running! It’s 20 meters along this wall on the inner courtyard of
the Bac de Roda Housing Cooperative in Poblenou, a neighborhood of Barcelona,
The new stop-action installation is meant to freeze for a moment the emotions and sensations that can occur during migration – which many people are forced today to do all over the world, whether they are escaping from hardship, fear, war, environmental extremes, or decimated economies.
Vázquez wants us to think about the distance that people run, and how crossing
a simple national boundary can be the difference between life and death. If you
studied Western art history, these figures may also call to mind warriors and
heroes of so-called classical antiquity.
says he has captured “through a sequence of movements, different snapshots
which reflect a mosaic of unique expressions.” This, he says, is “a figure who
symbolically represents all who they have made a migratory journey risking
Cadiz, now living in Barcelona, Vázquez is participating in the fourth edition
of MURAL / LOCAL, an artistic action that annually renews this wall. He would
like to thank his subject Mourad as well as his fellow artist Magda Cwik, who
assisted him in hanging the new installation. Our thanks go to photographer Lluis
Olive Bulbena, who shares his photos of this new work with BSA readers.
Under the initiative of Barcelona based street artist, Xupet Negre, around 15 artists responded to an invitation to participate in the project #theblackwallmovement at Parc De 3 Xemeneies in Barcelona.
Police brutality is not a foreign concept in Barcelona and the images coming out from the United States have hit a nerve within the creative community of this Catalan Metropolis, we are told, and the artists here decided to show their support for the protest against racism in Barcelona by painting these walls.
Photographer and frequent BSA contributor Lluis Olive shared his photos of the project with us.
The anonymous artist(s) who painted the mural above, titled “Here the police also kill” decided to paint the names of a number of the immigrants killed by the police in Barcelona since the ’90s. An individual who happened to be on the scene where the mural was painted and wishes to remain anonymous related the what unfolded once the police got wind of the mural:
“Here the police also kill…and censor!
Yesterday I visited Parc De 3 Xemeneies in Barcelona to support #theblackwallsmovement event organized by Xupete Negre. I wasn’t there as an artist, but rather in support of my fellow artists who were participating and painting in the event.
What caught my attention was a mural where a crew of anonymous artists decided that rather than paint images on the wall they wrote a list of the names of immigrants assassinated by the police in Barcelona from the ’90s to the present time. Shortly after the mural was completed a police squad arrived. The officers wanted to know the name of the artist(s) who painted the mural so they could charge the artist(s) of defamation and demanded that the mural be painted over.
The artists who were present at the time refused to name names and refused to paint over the mural. The following day the portion of the mural that reads: “Here the police also kills” was painted over. I find it abhorrent that crimes that took place are being censured and that the collective memory of said crimes is being erased.
Never mind that the event in question was to fight racism and police brutality and to denounce the murder of George Floyd in The United States.
“This is the end of pretty pictures,” wrote the artists at the end of the mural. “-by anonymous.
*These two murals are not part of the event listed above and were painted a different location in Barcelona.
The demonstrations and protests in support of George Floyd and against racism and police brutality continue in many cities across the US. Similarly, new reports from other countries of people marching in solidarity have brought the message to an international audience. Today we have a new mural by Tim Marsh sent to us by BSA contributor and photographer Lluis Olive who shares these images from Barcelona, Spain.
As one may expect, subtleties of language may get lost in translation, so we’ll briefly mention why “Black Lives Matter” is not the same as “All Lives Matter”, and in fact the latter is received by many in the US as a dismissal of blacks, a de-facto denial of the suffering of people in an effort to erase the magnitude of a deliberately designed unfair system that threatens black people’s lives.
First, it’s good to know that Black Lives Matter is actually an organization founded by three black women in 2013 – used as a hashtag to begin with – soon spawning a movement. The BLM name came to be known as a response to the casual denigration of the sanctity of the life of Trayvon Martin, who was shot by George Zimmerman and who was found “not guilty.” So, today using the term is directly tied to that organization and time no matter the current context.
Secondly, as a slogan, it is directly implied that the dominant white culture has done everything it can to deny the humanity to persons with dark skin, whether through a thousand tiny subtleties on a daily basis or through big obvious examples like state-sanctioned violence – and a gamut in between. It is a defiant statement that is made so obvious in intent that people cannot mistake its meaning. Consequently, for many, saying “All Lives Matter” is yet one more example of denigration, a sideways denial of the utter toxicity of racism and its impact, a re-direction away from the dire facts.
that our international friends, like this artist here, are undoubtedly trying
to be inclusive when they say “All Lives Matter”. We just wanted to share that
some Americans won’t understand it as such, and they may even interpret the
slogan as an underhanded insult to blacks and other persons of color. After
all, Women’s Rights wouldn’t even be an issue if women’s rights were equally encoded
by law and absolutely insured by a fair process in greater society. Until then
we’ll talk about Women’s Rights, GLBTQ Rights, Disabled Rights, etcetera.
