The Gar Gar Festival in Penelles, Spain, is in its eighth edition this year, showcasing street art, muralism, and a new fleet of artists creating pleasant and clever attractions for city walls.
“The festival hopes to generate resources that allow us to correct the effects of time and the deterioration of our streets, reinspiring hope in our neighbours,” says the website, and who can deny the regenerative effect that street art has been adding to moribund sectors of the urban environment for the last decade or two.
Mounted in early May this year over a period of a 3 day festival, Gar Gar featured nine hundred square meters of murals and a program of art, projection mapping, music, expositions, craft beer, and food trucks, along with workshops related to other artistic disciplines. A cooperative of public and privately funded projects, Gar Gar is steered and administered with the help of the advertising and interactive design firm Binomic Cat, which also brings artists together for commercial walls on other occasions.
We’re pleased to show you some of the murals this year thanks to the talent and industry of photographer Lluis Bulbena Olivas, who shares his images here with BSA readers.
A well branded cultural initiative brings for the second edition a festival of art, music, craft beer, food trucks, workshops to the village of Penelles in Spain, including 900 square meters of murals in this town with farmer roots and low one story buildings.
It has become almost a formula for cities and municipalities to inject a youthful culture and energy into an area – as you may expect, it is about striking a balance and treating all of your artists well and creating a mixture of events and opportunities for the people to engage with the scene. Even when the population of your Catalonian town is a little less than 500 people.
GarGar2 just happened in May with about 30 artists displaying public art in disciplines that touch on almost all of the currently used styles on the street; aerosol, wild style, figurative, illustration, neo-realism, photorealist, commercially slick, folk heroism, calligraphy, text based, pop art, abstract optics, political commentary, brush paint, stencil, craft, crochet, primitive sculpture… Organizers have studied the websites and social postings and surveyed closely what is happening in the mural/Street Art scene and are presenting a cross-section of at least one example of every category.
The somewhat arid agricultural community is spread out over many small roads and fields of wheat, rye, and corn. Old buildings are used for small art exhibitions and music venues – with many of the performing solo artists and ensembles playing a familiar mix of folk, jazz, afrocarribean, and electronic genres that merge local with international tastes.
It is a polished presentation meant to draw attention to the town, and we are thankful to photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena for capturing some of the images from this year’s festival. Following it is a video from last years’ GarGar.
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Cervantes inspired this new wheat-pasted scene by Italy’s Bifido at the Gar Gar Festival in Panelles, Spain. His new interpretation of a metaphor is drawn from the scene in chapter 8 where Don Quixote and his sidekick servant Sancho are riding their horses up the road and see two clouds ahead of them. Quixote’s wild imagination mistakes them for dual great armies on the edge of war with one another and he describes them aloud in detail based on the forms he sees in the dust.
Sancho warns him that those shapes that he sees are simply dust clouds from herds of sheep and not to be afraid. But of course the macho testosterone meathead Quixote cannot wait to go to war and gallops in swinging his big sword, later to discover he has slaughtered a number of sheep and that a couple of nearby Shepherds are angry at him. They throw stones at the buffoon and break a lot of his teeth. Rather than admit he was wrong he tells Sancho that they had actually been armies but sorcerers has transformed them into sheep. Right.
So that worked out really well.
Later, there is a very detailed vomiting scene. No kidding.
Here the sheep are played by people all around us right now, cradling their electronic devices in hands, sort of oblivious to the world around them. He says the kid with the sword is fighting “against the contemporary man who spend a lot of time with his smartphone like a sheep.”
Truly, by now, it is an army. But who does the kid represent in this case? We’re not sure.