All posts tagged: Fer Alcalá

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part III

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part III

In the US, families of military veterans say, “Freedom isn’t free.” It refers to the enormous amount of sacrifice people have to make – military and civilians alike – to guarantee that societies provide a fulsome measure of freedom and autonomy to their citizens. Likewise, free speech has to be fought for periodically to ensure that people have it – because it can be so swiftly taken away if we are not vigilant.

Anton Seoane. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In our third installment of the murals painted in February in Barcelona, Spain, we are reminded that historically, the artist is often one of an oppressive government’s targets. It is somewhat sequential, the positions and stations in society who gradually are targeted for slurring and silencing. Academics, clergy, the press – a building degradation of respect for institutions and trust across the board.

Anton Seoane. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

These artists express their opinions in defiance of silencing because, inherently, they fight for everyone’s right to freedom of speech and expression, regardless of our comfort or discomfort with the ideas expressed. Because they must.

Zosen. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Zosen. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Konair. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Konair. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Kader. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Kader. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Reskate and Javier de Riba. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Reskate. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Javier De Riba. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Reskate and Javier De Riba. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Reos. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Owen. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Owen. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
El Rughi. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
El Rughi. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Marina Capdevila. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Marina Capdevila. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Aram Rah and Jalon De Aquiles. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Aram Rah and Jalon De Aquiles. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Aram Rah and Jalon De Aquiles. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Magia Trece and Doctor Toy. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Magia Trece and Doctor Toy. Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Enric Font. Selva Del Mar. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

See our other articles on this topic:

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part II

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part I

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A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part II

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part II

It is notable when an organized gang of aerosol-wielding vandals protests your protest against censorship with censorship.

It’s also odious.

Everyone knows that it is normal for graffiti writers and street artists to expect that their ephemeral work may be buffed by a municipality or crossed out by a rival painter. This is a different matter entirely.

This is our 2nd time to bring you this story from a paint jam in Barcelona’s Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas where a collection of artists gathered to paint works addressing what they see as an unjust attack on the freedom of a citizen to express opinions in lyrics and writings. Taken together, these works are a passionate rejection of censorship and a colorful act of free speech by a community.

It made international news last month when Pablo Hasel, a Spanish rapper/singer/artist/musician from this city, was imprisoned under a Supreme Court ruling, which found his lyrics about King Emeritus Juan Carlos De Borbon to be offensive.

Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Artist Roc Blackblock was surrounded by a tight semi-circle of scrutinizing journalists and citizens as he painted. This was his second mural since his first had been immediately censored and ordered removed at the action in mid-February by an NCNeta brigade who a Barcelona Urban Guard escorted. He didn’t appear to mind the pressure.

Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Because there have been demonstrations in various cities and because modern media drools over scenes of destruction and violence, it’s easy to forget the many peaceful artists who paint their opinions, says documentary photographer Fernando Alcalá, who shares his work here.

“I think it’s important to keep speaking about the artistic actions when, after days of riots and looting, the media has forgotten about freedom of speech, and they just talk about burnt trash cans,” he says.

We’re happy that he captured these before they were destroyed by ‘Union de Brigadas,’ who recorded their censorious actions proudly and shared them on Twitter and YouTube.

Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock with Jaume Montserrat piece on the right. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Jaume Montserrat. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Jaume Montserrat. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock. Nau Bostik. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock. Nau Bostik. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock. Nau Bostik. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Bravopintor. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
La Castillo. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I think it’s important to keep speaking about the artistic actions when, after days of riots and looting, the media has forgotten about freedom of speech and they just talk about burnt trash cans.”

~Fernando Alcalá

A paramilitaristic homage to the Beatles Abbey Road. La Castillo. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Edjinn. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Juanjo Surace. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Juanjo Surace. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Dazo & Mus. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Dazo & Mus. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Valiente Creations. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Valiente Creations. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, ARTEPORVO, and Elna Or. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, ARTEPORVO, and Elna Or. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, ARTEPORVO, and Elna Or. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Martz. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Martz. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

See our other articles on this topic:

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part I

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part III

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A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part I

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part I

Freedom of expression is foundational in a democracy. Without it, it is not difficult for a culture to descend into authoritarianism, fascism, and dictatorship. By many standards, Spain’s democracy is still young, with a Parliamentary Monarchy since 1978. So it is curious and alarming to hear that this EU country has been silencing free speech in the last few years.

Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, Arte Porvo, Elna Or. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In 2018, we reported here on an initiative undertaken by more than two dozen artists from Spain called #nocallarem, a visual and musical protest inside a former prison to speak out against the Spanish Supreme Court ruling against the rights of an artist, a rapper, Pablo Hasel. In lyrics about the then-King Juan Carlos De Borbon deemed offensive, the young musician violated recently passed laws forbidding such speech.

Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, Arte Porvo, Elna Or. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Now, on the occasion of Mr. Hasel preparing to report to the authorities to begin serving his prison sentence, an outdoor art exhibition this month at Parque de las Tres Chimeneas (Three Chimneys Park) in Barcelona, a collection of artists gathered to paint works addressing what they see as an unjust attack on the freedom of a citizen and artist to express opinions in lyrics and writings. As you might expect at a graffiti/mural jam it was a celebratory Saturday of painting, music, dogs, kids, and the occasional soccer (fútbol) scrimmage.

Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, Arte Porvo, Elna Or. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

But as soon as the mural paintings were up, the trouble began as well, according to artists and free-speech activists on the scene. “Less than twenty-four hours after doing their artistic actions, an NCNeta brigade escorted by a Barcelona Urban Guard van censored one of the works, covering it fully with paint,” says journalist and activist Audrey García in a Facebook posting.

The mural by artist Roc Blackblock featured the former king surrounded by words the rapper had used to describe him, including thief. Aside from being insulting to a public figure and calling out the rapper’s case, it is difficult for locals to understand why it was buffed.

Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

García and others contend that the brazen act was evidence of an increasing level of silencing that targets some members of society for their speech but not others. “The city administration carried out a new act of censorship about our works, making our protest and denouncement of freedom of expression even more evident and necessary, adding a new case to the already too long, outrageous and constant violation of our rights and freedoms as creators and consequently of all society,” she says.

Cinta Vidal. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Cinta Vidal. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Eventually, the city apologized and offered solutions for restoring the piece, but the movement to free Mr. Hasel and protect free expression continues.  About 15 artists participated in the painting jam, including Roc Blackblock, Antón Seoane, El Rughi, Magia Trece, Doctor Toy, El Edu, Galleta María, Kader, Maga, Owen, Reskate, Chamo San, Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, Arte Porvo y Elna Or, among others.

Since then, more demonstrations have taken place in the streets of Barcelona, Valencia, Lérida, and Hasel’s hometown of Segrià to protest his imprisonment. According to the BBC, “More than 200 artists, including film director Pedro Almodóvar and Hollywood star Javier Bardem, have signed a petition against Hasel’s jail term, while Amnesty International described his arrest as terrible news for freedom of expression in Spain.”

Our special thanks to photographer Fer Alcalá for sharing his fine work with BSA readers here.

Cinta Vidal. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Roc Blackblock. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Owen. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Anton Seoane, El Rughi, Magia Trece, Doctor Toy. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Anton Seoane, El Rughi, Magia Trece, Doctor Toy. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Anton Seoane, El Rughi, Magia Trece, Doctor Toy. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Maga. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Maga. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Anton Seoane, El Rughi, Magia Trece, Doctor Toy, Maga. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
El Edu. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
El Edu. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Galleta Maria. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Galleta Maria. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Kader. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Kader. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Reskate, Chamo San. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)
Reskate, Chamo San. Parque de las Tres Chimeneas. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

See our other articles on this topic:

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part II

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part III

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All Art is “B-Local”. Group Exhibition During Covid in Barcelona

All Art is “B-Local”. Group Exhibition During Covid in Barcelona

It’s a challenge for artists to find opportunity to show their work, but in an era where opportunities for artists are diminishing by the day, here’s a new group show mounted mid-pandemic in Barcelona.

B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)

80 artists of many levels and styles are using the materials that they had handy when the first lockdown hit – cardboard, old canvases, frames, wood, paper. Each piece reflects the anxiety, fear, and hope of the artists – all expressed as they know best.

B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)

It’s good to see curators like Ana Manaia and Xavier Ballaz putting their heads together to create a show at a time like this one, named ‘B -L O C A L’. Certainly there can be no big party, but one by one, visitors can come to see the works and be reassured that art will continue to flourish in the time of Corona.

