All posts tagged: Fer Alcalá

BSA Film Friday: 04.20.18

BSA Film Friday: 04.20.18


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

Now screening :
1. The Man Who Stole Banksy: Debuting Tonight at Tribeca Film Festival
2. Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones (The Bourbons Are Thieves) (Spain)
3. Kazzius and Elara Elvira at the 12 + 1 Project, Barcelona
4. Morgan Winter – The Brooklyn Burrow


BSA Special Feature: The Man Who Stole Banksy: Debuting Tonight at Tribeca Film Festival

Narrated by the gravel voiced Iggy Pop, this retelling of the story you haven’t heard manages to peel back layers of insight and intrigue while remaining judiciously opaque. Inside a walled and nearly completely closed-off city of Palestine a high profile European Street Artist (and his team) blasts pointed political messages that target audiences thousands of miles away.

Like so many of his street pieces, one of them is stolen. Because of the circumstances involved this Banksy heist takes on ramifications we haven’t thought of until now, and this film mines as many perspectives as it can. Written by Marco Proserpio and Christian Omodeo, this is a sleeper hit that reveals many many stories in the course of chasing one.



Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones (The Bourbons Are Thieves)

“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,” we wrote last week when debuting images of artists creating murals inside a former prison.

Obviously tapping into a popular sentiment defending the right to free expression, the music video has garnered 2.1 million views in 12 days. Today we have new images showing some behind-the-scenes shots while the forceful protest video was being filmed, courtesy photographer Fer Alcalá.

Performers include: Elphomega | Machete en Boca | Frank T | Homes i Dones Llúdriga | La Raíz | Ira | Los Chikos del Maíz | Tribade | Def Con Dos | Noult | ZOO | Rapsusklei | Sara Hebe
Breakers and BBoying BGirling: Misty-k | Guille Vidal-Ribas | Movie One | Raza | Sofi Bpanther | Farky The Sunshine | Javi | Naza | Buba | Akness
DJ: DJ Enzo

DefConDos “Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones” #nocallarem (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones” #nocallarem (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones” #nocallarem (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones” #nocallarem (photo © Fer Alcalá)

“In this video (below), Delabrave documented the artistic interventions by Franco Fasoli, Twee Muizen, Joan Tarragó, Txemi, Enric Sant, Reskat, MilVietnams, Javier de Riba and Werens and Fullet in the patio of one of Barcelona’s most historic prisons.”


The latest videos from Contorno Urbano featuring a new murals from Kazzius and Elara Elvira.

Kazzius at the 12 + 1 Project. Sant Feliu, Barcelona.


Elara Elvira. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Sant Feliu, Barcelona.

Morgan Winter – The Brooklyn Burrow

The second episode of this new series that is looking at Brooklyn artists that intersect in some way with the Street Art scene.

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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.


~ 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.


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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What’s on the Street in Madrid? A Quick Survey

What’s on the Street in Madrid? A Quick Survey

Today we have an opportunity to see some of the Street Art and gallery-related works on show in Madrid. Our sincere thanks to photographer and avid observer Fer Alcalá, who shares his findings with BSA readers today.

~Fer Alcalá~

I was lucky enough to meet and walk the streets of Madrid with Guillermo from MadridStreetArtProject a veteran actor in the local scene. His way of seeing and understanding the urban landscape is outstanding. He is one of the best hosts that you can find in Madrid.

Pro176.  Mind The Wall Project, curated by Swinton & Grant Gallery. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Julieta XLF . Son3K for Arte al Cubo produced by MSAP. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Elbi Elem for Arte al Cubo produced by MSAP. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Ampparito at Lavapiés. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Suso33 (photo © Fer Alcalá)

SM172 at Lavapiés. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Brodbus portrait of Roy Ayers at Esto Es Una Plaza. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

SM172 at Esto Es Una Plaza. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Esto Es Una Plaza (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Eltono (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Ron English. “Guernica” at Espacio Solo. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Espacio SOLO is an EXPERIENCE, not only because of the mystery associated with the project, but for the feelings that you have once you are there. Surrounded by astonishing pieces of fine art, getting lost through alleys and rooms and at the same time, having the sensation of invading someone’s coolest home on Earth.

Laurence Valliéres at Espacio Solo. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Kaws and Tim Biskup at Espacio Solo. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


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URVANITY 2018: 3 Days in Madrid

URVANITY 2018: 3 Days in Madrid

Today we go to the Urvanity New Contemporary Art Fair in Madrid to see some art inside and outside the fair and to hear about some of the programming happening there, courtesy of Fernando Alcalá Losa.

URVANITY New Contemporary Art Fair 2018

Or, “How we spent the whole weekend in Madrid enjoying art, friends and talks while censorship from the central Spanish government is choking the liberty of expression.”

The 2nd edition of Urvanity New Contemporary International Art Fair was our main focus of interest. With an exciting program including some of the most interesting galleries and artists from all over the world, 4 walls being produced in different areas of the Spanish capital and a more than attractive set of talks and lectures, we knew that we were going to make our weekend. But, of course, there was going to be more, much more…

Cranio. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DAY ONE: Galleries

After sleeping a few hours, I started my little marathon outside the new Urvanity headquarters in the beautiful ME Madrid María Victoria Hotel for attending a round table about ‘Women in the cultural industry beyond feminist clichés’. With Alberto Aguilar from Urvanity moderating, I was excited to see what journalist Belén Palanco, gallerist Consuelo Durán and artist and friend Anna Taratiel had to say about all this arty world ‘dominated’ by men in these times when initiatives like La Caja de Pandora are rebelling against sexual abuse and the heteropatriarchy hegemony in the art world and fighting for visibility, justice and equality in working conditions and salaries.

