All posts tagged: Contorno Urbano Foundation

Ángel Toren & Joan Tarragó in Sant Vicenç des Horts, Spain

Ángel Toren & Joan Tarragó in Sant Vicenç des Horts, Spain

A duo of wall painters show us their very different approaches to graphic design, illustration, and sign painting in these two new pieces completed last week in Sant Vicenç des Horts, Spain.

Joan Tarragó. “fight plastic portal” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona 2019 (photo © Clara Anton)

Joan Tarragó paints his “Fight Plastic Portal” with his “fusion of graphic language, ancient symbolism and surf influences,” he says. The wrapping line-work its pulsating natural energy washes over you in waves of turquoise and curving black lines. If these patterns look familiar you may have seen his work on facades and skating courts in places like Miami, New York, Japan, and Bali.

Joan Tarragó. “fight plastic portal” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona 2019 (photo © Clara Anton)
Joan Tarragó. “fight plastic portal” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona 2019 (photo © Clara Anton)

Ángel Toren elevates the “tag” of traditional graffiti writers as interpreted by theater posters and cinemas by employing optical play, geometric sharpness, crisp layers of color and dimension. The skills are so focused that you forget this is by hand, by can, by brush.

Toren says his work “focuses on the tri-dimensionality of space, depth and perspective as a dance in the composition.” His 2 and 3-D color plays have appeared as abstract and pop-informed graffiti stays true to his roots while pushing the boundaries of the accepted idea of a piece that was first defined by train writers.  

The walls are part of an initiative from Contorno Urbano, a community based public art effort which is beginning a new edition of their 12 + 1 project in Sant Vinceç del Horts, featuring interventions on Rafael Casanova’s street walls. The temporary installations ride two months, to be replaced by a new duo.

Ángel Toren.“Infinite Space” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona 2019 (photo © Clara Anton)
Ángel Toren.“Infinite Space” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona 2019 (photo © Clara Anton)
Ángel Toren.“Infinite Space” Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona 2019 (photo © Clara Anton)
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Minuskula & Claudio Drë Explore Infinity and Limits in Spain

Minuskula & Claudio Drë Explore Infinity and Limits in Spain

Community murals today from two artists last month in Barcelona working with the Contorno Urbano program that brings artists of many disciplines to a series of walls in the public space.

Claudio Drë. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Clara Antón)

Today we have Claudio Drë and Minuskila, who each take different approaches to themes, his abstractly wildstyle, hers simply symbolic, graphic and possibly painful.

Claudio Drë. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Clara Antón)

Chilean born, Barcelona-based former graffiti writer Dr. Drë began on the streets in 1996 with aerosol and eventually experimented with oil, acrylic, and canvas. His murals and fine art have been exhibited in Chile, Latin American and Europe. He has an affinity for the technical, the fine line, volume, and perspective. His new mural draws upon his original fascination for graffiti, geometry, psychedelia and the letterform, bringing each to a more futuristic dimension.

Claudio Drë. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Clara Antón)

A member of the artistic collective Reskate Arts & Crafts , graphic artist Minuskula (María López) is original from the Basque Country in Donostia-San Sebastián and has dedicated  much of her work to illustration and letter-styling, with some experience in muralism as well. Here she translates an illustrated metaphor large scale, calling the piece “Limits”.

Minuskula. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Clara Antón)
Minuskula. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Clara Antón)
Minuskula. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Clara Antón)
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Size Matters: Octavi Serra Is In Search Of A Larger Wall in Barcelona.

Size Matters: Octavi Serra Is In Search Of A Larger Wall in Barcelona.

As illegal Street Art morphed into legal murals we began to witness the entry of formally trained artists and professionals who not only abandoned the politically charged or socially challenging themes in favor of pleasant topics and commercial aesthetics but accidentally launched an arms race for the biggest, tallest, widest walls possible.

Soon the descriptions we received about new artist works shifted from discussions on themes and messages to statistics about square meters covered, the number of stories high the building was, and how many cans or gallons of paint were required to finish it.

Octavi Serra. A Larger Wall Is Sought. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. September, 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

Spanish artist, designer, and photographer Octavi Serra would like a larger wall please. The one that Contorno Urbano gave him for their 11th mural this year in Barcelona seems dreadfully small, and he has really big ideas. He calls this mural “Insufficient”.

