Somewhere between realism and abstraction lies a figurative allegory that plays out in saturated color for the Spanish street artist/studio artist Dan Ferrer.
Moving between a loosening of realism and tightening of abstraction and the storyland that only children inhabit, you find the bloodied, almost clownish dripping lips and limbs of his mamas and babies and children, their thickened blue patches inspired by jazz, he says.
During these pandemic years, Ferrer has turned to his studio work, and turned to his family, enduring loss and finding inspiration, possibly hope.
A former graffiti kid from Madrid’s Hortaleza neighborhood, Dan tells us that his own feelings of a troubled childhood now come face to face with his ability to be a good father – a transformational experience. These newly painted pieces invoke the pride of nation and culture, of intimacy and the complexity of everyday life – a diary and an escape and a form of therapy as captured by a painter on an outside wall and on a studio canvas.
“A roller coaster in my family life and in my interior,” says Ferrer of these last few years as an artist and a person, “these things have made me a different human being.” Listening to his stories of a families love and loss and joy and hope, it appears that this work cannot be closer to the skin, closer to the bone.
“This is why color suddenly floods my art,” he says, and you realize the saturation reflects passion. “That is why the firm lines are mixed with the delicate ones and the need arises in me to turn my eyes to look towards my roots, while I look towards the future, chewing every moment of my present.”
“Los Alcazares has a population of about 16,000 inhabitants, next to the Mediterranean Sea -in fact it is on the edge of an inland sea called Mar Menor,” says photographer Luis Olive Bulbena of this recent trip he took to Murcia to see the ALCÁZARES festival of mural art by primarily urban artists.
Begun only a couple of short years ago by a consortium of about 70 artists, friends, and local business people, the festival is transforming the small town with murals, and according to most people it is pretty popular.
With community involvement, music, and other programming, the central tenets stem from one cultural association called “The Company of Mario”.