The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.
Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s.
Done along a 600 meter long strip in the neighborhood of Poblenou many artists joined in to paint simultaneously and talk about issues like biodiversity and the melting of the arctic. Artists included : AKORE, Dase, Rupper Artgigena, Labuenaylamala, Cheko, EDJINN, Laura Torroba, Mateu Targa, 400kunstler, Jaloóndeaquiles, Ulises Mendicutty, Joaquim Riaq, Santa sudaka, Penao, ENER, Tayone Grey Rainbow, Axe Colours, Bublegum, Mariajo, Rubicon1 , Camil Escruela, Elru Ghyart, El Xupet Negre , Mr. Sis , Kimo Osuna, H3L-X, Eva Zurita, and LaCastillo, among others.
BSA Special Feature: Las Calles Hablan : Street Art in Barcelona
“Las Calles Hablan is a story about discovering a hidden world, an extraordinary subculture and the struggle between an artistic community painting for freedom of expression and an increasingly restrictive dogmatic government,” says Justin Donlon as he speaks about this hour long documentary he made with Silvia Vidal Muratori and Katrine Knauer.
An educational and unpretentious study of the spectrum of Street Artists and techniques currently at play in Barcelona, the team traces the scene through personal observations and their network of local and international artists, local gallerists, and their connections globally via the Internet.
The film traces the trajectory from the Street Art/graffiti’s emergence at the end of the 70s following the Franco dictatorship and the rise of international hip-hop culture through the 90s into a sort of freewheeling golden era in the early 2000s. It also explains the current unease with the city, the professionalizing of the artists through a growing gallery practice, and the collaborative initiatives of some community leaders with artists.
Taking a straightforward documentary approach, the motivations and inspirations of current artists on the scene are presented without much of the exaggerated myth-making that more commercial hype vehicles often contain. Included in the examination are how community and local citizens and authorities have taken a constructive role in facilitating space and opportunities for some artists here and elsewhere, while the definition and appetite for illegal work ebbs and flows.
Featured artists:Zosen, Mina Hamada, Kenor, Kram, El Xupet Negre, Debens, Fert, Dase, SM172, Ogoch, Kafre, Aleix Gordo, Meibol, Eledu, C215, H101, Miss Van, Btoy, El Arte Es Basura, Konair, Gola, Vinz.
While there was some mindlessly pompous chatter surrounding the heralded display of actual walls by Banksy at the Context fair, the sometimes vandal’s work was surprisingly unremarkable to most attendees, who glanced at it and kept walking. If anything, the security guards helped garner a little interest. It is illuminating to find that outside of the hyper-excited Street Art fandom bubble that we are often in, an actual Banksy work doesn’t have as much magnetism that you might expect.
The walls (or pieces of walls) that were on display are said to have been stolen and the artist is said to be angered about it, but no arrests have been made and no property seized. Since the majority of graffiti or Street Artists are not wont to ask for permission to do their thing, most understand that no “rules” are typically invoked to protect their work on the street, or off it. Now that Banksy’s work is so high profile and sells at auctions and is in museums, it’s like putting a luxury watch or crystal vase on a wall out in the public – its market value is just too tempting for certain individuals. While this is an unsavory outcome to some, it’s not likely to change much.
“I am not a fan of what Bankrobber did, but, presuming it’s not some elaborate collaboration, I’m amused by the fact that Banksy doesn’t control it, and how his work is being displayed: among people who apparently don’t care about it nor did they come to see it… where Banksy is not necessarily the center of attention,” says Hargadon, remarking that one piece is shown behind a velvet rope.