Serra says his work often “focuses on capturing the irony, truisms and frustrations of modern life,” and while this piece is evidently meant to be tongue in cheek, he is tapping into a general sense of dissatisfaction that is part of a materialistic culture, and part of the human condition.

Octavi Serra. A Larger Wall Is Sought. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. September 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

By letting the typography bleed off the edges, you also sense the claustrophobic feelings that are playing with the artists mind. “There is this feeling of never being completely satisfied even though reason argues that we should be,” he says. “There is this desire to always have more, which make the road impossible to enjoy.”

The mural is part of the 12 + 1 public mural project of Barcelona – at the Civic Center Cotxeres Borrell. Before the end of the year they are planning a collective exhibition where works by all the artists who have participated in the edition of the 12 + 1 2019 Barcelona project will be on display. The show will feature artists Jay Visual, Ivan Floro, Margalef, Anna Taratiel, Nuria Toll, Flavita Banana, Cristina Lina, Degon, Mr. Sis, Cristina Daura, Laia and Octavi Serra.

Octavi Serra. A Larger Wall Is Sought. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. September 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
Octavi Serra. A Larger Wall Is Sought. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona, Spain. September 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
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Cristina Daura and Rocks in Your Head : Contorno Urbano Foundation

Cristina Daura and Rocks in Your Head : Contorno Urbano Foundation

“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.

Cristina Daura. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

“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”

Cristina Daura. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

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.

Cristina Daura. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

“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 transformation.”

Cristina Daura. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)
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Allessia Innocenti and Mariadela Araujo and Textile Experiments

Allessia Innocenti and Mariadela Araujo and Textile Experiments

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 from Caracas.

Allessia Innocenti. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. July, 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

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.

Allessia Innocenti Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. July, 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
Allessia Innocenti. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. July, 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

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.

Mariadela Araujo. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. July, 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
Mariadela Araujo. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. July, 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
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BSA Film Friday: 07.05.19

BSA Film Friday: 07.05.19

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. VHILS “Debris” Sets Macau in Golden Nostalgia
2. OKUDA: The International Church Of Cannabis
3. Mr. Sis. and #SoloUnBeso
4. Parees International Mural Festival. Oviedo, Spain. Edition 2018.

BSA Special Feature: VHILS “Debris” Sets Macau in Golden Nostalgia

Is anybody listening?

Last year Vhils published this film about communication – personal, intimate, and global. We waited a year to see if it felt equally timeless as the first time we viewed it and indeed it is. Some stories like these have an additional element that secures their status. Surrounding the portraits created by the Portuguese Street Artist in Macau, this collage of images, interactions, flashes of expression and sequences of behavior is accompanied by a linear/circular narration that attempts to reconnect to a personal history while chiding the narrators own behavior.

It’s a winsome recounting of memories that are shared globally; a communal and personal experience at once told with clarity and emotional nostalgia, written and directed by José Pando Lucas.

OKUDA: The International Church Of Cannabis

One would hope that the International Church of Cannibis would look like this! Owing perhaps to psychedelic art of 1960s counterculture, liquid light art, concert posters, murals, underground newspapers, and of course kaleidoscoping the world with new eyes, the Spanish Street Artists Okuda San Miguel transformed this internal architecture into a truly holy space. Denver is one of those American cities that still has a good economy thanks to Colorado’s low taxes, growing marijuana industry and soaring real estate market. It seems like the whole city has invited many Street Artists to transform street space over the last decade and with a good collector’s base, the art galleries are busy and special projects are popping up everywhere to show off the skillz.

With a new church that uses pot as a sacrament, this project is spearheaded by Steve Berke, who’s Wikipedia posting lists him as “two-time candidate for mayor of Miami Beach, cannabis activist, rapper, YouTuber, entrepreneur, and former All-American tennis player.” Dude, just gaze at the ceilings here and you realize that the possibilities are awesome.

Mr. Sis. and #SoloUnBeso

“Artist Mr. Sis is in Barcelona painting this pair of full figured females going in for the kiss on this billboard for Contorno Urbano,” we wrote a few weeks ago in a posting about this wall. Today we have the finished video.

See more here: “Mr. Sis Paints #SoloUnBeso in Barcelona”

Parees International Mural Festival. Oviedo, Spain. Edition 2018.

