During a recent graffiti shooting outing the Spanish photographer and BSA contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena ventured into the woods of a remote region in the North of Catalonia.
When he finally found the site, he felt like he was rewarded for his efforts.
Graffiti writers are known to seek out of the way, abandoned and neglected buildings to practice their skills and otherwise “get up”. This complex of buildings once housed a textile factory in a region famous for its textile industry – an industry that was later decimated by floods.
While the architectural details of the buildings date to the beginning of the XIX century, existing documentation tracks this site as far back as the XVII century where the factories were employed in the manufacture of gunpowder. The following century, the records show that it was processing cotton. Now this not-so-secret site is an open gallery for the curious, hidden from the general public – but open to those who know where to look.
Enjoy our first installment of two – new images from a very old place:
It comes as no surprise that the explosion of new graffiti in New York is evident across the river in Jersey City, where we have been hanging out the last few day for the Jersey City Mural Festival. And for those who know their history, it will also come as no surprise that we always dig the illegal unapproved organic graffiti and street art as much as that which has received official approval from our city fathers and mothers.
So here’s new pieces and tags from under the bridges, passageways, and inside the abandoned buildings in JC. The looseness of line and exuberance of color combinations tell us that graff kids are feeling at liberty to get up wherever necessary to get out their name. In the oceanic metaphor of ebbs and flows – this wave is flowing, bro.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Acro, Amore, Carbo, Chaos, Chees, Dzel, Gear, Hugo Girl, Jinx, Loser, Manik, MES, Nate Paints, Pesco, Reato, Rozr, Sean 9 Lugo, Serbo, Short, Sophie Xeon, Sugar, and Visit.
Happy Hannukah to all our Jewish friends this week as the festival of lights began on Thursday night. “Chag Sameach!”
Meanwhile, the Christmas jam is in full force with lights in people’s windows and in stores and yesterday in Bushwick, Brooklyn…. those little electric lights were surrounding a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe that a small group of women crossing the street was carrying at the intersection of Broadway and Myrtle. They looked like they were holding prayer books or papers with prayers on them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 2020, it culminates in a popular Catholic feast that celebrates the belief that a man encountered the Virgin Mary, Mexico’s patron saint, in Mexico City on December 9 and 12, 1531.
Speaking of Mexico, all of our Images of the Week are flown straight here from there today – sunbaked and sweet. Colectivo Tomate is the name of the group responsible for many of these brand new historically-inspired murals in Chihuahua, Mexico – and we thought we’d share this collection of new works from this warm desert-based city of a million only 4 hours from El Paso.
The collective describes itself as an independent group of young Mexicans who seek an improvement in the way of life in the cities in Mexico. They talk about using their mural works and arts programs in terms of healing communities immersed in environments of violence, extreme poverty, or social conflicts – with artistic processes, dialogue, and community work.
Aside from the fact that Mexico is the birthplace of inspiration for the great mural movement in the 20th century, it is also important to recognize that graffiti, street art, and mural art are very personal in how you define them, but those definitions are going to vary from person to person, city to city, decade to decade. It’s good to see how art in the streets here in Mexico is also building healing and strength in the community.
So a shout out to Colectivo TomateChihuahua, who is participating in this to celebrate “Chihuahua Capital Creative” – a week where they host talks, conferences, and workshops, entirely free at the Instituto de Cultura del Municipio de Chihuahua.
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Dagoz, Ale Poire, Aleida Medina, AO, Carlos Van Frankenstein, Ely Astorga, Gear, Grimp, Joaquin Salvador Navarro, Luis Miguel Lopez, MES, MiR, Mitthu, MUDA, Raul Rojas, Renik, Terrmoto, Yanely Sara, and Zoe.