UPDATE: Since publishing this article we received a message from the artist of this work above. He let us know that he had already painted over this slogan with “Black Lives Matter” – only a day after he first painted it and not as a result of this article. He had in fact not understood the implications and once he did he wanted to be clear with his intentions. This is a win for everyone, and to whatever extent we can share information and ideas to raise our collective awareness with each other and learn from each other, we say “yes!”
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ. First wall after the lock down. I wanted to paint something else, but the news over the world have made me react. What the actual fuck, people. It seems that all over the world, racism has been increasing lately…
This is just an example of what white supremacism is causing over the
world. The latest news happened in the USA, but some similar stories
happened lately in france too, With people from other origins. . This is why at first i used the sentence “All lives matter”. And then some of you explained that white supremacists were using this beautiful phrase to protest against the protests. Which led me to go correct the text on the wall. Which leaves me with a wierd feeling, like forgetting about ALL the other cases. AND I REALLY HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SUPPORTING THEIR CAUSE TOO.
I strongly encourage ALL the people over the world to keep fighting.
Bring justice to all those abused by the police, and by all acts of
racism. MAKE RACISTS ASHAMED. BE ANTI-RACIST All my support goes to all the people protesting, and fighting against racism, all over the world. ✊✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
Barcelona, Spain has begun
the process of re-opening the city from the confines of Covid-19. Lluis Olive,
a frequent BSA collaborator tells us that phase I of re-opening includes bars
and restaurants but only at 50% of their capacity. Stores under 400 square
meters are also allowed to re-open. Groups up to 15 individuals are permitted
to gather in public as well. For him this is a welcome relief for much needed
And what does a street art
fan and photographer do when you let him outside after weeks stuck in his home?
That’s right, he captures the voice of the artists in the public sphere.
Here Mr. Olive shares a few
shots on the streets of Barcelona – artists’ view on the pandemic.
So far the activity of traipsing through a town to discover new Street Art, graffiti, and murals will not put you at risk of contracting a virus.
So BSA Contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena recently took a brief trip to Cuenca, Spain and he stumbled into the Barrio San Anton.
He says that he didn’t think the offerings were bountiful but he did manage to send us a cache of new and old images from which we are very happy to share with you. The majority here are figurative, full of character, almost speaking to you.
man of leisure these days, BSA contributor Lluis Olive-Bulbena took a three day
trip to Valencia, Spain to participate in the festivities of El dia del
El Cabanyal is a 333 acre (134 hectares) neighborhood in the old part of the city by the Mediterranean Sea, backed by a series of sandy beaches and a palm treed promenade. Its name is derived by the complex of barracks along the shore where the fishermen used to live when the town was purely a fishing village.
With the passage of time and change of the Spanish economy, El Cabanyal caught the eye of the leisure class who fill the streets with souvenir shops, cafes, and late-night clubs. The fishermen went someplace else. Not surprisingly perhaps, this tourist attraction is also a hot spot for Street Art – along with the greater city of Valencia for that matter.
We are told that many Street Artists have actually set-up studio here as well. Why not? The quality of life is nice, and the cost of living is much lower than in Barcelona and Madrid.
“Have you taken down the names for your paper yet?” she asked me. “Stay by my side and I will dictate them to you: the Count and Countess of Caralt, the Marquess of Palmerola, the Count of Fígols, the Marquess of Alella, the …
~ A Barcelona Heiress, By Sergio Vila-Sanjuán
In the decade before the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona was on the verge of boiling over, and perhaps this castle in the Pyrenees mountains to the south was at its height of glory thanks to workers in its coal mines. The Count of Figols and his family enjoyed the view from the tower while the miners, some as young as 14 years old, kept toiling about 13 kilometers away – until they revolted in 1932.
“The mining company, the greater part of which was owned by Liverpool-born José Enrique de Olano y Loyzaga, First Count of Figols, prohibited union organization and paid its workforce in tokens redeemable only in the company stores.”
Revolution and the State: Anarchism in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, by Danny Evans.
Today you can hashtag Figols (#figols) on social media and you can see the tower (Torre del Compte de Fígols) and wander through the ruins of the castle (Castillo Conde de Fígols) – and discover new graffiti pieces and paintings throughout the rooms. That’s what photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena did last week when he went to check out some fresh stuff he heard was painted here about 120 km north of Barcelona. We thank him for sharing his images with BSA readers from the castle of the Count of Figols.
