All posts tagged: Nau Bostik

Ana Barriga and “Trash-pop” in Barcelona

Ana Barriga and “Trash-pop” in Barcelona

“Trash-pop” is a label that can be applied to so much that you see and hear today as an inheritor of massive consumer culture that has raged across the globe for decades.

Ana Barriga in conjunction with TÀPIA Collective Show and B-Murals Gallery. La Sagrera, Barcelona. (photo © Alex Puig Ros)

As it applies to Spanish artist Ana Barriga it is an act of salvation and reconnection to an image – reimagining its place in the modern world and examining the one it came from. Here in La Sagrera in Barcelona she is expanding the compendium of styles now assigned to the book of neomuralists. Born in Cádiz and a student at Seville’s University, her 3D knowledge may have come from her study of furniture design as well as painting.

“The image portrays one of Ana’s latest findings,” says photographer and cultural chronicler Fer Alcalá Losa as he describes the piece for you. “They are two pottery figures that create a casual but tender composition in that trash-pop style so characteristic of Barriga’s artwork, all of it with a super personal treatment of color and using different techniques such as oil painting, varnish, and spray cans.”

Ana Barriga in conjunction with TÀPIA Collective Show and B-Murals Gallery. La Sagrera, Barcelona. (photo © Alex Puig Ros)
Ana Barriga in conjunction with TÀPIA Collective Show and B-Murals Gallery. La Sagrera, Barcelona. (photo © Alex Puig Ros)
Ana Barriga in conjunction with TÀPIA Collective Show and B-Murals Gallery. La Sagrera, Barcelona. (photo © Alex Puig Ros)
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“Neo-Muralism” for TÀPIA in Spain

“Neo-Muralism” for TÀPIA in Spain

B-MURALS PRESENTS TÀPIA BY AXEL VOID

A Neo Muralist Movement. Is this what we’ll call it?

Axel Void. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)

Artist/curator Axel Void is framing it this way when inviting 24 artists to Barcelona for TÀPIA (“walls” in Catalan). Figurative muralism also comes to mind as you look over these new walls of Nau Bostik.

Graffiti writers, Street Artists, contemporary artists: all of these participate in this impermanent show, each in their own expression of realism, and poetic realism, as long as we’re feeling like coining a term.

Axel Void. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)

Traditionally in ‘street art’ these walls and spaces have presented themselves as vulnerable to the interventions of artist,” say organizers. “Blurring the edges of this physical, yet metaphorical division, between the idea of private and public.”

We’re pleased today to present original photos of the murals that were executed outdoors in conjunction with the exhibition.

Axel Void. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Axel Void. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jofre Oliveras. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jofre Oliveras. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jofre Oliveras. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Jofre Oliveras. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Cerezo, Fafa, Pollo7. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Cerezo, Fafa, Pollo7. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Cerezo, Fafa, Pollo7. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Cerezo, Fafa, Pollo7. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Cerezo, Fafa, Pollo7. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)
Cerezo, Fafa, Pollo7. TÀPIA at Nau Bostik with B-Murals in Barcelona. 2019. (photo © Fer Alcala)

“Tapia” is currently on view at B-Murals in Barcelona. The exhibition ends February 29 2020. Click HERE for more information and to see the artworks in the exhibition.

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Vermibus and the Making of “Katherine”, Interview by Fer Alcala

Vermibus and the Making of “Katherine”, Interview by Fer Alcala

Making art is brutal. Or can be. Ask Vermibus.

When the Street Artist is not taking over bus shelters and reconfiguring fashion ads into grotesque critiques of beauty culture, he has also been learning about analogic photography at Nau Bostik. The Barcelona-based cultural space has phenomenal education programs for artists to develop their skills with facilities equipped with one of the best photography laboratories in Spain.

But learning how to create a photographic print there kicked Vermibus’ butt – making him nearly quit in his pursuit to get it right.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

“One by one, the artist carefully applied liquid emulsion on sheets of 100% cotton paper of the highest quality. By contrast, the developer was applied with an expressive brush stroke, which makes each one of the pieces different and special,” says the official press release for the new print he created, called “Katherine.” It doesn’t say that he failed multiple times before he discovered that technique.