Jan Kaláb. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Artists like Nuria Mora and Animalitoland, Sergio Bang, from Swinton & Grant Gallery, and Diana Prieto from MadridStreetArtProject were in the audience. Issues like education, quotes, discrimination, the toughness of being a female street artist, being out or inside the system, some critics to the female clichés and personal experiences were brought into the table. Being a heterosexual cis male, I don’t know if I’m the right person to say this, but I missed a more radical speech about the whole scenario and the role of women about making the necessary changes for reaching the place and conditions that they deserve.

Apart from this, Juncal Roig, Urvanity’s communication manager, had prepared a little gift with fellow artist Antonyo Marest. Last year, Marest had painted 4 walls in a nice courtyard inside the Hotel, so we did a small private shooting with the artist. It was fun, because we had to access the place through a window in one of the rooms. As Antonio said, imagine how ‘easy’ it was to move 6-floor wall scaffolding through that small ‘hole’. Watch out for Marest USA tour coming soon in the next months.


Jana & JS. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

‘The Impact of Urban Creativity in Cities’, a talk, as I said before, by Contorno Urbano founders, was next. Ninoska’s and Esteban’s explanations about some of their most important projects and about how to work with students, neighbors, the local authorities and the artists themselves really got my attention, although I was already aware about the details of their work. The never ending growing 12+1 project and, of course, the soon to come ‘Mural Salut Wall’ by Escif were some of the top hits of the lecture, including the announce of the International Tortilla Competition held this last weekend at Sant Feliu de Llobregat’s La Salut square as a part of Escif art residence in the city. Hyper fun 3rd grade by the artist that caused lots of laughs between the audience. Looking forward to see what Escif will create in the next months here.


Long but full of experiences day. Beer time and back to our place where a bunch of young adults were waiting for us celebrating Miriam’s (our host) birthday, singing songs with ukuleles at 2am and drinking bourbon. Fuck me: I’m getting old…

Jana & JS. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DAY TWO: The day of Walls.

Good morning Vietnam! Slept 4 hours, dizzy head (if you can’t fight the enemy, join him) and García in groundhog mode on. I was starting to feel kind of nervous, as I hadn’t seen a wall yet, so I had a mission going on. Being lucky enough to know one of the best hosts that you can find in Madrid, I met Guillermo, from Madridstreetartproject ‘MSAP’, had some quick breakfast and began walking by. Guille was one of the people taking care of the production duties of the Urvanity walls. A veteran actor in the local scene, his way of seeing and understanding the urban landscape is outstanding.

Cranio. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Guillermo de la Madrid)

I had to leave Cranio’s wall for Sunday due to ‘logistic’ reasons. But, I was so glad to have the chance to shoot with Alexey Luka, as I had seen some photos about the WIP of his mural and I was loving it. After a small talk with the artist and the ‘formal’ presentations, I began shooting from the ground while Guille was struggling with drivers trying to not have them parking besides the crane.

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Then a little magical episode took place when Javier, a neighbor living in the building opposite to Luka’s wall, offered himself to give us access to the rooftop. Nicest human being ever, Javier told me that he was a military pilot and a great photography aficionado. It’s always surprising to me how people that don’t know you at all trust in you and open their houses to strangers like us, offering all the possible help because they are liking the project and/or the artists’ work.

Alexey’s wall was being a tough one to deal with. Guille, Rocío and the rest of the production team had to treat the wall twice with some special products because dust and sand were getting out from it. They lost 2 days because of this, but when I arrived there, everything had been solved and the artist was working hard. After dealing with a couple of issues, we head to the next wall… Before, I would love to say some words about Rocío here. We have just met maybe twice during all these years.

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Working and collaborating with MSAP, Mula Fest and Asalto among others, it’s always interesting to listen to her clever thoughts and knowledge about the whole scene, how she approaches the tours that she guides in Madrid and get to know a little bit more about the kind of person that everyone would love to have in their teams. You can check Rocio’s blog here.

Maybe Jan Kaláb’s wall was the most popular one during the whole weekend. Pedestrians were loving the mix of nice colors and soft shapes – so selfies, stories and boomerangs were spreading as flu. I just tried to include some human traffic in the photo. Maybe I have a thing with old ladies… Just maybe…

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Guillermo de la Madrid)

Xavier Eltono’s talk was one of my top moments of the whole trip. Although I follow his career since years ago, I hadn’t got any deep thoughts about his work. After I heard what he had to say about his art and about how he connect his studio work with the skin of the cities where he had intervened, I understood a lot of things regarding his philosophy and the way he interacts with the city.

Another thing that got my attention during his lecture was the fact of how many respected artists were attending the talk. Names like Zosen, Mina Hamada, Aryz, Rocblackblock, Daniel Muñoz SAN, Kenor, Anna Taratiel, Suso33, Aleix Gordo, Vermibus…were there showing respect for Eltono’s art and explanations. The academic world was also represented nicely with awesome Fernando Figueroa and Elena Gayo.

