galicia born Siro studied fine arts over the last four years here in Barcelona and he says that he spends a lot of time painting and tattooing.
“After 10 years of painting, I think I have already turned this habit of painting into my little shelter, into an escape route from all the rest,” he says in a press release. He wouldn’t be the first to admit to developing an addiction to graffiti and mural making – we’ve met many.
It’s good to see how these two artists work have some overlap – at least
here in this tunnel in Barcelona.