All posts tagged: Enric Sant

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas ( Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first “No Borders Festival.”

Carles G.O’D. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Called “Murs Contra el Murs”, which is Catalan for “Walls Against Walls”, the multi-mural festival intends to highlight the ongoing humanitarian crises of refugees and immigrants at international borders around the world.

Graffiti artists, Street Artists, painters, and illustrators came together to create new murals to speak to the issue and encourage debate and conversation. Artists included Btoy, Carles G.O’D, Dixon, Eledu, Enric Sant, Javier Arribas, Juanjo Surace, Julieta XLF, Kenor, Kram, Pincho, Roc Blackblock, Ruina, Saturno, Simón Vázquez, Tutzo, and Wati Bacán, among others.

Julieta XLF. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

“Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.”

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.

Our sincere thanks to photographer Lluís Olive for sharing his shots of the walls with BSA readers.

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
El Rey de la Ruina. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Juanjo Surace. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Royal. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Saturno Art . Eledu Works. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Pincho. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Kenor. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Roc Black Block . Rubicon. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
TVTZO. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

For more information on the festival running through March 3rd that includes documentaries, panel discussions, workshops, and prints, please go to https://noborders.es/ and follow @nobordersrefugees on Instagram

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BSA Top Stories Of 2018 As Picked By You

You got furious at us sometimes this year. Or rather, you were mad at artists whose work pissed you off. Thanks for the emails though bro. We still love you of course sister.

Without a doubt the polarized atmosphere in social/economic/geopolitical matters worldwide in 2018 was increasingly reflected in the graffiti and Street Art pieces and projects that we wrote stories about. Loving it or hating it, often BSA readers were motivated to share the story on social media for discussion and to write directly to us to take issue, or even to chide us for “being political”.

Let’s be clear. Art has always been and will always be “political”. We tend to think that the artwork that we agree with is not political because it is expressing our values, opinions, and worldview.

So that’s why you propelled stories about a clandestine Trump cemetery installation by InDecline onto the list this year. That’s why Winston Tseng’s inflammatory campaign against a certain kind of Trump supporter on NYC trashcans proved to be so provocative and offensive to so many people, while others crowed support.

The topic of free speech under fire also attracted high interest for Fer Acala’s story of artists and rappers who took over a Spanish former prison to protest restrictive recent federal laws aimed at protest in that country.

The timeliness of Jetsonorama’s wheat pasted photography series about Good Samaritans who leave water for people in the desert – and the US border guards who destroy them – resonated powerfully to us this week as  a 7 year old girl died in Border Patrol custody of apparent dehydration.

But BSA readers also love the spectacle, the vast animated murals, the scintillating stories behind the art and the artist; the connection that communities and festivals create with art in the public sphere – or in abandoned factories, as it were. The biggest splash this year was the over-the-top creation of and the fiery destruction of an art sculpture at the Falles de València celebration in Spain by Street Artist Okuda. You loved the tantalizing images by Martha Cooper, and somehow everyone relishes the idea of building and constructing a large, colorful, inspiring piece of art and then lighting it on fire in the public square – propelling that story to the top of the BSA list in Top Stories in 2018


No. 15

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.

When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.

Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora. Continue reading HERE


No. 14

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

From BSA:

Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas New Work in AJO, Arizona. Continue reading HERE


No. 13

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Survey of the Moment

DalEast is the author of the bird. Spyo tells the world who he really is… (photo © Tor Staale Moen)

From BSA:

A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.

With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.

Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Surevey of The Moment. Continue reading HERE


No. 12

Pop Up “Trump Cemetery” Marks Death of Ideas on 1st Anniversary of Inauguration by INDECLINE Artist Collective

“Grave New World” installation by INDECLINE artist collective (image © INDECLINE)

From BSA:

So INDECLINE picked a swell morning to debut their long-planned and complicated site-specific installation at this golf-course in New Jersey.