Xavier Eltono. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Xavier told me by email that this talk had been very important for him, so I asked him why: ‘I’m used to give talks, I do a couple every year and I actually really enjoy it. Doing it in Madrid though was a very different exercise. Even if I’m not Spanish, I became an artist in Madrid, this is the city where everything started for me. Talking about my work in this city was very challenging to me because I knew a lot of friends and a lot of artists I admire would be listening to me. It’s very easy to talk about your work in front of an anonymous crowd but in front of people you know and you care about is totally different! I was very nervous, but, according to the feedback I received after the talk, it looks like no one noticed it!!!

Tina Ziegler of Moniker Art. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Then, the main dish of the menu took place. ‘The Art Conference, by Urvanity’, hosted by Doug Gillen, from Fifth Wall TV and featuring some of the most important managers/curators/creative directors/promoters in the biz was meant to be the grand finale of Urvanity’s Saturday program. Tina Ziegler, Director of Moniker Art fair, Yasha Young, Creative Director of Urban Nation Museum, and Anna Dimitrova, Director of Montana Gallery, were adding some more girl power to the place.

Yasha Young of Urban Nation Berlin. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

FER: One of the most interesting things about the fair this year was the Talks Program. I couldn’t go to all of them because I would need to clone myself for attending everything, but was it intentional for you to enhance this side of the event? Do you think that these talks and lectures are useful for attracting a potential audience or are they more focused on an indoor point of view for people inside the art world? Why the 2 talks were the role and presence of women was more significant were moderated by a guy with a penis?

Sergio Sancho: For us the talk program it is a fundamental base within the fair. It is something that we want to keep on and give more importance and visibility. We think that the best way to understand this movement it’s from inside, giving voice and visibility to the main characters. About the moderator you are talking we think the gender its irrelevant. This year we wanted to give more visibility to women in a world where there is such an inequality and it has been casual that in the case of The Art Conference the moderator that Tina used it’s always a man and in the case of the talks opening program it has been Alberto the leader and we think it was the suitable person to do so.


Esteban Marin and Ninoska of Contorno Urbano Foundation. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

An impressive example of power, clear minds, commitment and, above all, tough work during several years in a penis based industry, these 3 forces of nature explained to us the main points of their careers, their way of working, their ethics, spoke about good practices and loyalty, some episodes about dealing with male chauvinism attitudes and how to get through all this without stepping forward.

Antonyo Marest. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

After personally meeting Ampparito and chatting a little bit with Octavi Serra and some other guys from Cúmul we ended the day talking and drinking beer in a relaxed atmosphere at some ‘Manolo’ bar in Madrid. Time to breathe, smile and relax.

DAY THREE: The art fair day.

And Sunday arrived. Keeping the military discipline of the whole weekend, woke up early, had some bad coffee while planning the morning and started my 3kms walk to check Cranio´s wall out. Sunday is ‘rastro’ day in Madrid, so some streets and squares of the area were flood with people that you had to avoid while trying not to kill yourself watching the screen of your mobile phone as it was compulsory for me to check the map and my old time friend Kini González was helping me out getting some invitations for colleagues.

Once of the few times that I was moving my head up, I almost crashed with some familiar guy. Rafa appeared suddenly in front of me with his eternal smile in the face. A friend from Barcelona, it had been years since we had seen each other, so it was a funny and nice coincidence to meet by chance 624kms away from our hometown. We continue our walk together speaking about life, anarchy, music and veganism and, at the same time, Guille was telling me the last news about Cranio´s work as we were all pendant of the keys of the crane for the final shot.

Jan Kaláb. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

As I was seeing that this wasn’t happening in the next few hours, I changed my plans and went to Luka’s wall as I wanted to take some photos from the crane. There it goes… Say bye to Rafa, put my stuff together and we went up for capturing some details.

As we were saying in Madrid, there’s a poker of photos that you should take while capturing, if possible, the whole process of painting a big mural: shots from the ground, shots from other buildings and rooftops, shots from the crane and the final shot. If you get decent photos from all these angles, you will come back home with a smile on your face… I missed Luka’s final photo, by the way, as he finished his work on Monday.

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Once we had arrived to Urvanity’s headquarters I started to check all the artwork that galleries like Montana, SC, Ink and Movement, Stolen Space, Fousion, Plastic Murs, Swinton & Grant, Station 16, Ruarts or Pretty Portal were exhibiting. I liked to see some personal faves like Enric Sant, Isaac Cordal, Sixe, SAN, Herakut, Deih, Hyuro, She One, Dilka Bear, Kofie, Jaune, L’Atlas, Stikki Peaches, Anna Taratiel or Guy Denning, having in mind that you don’t always have the chance to admire all these people’s work in one place at the same time. I also enjoyed to discover other great artists that were kind of new for me like Gregory Watin, Marc C. Woehr, Solomostry, Spazuk, Jaime Molina or Morik Marat.

I also spoke with some of the gallerists who were quite happy about the sales and the whole experience in general. Okuda almost did a sold out, Taratiel sold her bigger piece for Durán gallery, veteran Henry Chalfant and Enric Sant were also selling for Adda & Taxie. Vicente, from Plastic Murs, was much happier with the sales this year than he was in 2017 after seeing how Deih and, above all, Vinz had been successful during the fair. Dilka Bear for Fousion gallery also saw how some of her works were going to some collector’s homes.