His perseverance is documented here on BSA today as photographer and cultural documenter Fer Alcala interviews Vermibus about his residency and the challenges he faced learning how to create this work.


Fer Alcala: So, you spent some weeks as a resident artist at Nau Bostik working on the Katherine print. At the same time, you were doing a workshop with some school students about adbusting, contrapublicity… Which came 1st: the creative process of the print, or having to do the workshop, where you ended up with the idea of developing Katherine at Bostik?
Vermibus: The print and the workshop were two completely different projects that took place at the same time. I was invited by Xavier Ballaz, from Difusorbcn, to give a two month workshop in Barcelona about counter-advertising from the feminism and gender theories perspective.

The challenge was to find a place where to live and work during this time in Barcelona, that’s how the art residency at Nau Bostik came across.

I was supposed to have a room and a studio there but, because of the characteristics of my materials (the solvents) we couldn’t figure out where to install it. So, I had to approach the residency in a different way.

Fortunately, Nau Bostik has an important relation with analog photography and also they have one of the biggest photo-laboratories from the country “La Perversa”. It was impossible not to feel inspired by this place.

Adapting my needs to the situation I end up develop my last print there.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: If I’m not wrong, you’ve launched 3 prints to date, using a different technique in every one of them. Could you tell us a little bit about all this and how you have chosen each process? Is it kind of a challenge for you? Is it a matter of not repeating yourself?

Vermibus: After trying them, I think other artists can profit more from techniques like giclée and screenprinting than I.

When I’m creating, I like to have an experience and I want this one to be reflected in the final work. At the same time, I’m interested in the investigation and the developing of techniques that break boundaries and open new or forgotten paths. 

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: I had the chance of spending some time with you at the laboratory witnessing the developing of Katherine. I have to say that it was a very delicate, technical and magical process. Did you have to learn this technique from zero? What was the most stressful part of it? Did any ideas about quitting the project come to your mind?

Vermibus: I knew the very basics of analog photography and I knew what I wanted to do but I had to learn how to do it, almost from zero.

Of course, I had all the problems someone could have in a laboratory, literally every single one of them.

To be in a dark-room for long periods of time, when things are not going good can be devastating. The idea of quitting came to my mind many times.

But from my experience, when nothing is working and you are close to let it go is when magic happens. During the last week of the art-residency I found out that the main problem was the composition of the paper, so I decided to give a last push and I got a beautiful top quality paper that was decisive in the production of the print.

In the end, I could have everything ready on time with the results I wanted from the beginning.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: Once Katherine was produced, you showed it in the exhibition context during Moniker Art Fair London. After all the hard work, were you happy with the results and the feedback you got from attendants, collectors, other artists?
Vermibus: The moment of showing your work is when all the pain has passed and you can enjoy. I really believe Brutally Human is the best collection of works I have done until now. The feedback was great, so it seems like the people enjoyed it too.

Fer Alcala: Is there any way to still get it?
Vermibus: I think Moniker Art Fair still have some prints left.

Fer Alcala: I would like to ask you a couple of things apart from the creative process of Katherine. I think that, while you were doing the workshop at the school, working on issues as beauty, the role of women in advertisement, gender… the La Manada rape media coverage was at its height. Did it influence the way you approached the work with the students?
Vermibus: Working with kids is something that I didn’t do before, so my approach towards the students, the profession and of course it was taken with massive respect.

I was preparing the lessons with a lot of care but adapting myself and the content to the needs of each moment So, what happened during that time with La Manada was the worst that could have happened to the girl, to her family and to womens rights in general but perfect to make young people understand the importance of respect and empathy.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: You are developing your own solvent, which I think is great. Could you explain to us why you have decided to do it and give us some tips about the technical side of it?
Vermibus: Together with Elena Gayo, a renowned conservator and restorer from Spain, I’ve been developing my own solvent.

The idea had different goals: reducing toxicity, gaining molecular stability and understanding better my technique to be able develop it.