B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Zane Prater. B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Zane Prater. B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Zane Prater. B-Local. B-Murals. Center for Urban Arts. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fer Alcala)
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Manolo Arranges la Mesa :  Jugs, Pots, Bowls for Parees Fest 2020

Manolo Arranges la Mesa : Jugs, Pots, Bowls for Parees Fest 2020

Some people paint pottery and china as a part of their trade. Manolo Mesa paints it as part of his mural here in Oviedo, Spain for Parees Festival.

Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

The Andalusian artist may have begun with graffiti on the street as the century turned but he moved to portraiture, canvasses, and large walls; a spiritual traveler in search of the contemporary. Now he is gently cradling this newer fascination and rather surprisingly setting the public mesa with his decorative vessels, each becoming more ornate.

Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

A trained fine artist at University of Fine Arts in Seville, this Andalusian tells us about his fixation with jugs, pots, and bowls as vehicles and storage.

“Facing these inert objects, meditating on their inherent beauty and spending an eternity devoted to their placid observation, I’m waiting to perceive that meaning that resides in them – as an autonomous way of being.”

Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manolo Mesa. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
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‘El Nolas’ Diagrams the Modern Primitive at Parees Fest in Oviedo

‘El Nolas’ Diagrams the Modern Primitive at Parees Fest in Oviedo

Modern primitive expressionist Manuel García Fernández AKA ‘El Nolas’ was born in the mid-90s here in Oviedo, Spain. Now his autobiographical mixed-technique perspective is taking over some large public walls here for the Parees Festival 2020, its fourth edition.

Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)

It’s good to see a fresh take on the current state of urban interventions; even as it recalls more formal studio practices of contemporary artists that you have seen in the last decades. In retrospect, this is the path that a lot of Street Art has often followed; name checking the past masters in galleries/museums and updating them to this moment on the street.

Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
Manu García. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
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Arantxa Recio Parra in Oviedo for Parees Fest 2020

Arantxa Recio Parra in Oviedo for Parees Fest 2020

With a mural that she says is inspired by traditional Asturian tales Arantxa Recio Parra employs additive and reductive 2-D shape painting strategies in public space. With painting technique that may recall crisp illustration and advertising styles of the 1950s and 60s, her new work stretches buoyantly along this long expanse in Oviedo, a town in northwest Spain between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Bay of Biscay.

Arantxa Recio Parra Parees Fest 2020.(photo @ Mira Hacia Atras)

Almost paper cut outs in appearance, these bright forms imply both space and spatial relationships, re-drawing a public street and your relationship to it.

Arantxa Recio Parra Parees Fest 2020.(photo @ Mira Hacia Atras)

Born in Zaragoza the multidisciplinary artist joins the Parees festival this year with her style that is commercially popular at the moment; bright, simplified, and just quirky enough to capture the publics’attention. The past few years her illustrative style has landed her on walls in Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Austria, Scotland, and Croatia.

Arantxa Recio Parra Parees Fest 2020.(photo @ Mira Hacia Atras)
Arantxa Recio Parra (@harsa_pati). Parees Fest 2020. (photo @ Fer Alcala)
Arantxa Recio Parra (@harsa_pati). Parees Fest 2020. (photo @ Fer Alcala)
Arantxa Recio Parra (@harsa_pati). Parees Fest 2020. (photo @ Fer Alcala)
Arantxa Recio Parra (@harsa_pati). Parees Fest 2020. (photo @ Fer Alcala)
Arantxa Recio Parra (@harsa_pati). Parees Fest 2020. (photo @ Fer Alcala)
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Lidia Cao: Tribute to Dolores Medio at Parees Fest 2020

Lidia Cao: Tribute to Dolores Medio at Parees Fest 2020

Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)

A valiant and revolutionary woman and winner of the Nadal Prize for literature in 1952, Delores Medio gets new life here at the 2020 Parees mural festival. Painted by artist Lidia Cao, the character of the writer comes through, a veiled portrait of her personality, her intensity.

See the video of this mural being made on BSA Film Friday HERE.

Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Mira Hacia Atras)
Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Lidia Cao. Parees Fest 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
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Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Part III – Miss Van Brings Her Ladies

Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Part III – Miss Van Brings Her Ladies

More hippy chic and free-wheeling than you may remember, Miss Van brings her buxom, plump, yet oddly drowsy beauties to the Avant Garde festival in Spain. Evermore stylized and romantic, her feathered and festooned ladies have always had a mysterious sensuality since you first began seeing them on the street over a decade ago. Now as their dandy evolution swoons them to something closer to hyperreal, we may be seeing a merging with aesthetics of AI and the smoothly moving robotics of today’s science realm.

Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

The raven-haired Toulousean street artist/muralist/painter brings here ‘Las Gitanas’ as the final of this three-chapter Tudela tome, a warmly languid femininity that washes over you, bringing you closer than you had imagined to the future. With June’s mulberry bruised skies above the rusted mountain range behind them, these pursed-lipped adventurers are given an added dimension of surreality from the photo-framing by gifted photographer Fer Alcala in these shots for Avant Garde Tudela 2020.

Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Miss Van. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
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Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Part II- Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon.

Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Part II- Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon.

Jeff McCreight crosses the rubicon with this allegory of summer joy at Avant Garde Tudela 2020. The American painter brings these two jumping boys to the river to cool off just as the heat of July is arriving to cook us all.

Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

When it comes to street art and murals, as you know, context is everything and this spot at Paseo del Castillo is the environment that frames your childhood dreams, and hopefully, one many child will yet enjoy.

Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jeff McCreight AKA Ru8icon. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
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Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Part I – Mina Hamada

Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Part I – Mina Hamada

Japan’s Mina Hamada has just completed her mural for the 2020 edition of Avant Garde Tudela in Spain. Curated by artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada and organized by Tudela-Cultura, the northern Spanish city has been home to a number of murals in the last decade or so from names most street art fans will recognize, and despite being in the middle of Covid-19 lockdown and gradual stages of liberation, this show finds no excuse to stop.

Mina Hamada. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

“Betting on culture is always risky, even more nowadays,” say organizers, but the results are solid. Three new medium and large scale murals my Hamada, Miss Van, and Jeff McCreight were added to the twenty-one brought in the previous edition of the festival.

Mina Hamada. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

Here we see that Hamada’s universe of shapes and color call out the natural world and environmental elements. Flora and plant life react to the stimuli of wind and water, with Mina interpreting her relationship with them all.

Mina Hamada. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Mina Hamada. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Mina Hamada. Avant Garde Tudela 2020. Tudela, Spain. June 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
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Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Forests, and Indigenous People in Focus at COP25 in Madrid

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Forests, and Indigenous People in Focus at COP25 in Madrid

This story starts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and ends in Madrid, Spain but its focus is global in nature.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

With the earth at the center of the eye, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada tells us that the first of two murals he painted for the recent COP 25 conferences is called “Forest Focus.” As the world has been watching the largest forests of Australia burning this month, he clearly knows what we’re all facing.

“With an image of the world as the iris,” he says, “This mural has an artistic focal point that symbolizes the values set forth at the COP25 conference being held in Madrid.”

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

The Cuban-born Street Artist, now based in Barcelona, was partnering with a public art program/platform called GreenPoint EARTH during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference, or COP 25 to create two new street art pieces.

Well known for his “Terrestrial Series” of artworks spread over masses of land that are visible by planes flying overhead, Rodriguez-Gerada blends social and ecological themes seamlessly with sometimes profound results.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

His second mural of the series is a portrait of Hilda Pérez, a person indigenous to Peru and the Vice President of the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru (ONAMIAP). The team says she was chosen to represent indigenous people because their voices are frequently marginalized in discussions about ecology and climate change, despite occupying 25-50 percent of the Earth’s land.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

“We need to think of every tool in our toolkit because time is ultimately running out,” said Greenpoint Innovations founder Stephen Donofrio at a panel discussion with the artist at the Action Hub Event during the COP25.

He was speaking about the pivotal role that Street Art has been able to fill in education, as well as his own interest in partnering with artists and other collaborators to raise awareness for a myriad of environmental issues. “That’s why it’s really important that Chile/Madrid COP25 has this really strong message that it’s time for action.”

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)

With more plans to involve Street Artists around the world “to inspire climate action with positive messages about the interconnected themes of nature, people, and climate,” Donofrio says he believes that the power of communication that Street Artists wield can be focused to make real, impactful change.

“The connectivity is really important in these projects to establish that we are dealing with globally challenging issues that boil down to a really local consequence.”

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019. Madrid, Spain. January 2020. (photo © Fer Alcala)
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