Jana & JS. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It was also interesting for me to know that Kofie ‘papers’ in Swinton & Grant had been sold even before than the fair officially started. Classic names of the scene like Gripface, Stikki Peaches, GR170 or Belin also sold in this year edition. On the opposite hand, Olivier, from Vroom & Varossieau, which exhibited one of the most powerful group of artists in the fair, told me that his sales had been better last year, maybe because of his high prices. As we say in Spain: ‘nunca llueve a gusto de todos’ (something like: not everyone likes when it rains).

I spent my last minutes at COAM trying to find Sergio, Juncal and Victoria from Urvanity’s team without success, as I wanted to say bye and thank them for the treat that they gave to us during the whole weekend. I really like when you get the chance of meeting personally people that you have spoken with by email and that you have interacted with on the social media, as it happened this time with Sergio and Victoria.

Okuda. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

So, this was it. We couldn’t leave Madrid without having a couple (a couple…yeah, right…) of vermouths with some old time friends and colleagues, feeling sad because of the ones that we missed and thinking about all the great moments and experiences that we had lived during the weekend.

Thanks A LOT to all of you who we spent some time with during those 3 crazy days, specially to Sergio, Juncal and Victoria, Miriam for sharing her home with us, Guille, Diana & Rocío for being there as always, Lara, Soledad and Rebekah, at Espacio SOLO, for being such great hosts and, of course, Audrey García for breathing and existing. ‘til next time Madrid…

Laurence Valliéres. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Laurence Valliéres. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Jaune. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Daniel Muñoz AKA SAN. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Guy Denning. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Augustin Kofie. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Herakut. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Hyuro. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Spok. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Henry Chalfant. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Isaac Cordal. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

JAZ. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Stikki Peaches. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Deih. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


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

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

Photographer Fer Alcala recently explored an abandoned place known to some as Fraggle Rock with Street Artist/graffiti writer DavidL, who is specializing in personality infused portraits of cinematic and pop personae drawn primarily from the second half of the 20th century. Today he tells BSA readers about his experience on this road trip.

How I spent one day with DavidL in a marvelous abandoned place in the middle of nowhere watching him paint

~ Fer Acala

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.

DavidL. Alfred Hitchcock. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

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.

What I like about David’s way of working is that he creates his own world. I’m not speaking about his wonderful caricatures. No. I mean that he has built (is still building) a certain kind of artwork with a lot of discipline and a strong working ethic behind it. Almost a hermit when we speak about painting walls, David is creating a beautiful personal universe ruled by his own choices. And, hey! It totally works.

DavidL. Alfred Hitchcock. Detail. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Some days ago I had the chance to accompany David to his ‘headquarters’. I can’t say much about the location, but it took a while to go there by car from Barcelona and the enchanted abandoned landscape was astonishing. Obviously, I wasn’t the first person to be there. Everyone who drives by can have their own “urbex” experience in this abandoned place and they wouldn’t be disappointed with their findings.

Other artists and friends have painted there but I felt very honored to have the opportunity to go with David, to explore and to watch him create a piece from nothing. It felt like a privilege to enter his world invited by the host and to witness the whole process.

DavidL. Edward Scissorhands. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Despite the cold, the hunger, and the absence of beers, it was important for me to capture the details. I wanted to share the thoughts and the doubts, to see the commitment behind the creation of a piece in a single room for seven hours while listening to hip hop beats. I explored the place and went here and there but it is not and everyday experience for me to witness such a private way of working outside of the four walls of a studio.

David’s pieces are about pop culture. He chooses them kind of randomly and takes them to his own world. Movies, comic books, art figures…have being transformed using a very recognizable style. As a part of the process, DavidL keeps the original sketches and drawings and he sells them at a very reasonable price.

DavidL. Tim Burton. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s just a matter of time before DavidL is discovered and we both wonder if he will be able to keep this place and the art of its walls under the radar much longer. How long it will it continue to paint in places like this without time constriction and be peaceful and be calm and work without any hurries and be in control of the timing and go back there the next day to finish the work?

I haven’t the answers to all these questions, but what I know is that there are still tons of empty rooms waiting for DavidL to paint them. And, my friends, that will happen for sure. – FA

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

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

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

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

DavidL. Doc Brown. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Stanley Kubrick. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Village of The Damned. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Village of The Damned. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Process shot. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


DavidL. Process shot. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Process shot. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Process shot. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Process shot. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Process shot. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DavidL. Andy Warhol. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

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

DavidL. Invented character. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


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The Weeknd: Fer Alcala in Cardedeu, Granollers and Baladona, Catalunya, Spain.

The Weeknd: Fer Alcala in Cardedeu, Granollers and Baladona, Catalunya, Spain.

Today we take a random walk around some of the most interesting street art in the metropolitan area of Barcelona with photographer and fervent observer of the scene, Fer Alcala, who shares with BSA readers about his own participation in the scene as a documentarian and vibrant part of the street ecosystem. An insatiable chaser of Street Art and murals, Fer doesn’t let a recent back operation keep him down for long and soon you are off discovering more in Granollers, Cardedeu, and who knows where else!

– by Fer Alcala

2017 was a weird year for me. It’s been more than 6 months that I’m trying to learn how to live in pain as I have a problem in my backbone which is healing as a Work In Process (WIP). At the same time, I’ve had the chance of collaborating with lots of artists, taking part in very interesting projects and shooting tons of photos. However it has not always been easy for me to find the motivation and the energy to go out there and hit the streets.

Roc Blackblock. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Apart from all this, you know how it works; There’s that spark, that unavoidable feeling that pushes you to do what you love to do despite everything else. So, this is what happened to me some weeks ago while being alone at home: I HAD to go for a walk, yes or yes. So, I did.