“INDECLINE felt is necessary to commemorate some of the victims,” they say. “The dates on the headstones correspond to some of the highlights of Trump’s first year in office.” You may remember some of these milestones on the tombstones, you may have to Google others.

The saddest death for us all year has been the civility and respect of Americans toward one another – as those hard working families who are just scraping by are being skillfully manipulated through sophisticated PR / media campaigns into thinking that they are the only real uber-patriots and to hate the wrong people. Most importantly they are fighting and voting against themselves without realizing it.

“Grave New World” Trump Cemetery. Continue reading HERE


No. 11

Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

From BSA:

Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.

“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”

Borondo Finds Community on The Island of Utsira in Norway. Continue reading HERE


No. 10

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall

NeSpoon. Emergence Festival. Catania, Sicily. March 2018. (photo © courtesy of NeSpoon)

From BSA:

Equally gifted in the heavier handmade artisanal crafts of porcelain and ceramic as she is with aerosol, Nespoon did installations of both this month during the Emergence Festival in Sicily (Valverde + Catania. The seventh year of this international festival for public art, Nespoon shared the roster with American Gaia and Sicilian Ligama from March 10-26 creating works related to the city and its stories. In many respects these new works appear integral, interventions that belong there, may have been there a long time without you noticing; a sort of netting that holds the skin of the city together.

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From Fer Acala on BSA:

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

No Callarem. La Modelo Prision. Barcelona. Continue reading HERE


No. 8

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

From BSA:

Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.

At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance. Continue reading HERE


No. 7

“Martha” the Movie: Selina Miles’ Most Ambitious Project To Date

Martha Cooper (photo © Selina Miles)

From BSA:

We knew that these two talented and powerful personalities would compliment each other stunningly and that’s why we encouraged them two years ago to do a doc. A short term one was the original plan. But the two hit it off so well and when you are looking at a five decade career like Ms. Cooper’s and you have the dogged determination to do her story justice, Ms. Miles tells us that even an hour and a half film feels like its just getting started.

Now “Martha” the movie is at a unique juncture in the project and YOU may be able to participate; Selina and the team are looking for any original footage you may want to show them – and it may be used in the documentary.

“Martha” The Movie. Selina Miles Most Ambitious Project To Date. Continue reading HERE


No. 6

DavidL Paints Hitchcock, Warhol, Tim Burton, Kubrick: Through The Lens of Fer Alcala

DavidL. ET. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From BSA:

After 25 years writing graffiti, DavidL has found his own way of working. It’s funny because one of the inherent issues about graffiti and street art is visibility. All the trains, the bombing, the tagging…it’s all about being noticed, being every f-ing where. It has been like this since day one (Taki 183, Terror161, 1UP…you know how it works).

But for David it’s not like that anymore.

Maybe it’s a sign of the days that we are living with social media, communication 2.0, etcetera. It’s obvious that if you have certain skills managing all this and a little bit of talent, plus a pinch of good taste, you can reach a global audience and show your work to the entire world even when you are concentrating the majority of your creations in a secret location.

DavidL, Through The Lens of Fer Alcala. Continue reading HERE


No. 5

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora.

We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

UPEA Special. Continue reading HERE


No. 4

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

From BSA:

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Wandelism” Brings Wild Change For One Week in Berlin. Continue reading HERE


No. 3

Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

Alexis Diaz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

The city of Eugene in Oregon is preparing for the 2021 IAAF World Athletics Championships and like many cities these days it is transforming itself with murals.

With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.

A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.

Scenes From Eugene: Continue reading HERE


No. 2

Winston Tseng: Street Provocateur Brings “Trash” Campaign to NYC

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“At the end of the day when one is towing the line of being provocative, you may cross that line in some people’s mind but I think if one is not trying to find that line then the work is not going to make any impact”.