Typically you may expect to be praying the novena and asking God for absolution of your dastardly sins here in this sprawling compound called The Konvent near Barcelona. While no one would stop you today, you may also wish to check out a number of new installations throughout the many buildings by Street Artists.
The Roman Catholic former convent hosted 50 or so artists over the last couple of years to transform the space, perhaps to reinterpret its original charge in a modern light, perhaps just to ready the compound for commercial, cultural, and community pursuits of the owners.
Certainly the decaying spaces and austere aesthetic is inviting, calming, possibly frightening, depending on your associations. Now they are home for music, dance, theatre, film festivals, and artist residencies – often offered only in Catalan but some also in European Spanish.
As you walk through the spaces you are welcomed by these works by artists, many of them at one time or another categorized as Street Artists, whose voices now usher in a new era of contemplation and perhaps internal exploration.
Our thanks to photogapher and BSA contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena for sharing these images from El Konvent.
For more information about El Konvent please Click HERE
Dave II is an aptly comedic illustrationist with the paint can, and it is hard to believe that such potent jocularity in the hidden spots of this abandoned building wouldn’t scare you on a dark night with a flashlight in hand.
All freshly painted this year, this bounty of boffo brutes and beasts are available for you to discover lurking around the corners of this undisclosed location in the area of Barcelona, Spain, thanks to the effort exploration and documentation of frequent BSA collaborator Lluis Olive Bulbena.
A few new marine-themed murals today from Benicarló in Valencia.
The realistic romantic stylings of many a muralist is a staple of current Urban Art Festivals right now, including a new one painted by the artist named El Niño de las pinturas, who mines fantasy and history, borrowing from memories, archetypes.
Completed in July during the annual patron saint festival, this year including the third edition of the urban art initiative Camden Bló, El Nino (from Granada) was joined by Xolaka, from Alcúdia (Valencia), the Argentinian Andrés Cobre, and illustrator César Cataldo.
It’s good to see the variety of styles being favored for local festivals and great to see artists getting opportunities to paint in the public sphere – even endorsed by the ministry of culture in this small town of 26,000 along the Mediterranean coast. Special thanks to photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena, who shares his photos with BSA readers.
Summertime spray-cations are as popular for the jet-setting aerosol explorer as much as your local graffiti and Street Artist. Grabbing your bicycle, taking a bus, or simply hiking with a backpack full of cans, many writers make a full day of it, or decide to camp out at the abandoned factory, hanging with friends and listening to music.
For a photographer of Street Art and murals, its possibly just as much entertainment – just ask BSA contributor, Lluis Olive Bulbena. On vacation with his wife and grandkids between Lyon and Clemont Ferrant (about 250 km south of Paris) he discovered a compound filled with new paintings on the commune of lurcy-Lévis. Informally known as Street Art City, the project is the brainchild of Gilles Iniesta and features hundreds of works on facades out in the open and others in hidden locations – including many who have made the pilgrimage to leave their marks on the walls or inside the dilapidated rooms of Hotel 128 (more about the hotel tomorrow). .Thanks to some good crops of visiting artists this summer, it looks like rural France has a good selection of painting styles to choose from this season.
Photographer Lluis Olive took a quick
trip recently to Madrid and he did what he loves to do; took photos of graffiti
and shared with us his new discoveries. This one caught our attention.
On Calle Embajadores he found
that a mural by the Madrid based artist Okuda was dissed with “Tu Street
Art Me Sube El Alquiler” or roughly, “Your Street Art Makes My Rent Go
And the writer has a point, going
to the heart of gentrification, and its connection to art.
It goes like this: Rotten,
abandoned, vermin infested and derelict neighborhoods with large industrial
buildings left in a state of decay are “discovered” by creatives who
make them their homes and studios. Artists work to make any environment
aesthetically pleasing, and that’s often their downfall.
Last night in a Brooklyn beer
garden a buddy told us that he had taken a complete toxic dump in the lot
behind his apartment and slowly transformed it into a beautiful garden. For his
efforts, he said, the landlord wanted to raise his rent because he now has an
attractive garden apartment that he should be charging a higher price for,
according to the market. Punished for success?
This aerosol defacement of Okuda’s
mural is a partially accurate statement– at least indirectly. But let’s not
scapegoat the artist as the one to blame for gentrification. That’s an
oversimplification of a complex cycle that no one appears able to diffuse
effectively because the incentivized real estate system is surely twisted in