I had the need to go to Badalona and check some of the latest pieces of Spogo out. Spogo’s work is familiar to the BSA readers:  One of the finest abstract artists in the country, Spogo opens walls in his hometown and gives the chance to other artists to paint in his playground, developing a homeland legacy that is appreciated by neighbors, pedestrians and fellow artists. In these times when street art and gentrification are becoming almost synonymous, Spogo’s personal effort contributes to beautify the city through collabs with Elbi Elem, Tayone, Ángel Toren, Lost Optics, Kazzius or Nico Barrios & Toni Cuatrero.

Aryz . Gurtel. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In the meanwhile, it’s nice to find a big wall by H101 by chance, almost feeling it as a tribute to the defunct Sixe wall in the opposite side of the highway which was replaced by some useless gardening ad. It was also a great pleasure to find ‘Inocente II’, the great mural by Mohamed Lghacham and Iván Floro, two friends that hadn’t painted together in 6 years and whose figurative skills are reaching mastership levels.

So, in order to keep on feeding my hunger for art, I decided to visit the always interesting city of Granollers with about 60,000 inhabitants which is 40 minutes away from Barcelona by train, after seeing online what Velvet and Zoer had created for ‘Murs que parlen (Walls that speak)’. Murs que parlen is a project promoted by Granollers’ town hall, a project which they say is seeking to give life and color to some medium and large scale walls of the city. The result of the work of the French artistic duo, who were advised by Aryz on the occasion, is one of my personal faves in Catalunya this year.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I love how Zoer has explained the whole process in his IG account:

‘One month ago, Velvet and me started painting this mural in Granollers / Catalunya. Relating an artistic action to its close environment and context is a big question as: Does the mural/ public space/ art have to make a clear connection with its time or to a special meaning? The population of Catalunya expressed recently its will of autonomy and most generally the possibility of reorganizing the society around a strong regional and cultural defense. As foreigners, we can only watch and interpret the information from a certain distance.

The Can Bassa district in Granollers is a very quiet district, let’s say mostly Castillan, or inhabited by people from all of the country. We were invited to take a look at the academic system here, by giving a class to young art students and by visiting the primary school though the high school. The focus is set on the personal development and awakening in creative fields, developing an atmosphere of exchange and curiosity.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In a dance class, where children were training, we found dozens of drum sticks in a blue plastic basin. Besides that we had the chance to meet Toni Cumella and to visit his splendid ceramic factory. Their ceramics are designed for architecture mainly, where a million single pieces can shape an ensemble, become a pattern, a second skin to a concrete structure.

Well known for having designed this sophisticated ceiling ceramic map for the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, they worked as well with Renzo Piano on the Centro Botin, creating a sensational floating pattern from thousands of ceramic disks modeling the facade and reflecting the light. During the inauguration, musicians were playing percussion using the ceramic facade as a giant drum with thousands of pads’.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s great to see how interacting with the locals and taking into account the neighbors’ participation is becoming so important and giving meaning to the artist’s work, even becoming a norm in several projects all over the world.

My next stop was another Murs que parlen wall. It’s strange because almost no one out there has taken pics of this colossal Sixe Paredes piece. I tried to shoot it from the courtyard of the school, but the place was closed and nobody was working that day. To know more about this beautiful work, please check this nice documentary that a local TV filmed for the occasion.

Sixe Paredes. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It has been approximately four years since I had the chance to visit Roca Umbert. This cultural facility keeps some almost hidden gems by Aryz, Zoer, and Daniel Muñoz ‘SAN’ and Roc Blackblock, among others. Born as a tribute to Ferrer i Guardia and the modern school, with 250 students taking part in the process, this is what Roc said about it on his FB page at that time: ‘We arrived to the conclusion that education, knowledge and wisdom are the real superpowers that allow us to face all the challenges with success’.

One of the things that I love about Granollers is that it has everything: big walls, random ones all over the city, abandoned factories…and the ditch. Home of a superb, but now buffed old smoking bird by Aryz, this never ending urban canvas offers tons of great art by some of the biggest and more interesting names in da house: Aryz, Rostro, Cinta Vidal and Peeta, Japon, Treze … this list could go on forever, so here you have an small selection of what you can find down there. And, please, be careful if you decide to cross the river.

Velvet. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

As I was on fire, I decided to take the train and go to Cardedeu. This almost 13 km2 village is a creative gold mine. Aryz’s and Cinta Vidal’s homeplace, Cardedeu’s outskirts gives shelter to one of the most admired abandoned factories in the biz: Ofidirect. I’ve been here several times with lots of different friends, artists and colleagues and everybody loves the place.

It was the first time that I was there alone and I have to say that I was almost overwhelmed by the silence and the majesty of this concrete and brick space. Being some kind of a private playground for the MixedMedia Crew and other artists and graffiti writers, Ofidirect is still alive preserving its urban decay beauty and charm. It was funny for me to see how Zoer, Velvet and Aryz had got some fun in there apart from the big Wall in Granollers.

Zoer. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

After a 40 minutes walk to go back to Cardedeu, some beer, and a train and back to Barcelona, I was at home editing pics and speaking with friend artist @elbielem. She asks me about an Aryz mural in Cardedeu. ??? I had no clue about what she was talking and Aryz painting in his hometown on kind of a big wall? He’s one of my favorite artists and I had been there for hours and I haven’t got any f*cking idea about it? Well: sh*t happens. Best street art hunter (hate this title…) ever.