Winston Tseng has probably been crossing that line, pissing off some people and making others laugh for a few years now. He appears to consider it an honor, and possibly a responsibility. Relatively new on the Street Art scene the commercial artist and art director has also created his 2-D characters on canvasses and skate decks that depict the abridged characteristics of a typecast to play with the emotions and opinions of passersby.

Winston Tseng: Street Provocatour Brings “Trash” Campaing to NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 1

OKUDA Sculpture Engulfed in Flames for Falles Festival in València

Okuda. Fallas 2018. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

Yes, Street Art is ephemeral, but OKUDA San Miguel just set it on fire!

During the annual Falles de València celebration, it’s normal for artworks to be destroyed publicly in about 500 locations throughout the city and in surrounding towns. Part of a spring tradition for València, Spain monuments (falles) are burned in a celebration that includes parades, brass bands, costumes, dinners, and the traditional paella dish.

This year the first Street Artist to make a sculpture in the traditional commemoration of Saint Joseph is the un-traditional OKUDA, creating his multi-color multi-planed optic centerpiece.

Okuda Sculpture Engulfed in Flames in Valéncia. Continue reading HERE


We wish to express our most heartfelt gratitude to the writers and photographers who contributed to BSA and collaborated with us throughout the year. We are most grateful for your trust in us and for your continued support.

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No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

A new sharply political campaign championing the freedom of expression has caught fire in Spain in the last few weeks under the hashtag #NoCallaremos, and Street Artists are now adding their talents to the protest. Rather shockingly for a modern European nation, a rapper’s prison sentence for offensive lyrics was upheld in Spanish Supreme Court in February (Billboard) and that decision along with other recent events has sparked a number of creative protests across the art world in cities across the country. Today BSA contributing Street Art photographer Fer Alcalá shares his opinions and new images of the murals in progress with BSA readers.


THE NO CALLAREM PLATFORM

~ by Fer Alcalá

…or how some of Spanish top artists react against censorship and repression of the freedom of speech from the central government…

Enric Sant at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s now known worldwide: the Spanish government is imprisoning hip hop artists like Valtonyc and Pablo Hasel because of their sharp and truthful lyrics as well as sentencing people like you and me because of their critical posts on social media.

As a reaction to these acts against the freedom of speech that are more in tune with a well established dictatorship than with 40 years of democracy, some projects like the No Callarem (we won’t shut up) platform have raised their voices.

Reskate . Enric Sant . Txemy. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

The patio with Enric Sant in the background at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I was invited to witness the filming  and painting session by local artist Javier de Riba, from Reskate Studio, who invited some fellow artists to paint at La Modelo walls as a part of the whole process. Franco Fasoli JAZ, Twee Muizen, Txemy, Joan Tarragò, Enric Sant, Milvietnams, Werens and Fullet gave a new voice to the walls surrounding that backyard, providing 2D images that perfectly matched the spirit behind the beats and the rhymes.

Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

This is what Javi has to say about his collaboration with the project:

“Our involvement with No Callarem happened thanks to the Catalan rap artist Pau Llonch. He lit the spark for recording a clip against the Valtonyc and Hasel sentences. They wanted to do it at La Modelo no matter what and the No Callarem platform supported the action. We helped to spread the word for putting together a team with different languages together to visually enhance the video clip.

At the beginning, was what meant to be an ‘atrezzo action’ turned into a bunch of pieces that can be visited in the backyard of Gallery 4. In fact that backyard is not open to the public, but you can see it from the watch guard pit. We think that, from a conceptual point of view, it’s very powerful to keep those pieces locked – especially when thinking about how things are going in Spain regarding freedom of speech.”

Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Additionally it’s worth mentioning Reskate’s initiative about shouting against the suffocating atmosphere that we are experiencing here for some time: ‘Our idea is that every artist post one piece / illustration / painting / picture (old or new) supporting our initiative promoting freedom of speech in order to criticize the lack of democracy within the Spanish government.