A new mini-doc from the Parees Festival in Oviedo, Spain has just been released about the 2018 edition. It features on-screen interviews with many of the artists who were involved, including Colectivo Licuado, Roc BlackBlock, Taquen, Xav, Andrea Ravo Mattoni, Kruella d’Enfer, Alfalfa y Twee Muizen.

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Mr. Sis Paints #SoloUnBeso in Barcelona

Mr. Sis Paints #SoloUnBeso in Barcelona

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.

Mr. Sis. “Solo Un Beso”. Contorno Urbano Foundation / 12+1 Project. Barcelona. June 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

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.

Mr. Sis. “Solo Un Beso”. Contorno Urbano Foundation / 12+1 Project. Barcelona. June 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
Mr. Sis. “Solo Un Beso”. Contorno Urbano Foundation / 12+1 Project. Barcelona. June 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
Mr. Sis. “Solo Un Beso”. Contorno Urbano Foundation / 12+1 Project. Barcelona. June 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
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BSA Film Friday:06.07.19

BSA Film Friday:06.07.19

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Non-Trivial – Jesse Hazelip
2. Banksy Overlooked in Venice
3. DEGON 12+1 Project / Contorno Urbano Foundation. Barcelona
4. Christian Rex van Minnen ponders aloud about the creative process and how words can’t really explain a painting.
5. Gonzalo Borondo MERCI. Teaser #2

BSA Special Feature: Non-Trivial – Jesse Hazelip

“People think ‘Oh, prison is for people that are bad.’ That’s not the case. It’s a racist system. We need to raise the awareness on that.,” says graffiti writer, street artist and fine artist Jesse Hazelip in this new video.

In addition to speaking about his technique of engraving animal skulls, he speaks about the US justice system of incarceration that he compares to a “mass epidemic that is affecting marginalized people, mainly people of color who are black and brown.”

Preach!

Banksy Overlooked in Venice

The Street Artist Banksy posted this video to cry crocodile tears on his Instagram during the Venice Biennale. “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited.” Is the large seafaring vessel spread over multiple canvasses a self portrait, perhaps? It’s simply massive.

Extra points for the Doris Day score. Que sera sera.

DEGON 12+1 Project / Contorno Urbano Foundation. Barcelona

Bringing his mural to life by greenscreening it, Degon cleverly drops in the AR app that you’ll need to download for full enjoyment. Read more on “App Activated Kinetic Tagging by Degon in Barcelona.”

Christian Rex van Minnen ponders aloud about the creative process and how words can’t really explain a painting.

It begins with the heaviest of sighs.

“There’s never really a blank canvass moment in my process. There is a constant cycle of paintings that are at very stages of completion”

“ I guess I see these as just one long continuous painting”

And so we end our excepts from the dramatic reading.

Thumbs up to visual effects editor Mike Gaynor.

Gonzalo Borondo MERCI. Teaser #2

Spanish Street Artist and installation artist Borondo is taking over a church, bringing the cathedral qualities of the dark forest with him. His teasers for this project (culminating as “Merci” on June 21) are as illuminating as they are elusive.

The church has been closed for 30 years,” we wrote this week. “If you wait long enough the natural world will overtake this temple, covering it with moss, wrapping it with ivy, filling it with trees. “

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Started From the Bottom Now We Tagging and Bombing. Imon Boy and Dagoe in Catalonia.

Started From the Bottom Now We Tagging and Bombing. Imon Boy and Dagoe in Catalonia.

Dagoe is Str8 Ballin’ from the bottom and Imon Boy is banging it across the net with Super Manolo atop a graffiti smashed train in these two new murals in Sant Vicenç dels Horts.

Imon Boy. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. (photo © Clara-Anton)
Imon Boy. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. (photo © Clara-Anton)

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

Imon Boy. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. (photo © Clara-Anton)

At the 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.

Dagoe. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. (photo © Clara-Anton)

A 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.  

Dagoe. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. (photo © Clara-Anton)

Shout out to the  12+1 and the Contorno Urbano Foundation for hosting this duo.

Dagoe. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Barcelona. (photo © Clara-Anton)
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App Activated Kinetic Tagging by Degon in Barcelona.

App Activated Kinetic Tagging by Degon in Barcelona.

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.

Degon. “Green Screen Art”. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

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.

Clearly, this is not your grandpa’s tagging.