I went back to Cardedeu the next day very soon in the morning, but that, my friends, is a different story

Velvet . Aryz . Gurtel . Zoer. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Treze. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Ratos. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Sergi Marqués. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

KIKX. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Japon VLOK. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Rostro. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz . Rostro. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Cinta Vidal . Peeta. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Mohamed Lghacham . Iván Floro. “Inocente II” Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

‘This wall is the second part of another one that I painted two years ago about the same issue,” says artist Mohamed Lghacham who painted this wall with assistance of Iván Floro.

“Its main character is a friend of mine who was born on December 28th which is the ‘Santos Inocentes’ day in Spain (note: this is the equivalent of the April’s fool day in the States). Basically, it consists on playing little jokes on your friends and relatives. When my friend was a little kid and it was his birthday his classmates didn’t trust him, thinking that he was just kidding. There’s not a big concept behind the piece: it’s just something anecdotal that seems funny to me.

The idea about painting that mural came from Badiu Jove Badalona as one of the activities of Conect’Art which is an art fair for young creators that takes place in the city.” Lghacham says he would like to thank his assistant Floro.  “Everything went great and I guess that we will work together often in the near future.”

Spogo . Nico Barrios . Tony Cuatreros. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Spogo . Elbi Elem. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

H101. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Instagram handles:

Sixe @sixeparedes, Spogo @spogo15, Elbi Elem @elbielem , Tayone @tayone.abz , Ángel Toren @angeltoren , Lost Optics @lostoptics, Kazzius @kaz.zius or Nico Barrios @mrnobodysmind ,Toni Cuatrero @tonicuatrero, H101 @h1_01, Mohamed Lghacham @oiterone, Iván Floro @van_vuu, Velvet @velvetcsx, Zoer @zoerism, Aryz @mr_aryz, Daniel Muñoz ‘SAN’ @danielmunoz_san, Rostro @rostrovalseca , Cinta Vidal @cinta_vidal & Peeta @peeta_ead , Japon @japonvlok , Treze @acidcollapse, Peeta @peeta_ead , Japon @japonvlok , Treze @acidcollapse

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Aryz Says ‘Adios’ to 2017 in his Hometown of Cardedeu, Spain.

Aryz Says ‘Adios’ to 2017 in his Hometown of Cardedeu, Spain.

Today on BSA we have the photographer Fer Alcala to share his experiences and photos as he was capturing the newest mural from Aryz in his hometown in Spain at the very end of the year.

– by Fer Alcala

La cultura, by Aryz

– or, “How I almost missed the chance of shooting part of the creative process of this wall by one of the top names in the business 40 minutes away from my home.”

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

So, yes: this is how stupid I can get. After spending a big part of the day in the Cardedeu (the hometown of the artist Aryz) area, I had to find out after returning to my home. It was thanks to a friend, the artist Elbi Elem, who told me that Aryz was painting his, let’s say, ‘1st official large scale mural’ in his village, 10 minutes away from the place I had had lunch at that day. This is what happens when you are a digital dummy and the obsolescence of the iOS on your shitty mobile phone doesn’t allow you to see the Stories and Moments on Instagram.

I felt so embarrassed that I decided to go there the next day in order to calm my feelings of guilt down. First time in the morning. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit for dramatic purposes, but trust me: I felt like a complete dumb ass.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Anyone who shows a minimum of interest about street art or, as the main character of these lines prefers, about contemporary muralism, knows who Aryz is. So, I’m not here to write a deep essay about his prolific and outstanding work all over the world. I prefer to share with whoever will be reading this my personal experience with the artist throughout these last years.

I have to say that, although I admire Aryz’ work, we aren’t friends or anything. I think that maybe we have met personally 4 or 5 times in our whole lives and this was the first time that I had the chance of taking some shots of him at work. Once said that, I’ve been lucky enough to visit his studio twice, due to 2 principal reasons: the mediation duties of common friend Anna Cammany (aka @troballola), and Aryz’ hospitality. One of these occasions was really special for me as we were accompanied by Martha Cooper and Jay ‘Terror161’ Edlin, two legends of the photography and the graffiti world, who were in town as lecturers for the Openwalls Conferences 2015 edition.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Not being a mitoman, I’ve asked for only 2 autographs in my whole life: to Danish pro skater Nicky Guerrero when I was fourteen and to Martha Cooper, after I was already a grown man. So, yes: maybe that moment was kind of unforgettable for me. And, what can I say? You don’t everyday have the chance to be shooting in an abandoned factory in the middle of nowhere with friends and with artists who you have admired since years ago.

Plus I enjoyed witnessing the nice meeting between Martha, Jay & Aryz at his wonderful cabinet of curiosities in the presence of the artist’s mum. I have pics of this day that won’t be ever published as I think this was a private moment that should remain just in the attendants’ hearts and memories. And I got a couple of good stories in my pocket from that day too.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

One of the reasons why I’m explaining all this, it’s that I want to emphasize the fact that we are speaking not only about a great artist, but also about a great human being who trusted me and was super generous with me even when he almost didn’t know me at all. And, excuse me: you can be the greatest artist on earth, but if you suck as a person, my interest is gone. Well, as I’ve said, this isn’t the case.