After months of work and infinite setbacks (similar to the process of the print) I found the correct proportion of “ingredients” to create my own solvent.

Visually speaking it leaves the painting slightly smoother than the old solvent and the molecular structure is much more stable because I control the ingredients. Also, I can modify the mix because I understand what each of the solvents does individually and all together.

But the most important is that we could reduce the toxicity drastically, from a commercial solvent that was carcinogenic, neurotoxic, mutagenic and reproduction-impairing to a solvent that produces no irritation through skin contact and inhalation. And that’s a big deal.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: Is it something that you are doing for yourself or are you planning to produce it and sell it at a larger scale?
Vermibus: The solvent is absolutely adapted to my needs but who knows, maybe one day…

Fer Alcala: Tell us about your plans for 2019
Vermibus: 2018 has been a very decisive year. I spent most of my time reflecting on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, but specially with who I’m working with and with who I’m not.

I have learned a lot this year and 2019 will be the moment when all what was learned will start to materialize. That’s all I can say for now.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

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La Nau Bostik Dispatch: A Barcelona Cultural Haven Filled by Murals

La Nau Bostik Dispatch: A Barcelona Cultural Haven Filled by Murals

Images today from La Nau Bostik, an artist run complex in Barcelona that aims to be sustainable, inspirational, and a breathing living cultural oasis. By most accounts, it succeeds wildly.

Murals often accompany citizen-run cultural initiatives and art spaces like these, frequently to great effect. The spaces are raw and neglected and needs a sense of life and color; new narratives to fill the space with interactions and hopefully inspire collaboration.

Juanjo Surace. Detail. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Xavier Basiana and his cultural compatriots have established a community cultural and intellectual place in a settlement of ex-industrial warehouses over the last decade along the train tracks in La Sagrera, and the once barren soil now sprouts an ever growing crop of portraits, characters, fantasies, political and social messages.

In cities that we have the opportunity to visit we occasionally get to see these vibrant spaces like La Nau Bostik, now a cultural fixture that draws thousands throughout the year for a rich mix of programming and engagement. Surrounded by great organic works on the walls by fine artists and current or former Street Artists and graffiti writers, the environment seems to foster a re-generation of people-fueled ideas for progress, problem solving and dreaming.

Ivan Floro. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Without the synergistic effects of weaving all of these elements of education, celebration, theater, academic examination, civic engagement, the plastic arts, performance, labor, and commerce, these places may not be able to offer a safe place for free thought and internal exploration. As ever, it is the combined effect of a variety of talents that creates the greater sum. With so many factors and parties at play, maintaining a sense of balance is an ongoing goal.

Today we are happy to visit this arts space via the camera work of photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena, who we thank for sharing his images with BSA readers.

Miquel Wert. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

SM172. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Ant Carver. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

MAR. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Tim Marsh. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Vassilis Rebelos. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

OneTruth Bros. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Oxalien . Konair. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

Juanjo Surace. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo LluÍs Olivé Bulbena)

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“Nau Bostik” Invigorates La Sagrera District in Barcelona

“Nau Bostik” Invigorates La Sagrera District in Barcelona

Portraits, characters, surrealistic scenes and a range of illustration styles all reigned at the Nau Bostik festival in the La Sagrera neighborhood of Barcelona this summer. Organizing the painted component of the festival were folks from the Open Walls Conference and Difusor in a collaborative program to bring a new cultural infusion of life to this former industrial center.

Ralf Urban (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

These walls are what stand long after the film festival, craft beer festival, conference discussions, food trucks, children’s dance program, photography exhibition and musical performances leave. Contrary to the image of Street Art and graffiti in the margins of society, in the case of these twenty or so muralists from a variety of backgrounds, painting in the public sphere is an integral part of the programming of a communities future, rather than a sign of its degradation.

We’re pleased that photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena shares some of the images he captured at Bostik Murals this summer with BSA readers.

BToy (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

BToy (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

El Rughy (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Simon Vazquez (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Twee Muizen (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Ox Alien (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

SheOne (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

SheOne (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Manu Manu (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Fau Art (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Fau Art (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

David Petroni (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Syrup (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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