Degon. “Green Screen Art”. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)
Degon. “Green Screen Art”. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)
Degon. “Green Screen Art”. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

This project is supported by the Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project

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“Castleman Tour” Leaves the Station, Hitting Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, more

“Castleman Tour” Leaves the Station, Hitting Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, more

Official kick-of for release of the book “Get up again: Forty years later” by Craig Castleman


Nearly Forty years after his seminal book “Getting Up: Subway Graffiti In New York” was released, Craig Castleman is touring Spain to talk about a huge update to the story. Originally published by MIT press, it became a cult book for the graffiti/street art subculture and a bibliographic reference in the academic field.

Craig Castleman. Writers Bench. (photo © Craig Castleman)

”When the city designed the subway system they made some bad choices on colors. … If the subways were painted nice, it would make a lot of people very happy,” graffiti writer LEE is quoted from this book in the New York Times review of this 1982 release by the teacher, who had been at the High School of Art and Design, presumably with many of the young artists he researches.

An early academic record of the lively and controversial New York graffiti scene that thrilled and flummoxed the city during the previous decade, Castleman featured interviews and observations by important foundational names like Bama, Tracy 168, Phase 2, Futura 2000, and Iz the Wiz at a time when few valued their opinions.

This month, as a result of a joint initiative by INDAGE, the Spanish Association of researchers and disseminators of graffiti and urban art, and Contorno Urbano Foundation, Castleman’s visionary study is going on tour for a series of lectures and round tables in cities including Hospitalet, Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Malaga, Granada and Madrid.

The events focus on the important contributions of the author and academic to the canon of early graffiti history. In addition he’ll be promoting an expanded volume that builds on that highly valued original book entitled “Get up again: Forty years later”. It features 160 previously unpublished photographs from the golden age of New York graffiti, a phenomenon many say Castleman first helped define and globalize.

Craig Castleman. Graffiti 1979. (photo © Craig Castleman)

The tour is now underway, and if you would like to support it (maybe it can travel further through Europe or the US), please check out the Kickstarter HERE .

Craig Castleman. Blade. Writers Bench (photo © Craig Castleman)
Craig Castleman. (photo courtesy Craig Castleman)
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BSA Film Friday 05.03.19

BSA Film Friday 05.03.19

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Subvertisers in London 2019
2. Cristina Lina / Contorno Urbano Foundation / 12+1 Project / Barcelona
3. Keith Haring: 4 Minute Mini Documentary.

BSA Special Feature: “Subvertisers in London 2019”

Sorry, nothing to sell here. Not what it’s about.

Few have demonstrated or practiced subvertising/culture jamming with such endurance as the folks profiled in this new mini-doc. The ever more popular street art activist practice of reclaiming public space from commercial interests is built on the premise that a consumer mindset is blind to the necessary fundamentals of civic life, or life.  When you hear these nuanced discussions of legal and moral aspects of hi-jacking commercial signage you admit that it sadly reductivist to turn everything, including art, into merely a product for buying and selling.

“I always felt it as an aggression, as a violence. The fact that it is a visual violence does not make it less of a violence, because it imposes a certain idea of reality which I don’t feel is my own. When I realized that we could make something of our own, it gave me an idea of liberation” says a commentator as the video presents a blinking series of billboards, signs, and bus stops all around the city in constant succession.

Advertising itself is not the issue – everyone agrees that it has its place. The issue is when it wants to be in every place, public and private. At all times. More threatening, and more contemporary, is the consolidation of media/news companies, the re-writing of regulations, and the blunt force of capital that now uses these commandeered public spaces to “educate” the populace about policy – a thoroughly different form of “selling”. Do we all see where we are going with this?

Subvertisers in London 2019

Cristina Lina / Contorno Urbano Foundation / 12+1 Project / Barcelona

“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,” we said the day we featured this new public mural she did with Contorno Urbano in Barcelona.

Read more at Cristina Lina: “Tommy” Cat and the Kids at Ferran Sunyer School .

Keith Haring: 4 Minute Mini Documentary.

Giving a concise history that nonetheless mispronounces the name of the town the subject was born in, the narration has an affected sage tone that shoots for earnest profundity but settles for deadpan vocal fry. Delivery aside, it’s a quick primer of the career climb and cultural significance of the Street Artist Keith Haring that firmly addresses the significance of his role as an openly gay man and AIDS activist – especially at time when even most graffiti/Street Art peers and would-be fans were still homophobic and AIDS hysteria was at its peak .

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