Going back to my visit to Cardedeu, it was easy to find the wall after some searching on the Internet. What I wasn’t expecting was that Aryz was already there giving the last touches to the piece. Yes: both of us are early risers. So, after saying ‘hi’ and some small talk, I started to shoot from the ground. I liked the location of the wall, but speaking from a ‘photography’ point of view, it was a pain in the ass for taking pics because of the fences, the signs, the lights… At least, there were no shadows.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

I asked a neighbor from the building in front of the piece if she had a good angle of the mural from her balcony. The answer was negative, but she kindly offered to me the keys of the rooftop. This was like pure gold for me. Gracias Eulalia.

As it always is, it was nice being up there. The view was great and I had a nice perspective of Cardedeu’s landscape. You could see how Aryz’ color selection was harmoniously matching the surroundings, creating a beautiful composition. A pedestrian asked the artist about the meaning of the piece. Aryz answered that his work is not about that. He almost demanded that the viewer make a personal effort about thinking and getting his own conclusions.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

And I agree with that. As he has said in the past, his dialogue is not with the citizens: it’s with the wall, the building, the architecture, and the city… We are just spectators of his artwork, but he is not working for us. Although there can be a deep meaning and sense behind his most important works, maybe we should get involved. And this is challenging and enjoyable.

There’s this very well known saying here in Spain that says: ‘Nadie es profeta en su tierra’ (ed. note; roughly, ‘no man is a profit in his own land’). Well, when Jesus Christ supposedly said that, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thinking about Aryz.

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Cardedeu, Spain. (photo @ Fer Alcalá)

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BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.

The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.

You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.

And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.

No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.

From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.

No. 15

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Berlin, June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.

“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”

Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.

Various & Gould: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE


No. 14

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE


No. 13

Lucy Sparrow Opens an All-Felt Bodega in NYC : “8 ‘Till Late”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.

“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.

“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late. Continue reading HERE


No. 12

“All Big Letters” Opens, Curated by RJ Rushmore

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

All Big Letters. Continue reading HERE


No. 11

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE


No. 1o

Bunnies, Birds, Sexuality and VINZ Feel Free’s “Innocence” in Brooklyn

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence” The Marcy Project. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. November 4th. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.

“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:

1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”.  Continue reading HERE


No. 09

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca/Outings Projects in Kathmandu. Continue reading HERE

No. 08

Rocking “THE HAUS” : A 5-Floor Berlin Bank is Transformed by Artists

Kaleido. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room.  That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.

The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti  crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation  artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.

Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1.  El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.

Rocking The Haus. Continue reading HERE


No. 07

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Working The Cornfields. Continue reading HERE


No. 06

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE

No. 05

“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Resistance Is Female. Continue reading HERE


No. 04

Street Artist OLEK and Volunteers Create NINA SIMONE Tribute in Raleigh, NC

Olek. Nina Simone “Here Comes The Sun” Love Across The USA. Raleigh, North Carolina. October 2017. (photo © courtesy Olek)

Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.

Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”

Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers., the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Olek. Here Comes The Sun. Continue reading HERE


No. 03

Icy & Sot and a Man of Trash in Tbilisi, Georgia

Icy & Sot.  “Human reflection on nature”. Tbilisi, Georgia. May 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.

“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.

During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.

Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE


No. 02

“Martha Cooper” Solo Exhibition Reveals Many Unseen “Action Shots”

Martha Cooper signing the print of Futura 2000 whole car “Break”,  Steven Kasher Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.

That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.

For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.

Martha Cooper Solo Show. Continue reading HERE


No. 01

Banksy Hits Brexit With New Piece, MaisMenos & BLU Used EU Flag Earlier

Banksy. Dover, England. Photo @banksy Instagram

The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.

10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.

Banksy Brexit. Continue reading HERE

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Vermibus: Ad Busting In Barcelona. Catalonia’s Desire to Secede from Spain

Vermibus: Ad Busting In Barcelona. Catalonia’s Desire to Secede from Spain

As the October 1st  referendum deadline looms ever closer, the tensions over Catalonia’s attempts to secede from Spain have dramatically taken to the streets – and Vermibus is adding his voice to the raucous dialogue in the Catalunya area of Barcelona. Using an interventionist technique that has become more popular in the last decade but dates back at least to the 1960s, the Spanish born Street Artist is taking over an advertising space to promote artful civic discourse rather than flogging shampoo that makes your hair shiny.

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In news reports everywhere you learn that the central Spanish government and its supporters are accused of extraordinary efforts to quash the democratic efforts of the Catalan parliament to push for the divorce. Recent letters from MPs, more than a hundred academics, and other secessionists accuse the government of anti-democratic measures such as, “taking to court 700 Catalan mayors for allowing preparations for the vote to go ahead, seizing campaign material and ballot papers, threatening to cut off power to polling stations, arresting and charging a newspaper editor accused of aiding the preparations for the referendum and banning a public meeting called in Madrid to discuss the issue,” reports The Guardian.

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

For Vermibus, the issue is simpler: The government is hiding from the obvious, choosing not to see the truth and hoping it will go away. Similarly you may look at this image of a person putting their hands over their eyes and interpret it that seeing what is happening is painful and shocking.

As citizens who may look at the events from a patriachal/matriarchal perspective, you can also imagine average people hiding their eyes from witnessing their parents yelling and fighting with each other. As painful as it gets, hiding your eyes doesn’t make it disappear.