Some of the hashtags that we will use are #NoCallarem #EzGaraIsilduko #NonCalaremos #NunVamosCallar #NonCararam,#NoCallaremos being the main one.

Visual artists from Madrid, Zaragoza, Almería, Oviedo, Valencia, Vila-real, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valladolid, Tenerife…are supporting this initiative. Some of them are: Malakkai, Escif, Paula Bonet, Aryz, Ricardo Cavolo, Enric Sant, Twee Muizen, Franco Fasoli, Hyuro, Javier Jaén, Boa Mistura, Conrad Roset, Jordi Borràs, Danjer, Cinta Vidal, David de las Heras, Juan Díaz-Faes, Chamo San, and Marina Capdevila, among others.

Fullet at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Semana por la Libertad de Expresión (Freedom of Speech Week) is happening now, with different activities taking place all over the country. The funds raised from these activities will go to a resistance fund for the platform in order to defend all those people chased and brought to justice because of censorship and repression. You can check the whole program of the week HERE.

So, yes: we have a fight going on. Comedians, actors and actresses, musicians, journalists, visual artists, the guy / girl next door who is active in social media… It’s kind of a Russian Roulette game where, if you are critical with the established system and you are using 3rd grade humor as a weapon, you can end in jail. And all of it is happening in a country whose government is accused of being the most corrupt on the whole continent.

Werens at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I have a very well informed friend who has been kind of disappointed with the absence of critical vision and combative behaviors from most of the big names in the local street art / graffiti scene. Thanks to initiatives such as No Callarem and the impulse of people like Javi de Riba, she is reconciling herself with this small, but powerful little world whose images have the strength for making important things happen.

Finally, I’d like to recommend that you check the publications under the hashtag #nocallaremos that are out, as there will be some fine and unique art being produced for the occasion in the upcoming days.

As it’s being said in Los Borbones son unos Ladrones:

– rap music is not a crime
– we need scratches, we need paintings
– I don’t dream about Versace, I dream about barricades
– …because of the poetry that still sleeps in the ditches…

Big props to Javi de Riba, Xavier Urbano and all the artists behind the No Callarem movement.

#nocallarem

Fullet, Werens and Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Milvietnams at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Twee Muizen at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Reskate . Enric Sant . Txemy. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Reskate. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Txemy . Joan Tarragó . Twee Muizen . Franco Fasoli AKA Jaz. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Joan Tarragó. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Twee Muizen. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fullet . Werens . Javier De Riba . Milvietnams . Reskate. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fullet . Werens. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Javier De Riba. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Overview. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones. feat, FrankT, Sara Hebe, Elphomega, Rapsusklei…


The guys behind Delabrave @delabrave have filmed a parallel clip about the creative process of these pieces.

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A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

It’s a cathedral of characters, this abandoned furniture factory forty kilometers outside of Barcelona. Cartoons, illustrations, portraits are everywhere; a curious collection of aerosol spray pieces that highlights the popularity of the animated and exaggerated personalities among graffiti and Street Artists in this region of the world.

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Aryz . Rostro Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

The character may be a salty with a haggard stare, or reference a topic with a bit of satire. The scene may be serious, comical, ridiculous or purely sci-fi and horror. You discover the stories and allegories as you walk through the empty manufacturing rooms now flooded with natural light and dust. Expressions and situations here are full of drama that may trigger your empathy, startle your attention, elicit a shiver, or creepily fondle your funny bone.

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Aryz. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Traveling Spanish urban photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena tells us that the economic crash of 2008 killed many factories like this in Spain and high youth unemployment drove many artists to adorn them with paintings like these. Because of the calm, serene environment of this particular ex-factory where artists roam freely and take long hours to complete these figures in the open air, the colorful forms may call to mind stained glass windows you see in more hallowed houses. Perhaps that is why Bulbena feels so moved that he’s christened this place “La Catedral” (The Cathedral).

We thank him for sharing these images from his latest pilgrimage with BSA readers.

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Aryz. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Simon Vazquez. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Aryz . Vino .GR170. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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GR170. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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GR170. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Enric Sant. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Enric Sant. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Julien. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Anja Mila. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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S. Waknine. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Manu Manu. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Lons Dops. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Kram. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Baldick. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Cisco. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Enric Font. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Sawe. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Iagazzo. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Iagazzo. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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La Catedral. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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La Catedral. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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Barcelona Dispatch : A Street Art Survey From a Fan

Barcelona Dispatch : A Street Art Survey From a Fan

By his own account Lluís Olivé has been shooting images in the city of Barcelona for about 50 years; street scenes, demonstrations, parades, architectural details, tiles, iron work, doors, doorknobs, windows, and of course, graffiti and Street Art. Calling himself an amateur, Señor Olivé nonetheless has captured a lot of Barcelona’s changing Street Art scene in the last decade and shares a handful of his favorites from the 2,500 or so street art images he has shot in the city.

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MAMM. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

“My experience shooting graffiti began in 2005 when I discovered an aerosol painting of the face of a girl and I was so impressed by it that I began to look for more,” he says, describing how he was first bitten by the bug. “I started to tour around different neighborhoods and even though I lived 150 kilometers from Barcelona at the time, I took trips there as often as I could to take pictures of the graffiti and Street Art.”

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ManuTwice. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

Since 2010 he has moved much closer to the city and thanks to the friendships he has formed  he says that artists have reached out to him to come and shoot their new work. He favors murals, portraits and faces, illustrations, photorealism and fantasy. Since he now lives closer to the art he has adopted an approach that is methodical. “I research on the internet, search certain hashtags, and check my email – I usually follow more or less known weekly ‘routes ‘,” he explains.

Unfortunately for Street Art fans like Olivé, the city has taken serious steps to limit organic street art in recent years. Areas of the city that once burst with thousands of murals, pieces, stencils, and wheatpastes had begun to attract tourists to an art scene that outshone many major cities but according to many artists the city and real estate industry saw new development opportunities and smothered a scene that had inspired books, websites, videos, galleries, and related cultural events.

 

 

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Penao. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

While the city’s clean-up efforts have spawned a criticism in certain quarters that the organic nature of the street art scene has been cynically expunged in favor of commercial retail stores and corporate dullness, municipal advocates respond that the city has also created “zones” for individual creativity to be expressed with little restriction.

Señor Olivé believes that both parties have a point. “Since I began taking photos in Barcelona I have seen a huge change from when I started – the amount of Street Art has decreased due to new municipal policies high penalties. But the city has also created 8 or 10 ‘approved’ zones for graffiti and the quality is often very good.”

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MAMM. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

One of his favorite sanctioned spots to shoot is in a park inaugurated in the 1990s where a light and power station once operated and where three tall chimneys from the previous century still tower as a reminder of the history of the city. “Jardines de las Tres Chimeneas” (Three Chimney Park) provides a number of paved skateboarding spots and walls specifically reserved for an ongoing graffiti exposition that is renewed weekly. The park has events including skateboard competions, electronic music performances and exhibitions of hip-hop and break dance.

He is retiring from his regular job this July and plans to take a trip to a number of cities in the US to celebrate with his wife, and to take photos.  He has a post-retirement photography plan already. “Starting this October I am planning a new project for myself to do a one-year weekly documentation of the ‘Tres Chimeneas’,” – perhaps to present in a gallery or some other formal venue.

And of course, there is still plenty of the unsanctioned stuff to shoot, it just may be a little harder to find…

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Millo. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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P.Nitas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Reuunit. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Roc BlacBlock. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Feo Flip . Roc BlacBlock. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Marino. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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M2. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Enric Sant. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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El Pez. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Cranio . El Pez. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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PAM SR. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Aryz. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

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Chanoir . Xupet. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbuena)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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