“Spain is facing the most complex identity issue of its short democracy,” says the ad-busting Vermibus. “The unity of this country is obviously broken and this problem has to be addressed urgently. The attitude from the central power is one of trying to solve the problem by ignoring it,” he says, “and with that the tensions between Catalonia and Spain are growing exponentially.”

For Fernando Alcalá Losa, the photographer who shares these photos with BSA readers today, the demonstrations and fighting in Barcelona streets right now looked like a perfect opportunity to work with Vermibus, who was in town to give a talk.

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

“I had met the Berlin-based Vermibus personally at the 1st edition of Urvanity Contemporary art fair this year. Everything went very fast. I contacted him when I found out that he was giving a lecture in the city, got some tools and tried to make this happen,” Fer says. “We almost failed because of several reasons, but, after some hesitation and logistical issues, the adbusting happened while tons of people were flooding the heart of the city and cops were everywhere. And let me say, it felt good.”

It’s a simple act, this claiming of commercial space for public commentary, but worth the risk for those who increasingly take over bus stops and myriad kiosks that take over the public sphere. For Alcalá Losa, times of civil discontent require civic involvement and this is a tumultuous period for the culture.

“For me it was the fact that the ‘Guardia Civil’, the police branch of the Spanish army, arrested several Catalonian politicians in different cities of the region, leading to a massive and peaceful response by the citizens taking to the streets protesting, demonstrating and claiming for freedom and the right to choose and being independent from Spain,” he says.

“All this political confrontation is not about independence anymore. It’s about freedom of choice, the right to vote and the right of having the chance of saying yes or not. Period.”

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

For his part, Vermibus says the problem is a self-imposed blindness and he hopes his small intervention is a reflection of it. “What happened recently in Catalonia is not a problem of identity anymore, or at least is not how I personally feel it. It is an attempt at democracy, and by not wanting to see it the problem won’t get solved on its own.”

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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“The Intimacy Project” Gets Close to the Artist with Fer Alcala

“The Intimacy Project” Gets Close to the Artist with Fer Alcala

“…the real heroes are the people noticing things, paying attention.”

~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Twee Muizen. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Somewhere between celebrity and anonymity sits the Street Artist, depending on their wishes and fortune. We always feel lucky to see the artwork first anonymously on the street, because it needs to stand for itself, free of the passerby’s association with their knowledge of its author. Later, when you are in the presence of the artist with their work, the relationship you have with it is permanently altered. If you have established some trust, you also can learn so much about an artists relationship with the physicality of their process of art-making; the posture, the breathing, the gesture, the distance.

Photographer Fernando Alcalá Losa has made it a focus of his own art practice to notice the small and the great aspects of the artist’s process and captures important details that allow the viewer to understand the dynamics and relationship between an artist and their creation. In December on BSA he wrote,

“It’s about being there, right there, feeling the energy of creation. It’s about intimacy, about detail, about the personal connection with the artist, because you were able to be that close. And not everyone can be that close, that’s for sure…

I’m grateful for having the chance of living these moments of proximity, knowing that those artists that you’re shooting at trust you and allow you to be there, right there.”

Ulises Mendicutty. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Today on BSA we’re pleased to present a very rare collection of Fernando’s images that tell just these stories, these primary relationships that are in alignment with the life of a creator; a struggle, a dance, a wandering journey of discovery, a spirited production, an execution of plan. All of these aspects and more can be seen, and sometimes captured by the artist behind the lens.

“The Intimacy Project”

Fernando Alcalá Losa

Some weeks ago, I read a post from someone on Facebook saying that the figure of the artist wasn’t important, saying that the piece was the only relevant thing in fact.

It sounded funny to me because there’s no artwork without the artist, but I understand what was meant, although I disagree from a photographic point of view. “The Intimacy Project” is an idea that has been in my head for some time and it has been developing in parallel with my evolution as a Street Art photographer.

Yoshi Sislay. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

When I started to interact with artists, I was kind of obsessed about keeping the distance, physically speaking, and about not disturbing the artist. As time went by, I began getting closer to everything; not only to the wall, but also to the person who paints the wall. I became more confident, always trying to be respectful and operating from my best intentions – and I continue doing this today.

“The Intimacy Project” is about the person behind the artist, about the human side of the creative process and about what happens from a close up view while a piece of art is being produced.

It’s about gestures, expressions, obsessions and techniques. Because the artwork, the final result, is important, but the human being who creates it is also important for me…indeed…

Margalef. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Irene Lopez. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Nuno Gomes. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Roc Blackblock. Madrid, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Conse. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Smates. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock. Madrid, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock. Madrid, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Smates. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Berol. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Berol. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

SAV45. Lloret Del Mar, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Shana. ContornoUrbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Shana. ContornoUrbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)


Ivana Flores. Base Elements Gallery. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá OlympusE510)

Miss Van. Fem Rimes, Fem Graff-2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá iPhone 6)

Cinta Vidal. Contorno Urbano 2016. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, OlympusE510)

Cinta Vidal. Contorno Urbano 2016. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, OlympusE510)

Reskate Studio. Contorno Urbano 2016. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, OlympusE510)

Fasim. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá OlympusE510)

She One. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá OlympusE510)

“The Intimacy Project”

  • Took place over the course of one year

  • Three different tools used: Iphone, OlympusE510, FujifilmXT10

  • Scenarios: Openwalls Conference 2016, Ús Festival 2016, Contorno Urbano 2016 / 2017, La Arnau Gallery, Fem Rimes, Fem Graff 2016, Nau Bostik, Wallspot




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