All posts tagged: Portugal

Aïda Gómez Choreographs Live “Stop” and “Go” in Portugal

Aïda Gómez Choreographs Live “Stop” and “Go” in Portugal

Aïda Gómez is using urban space as her stage and her laboratory with her recently directed public performance in Porto, Portugal. A matter of daily city life and self-governance, our reliance upon the presumably reliable mechanized interchanging of the illuminated figure symbol is unquestioned.

Here he/she is telling us to go and to stop; our obeyance is so ingrained in us as a patterned behavior that it doesn’t reach the upper region of consciousness most days.

Aïda Gómez. Mr. Red & Mr. Green. Portugal. (photo © Aïda Gómez)

A simple personification of the figures here on a crosswalk jolts people out of their pattern, and the minimalistic approach is without reproach. Here is this red mime in sneakers gesturing with a full range of body signals delivered in the spirit of mimicry, cautiously enacting hesitation, a suspense of action, pensive waiting.

Aïda Gómez. Mr. Red & Mr. Green. Portugal. (photo © Aïda Gómez)

The red figure is suddenly replaced by the green one; drolly sauntering, strolling, skipping, rolling across the walkway – a fully formed figurative performance of the various expectable and acceptable mechanics involved for propelling a human forward through space.

Aïda Gómez. Mr. Red & Mr. Green. Portugal. (photo © Aïda Gómez)

A curiosity? Yes. Mesmerizing? Maybe. An opportunity to draw attention to a few lines from the civic code of our programmed public behavior? Definitely.

See a video of the performance at the end of this post.

Aïda Gómez. Mr. Red & Mr. Green. Portugal. (photo © Aïda Gómez)

Aïda Gómez. Mr. Red & Mr. Green. Portugal. (photo © Aïda Gómez)

Aïda Gómez. Mr. Red & Mr. Green. Portugal. (photo © Aïda Gómez)

 

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SEBS Skewers Seductive Techniques of Consumer Ad Language in Portugal

SEBS Skewers Seductive Techniques of Consumer Ad Language in Portugal

Whether it’s the sarcastic stickers from MAD Magazine for Snarlamint cigarettes, Wacky Package trading cards for Crust toothpaste, or that first Saturday Night Live ad for Loggs, the pantyhose for tree-stumps, artists have been lampooning the misleading advertising culture that has fed rampant mindless consumerism for decades.

Early Street Art activists like the Billboard Liberation Front skewered cigarette makers for tying rustic masculinity to cancer-causing tobacco and Ron English liberated a number of billboards by making a humorous and direct link between fast food, children’s morning cereal and chronic obesity – eventually producing toys of commercial mascots in porcine proportions.

SEBS. Amadora, Portugal. July 2018. (photo © SEBS)

In the same spirit we find a few new satiric advertisements today by Street Artist SEBS, who created these colorful attacks on city walls in Loures City and Amodora City not far from Lisbon, Portugal.

“This work is a continuation of the ‘Slaves ‘R’ Us’ campaign that I have been doing,” he tells us. His particular targets this time are fat-free potato chips, the slowly creeping practice of the implantation of RFID electronic chips in people, and a slot machine where you play to win a disease.

SEBS. Loures, Portugal. July 2018. (photo © SEBS)

SEBS. Loures, Portugal. July 2018. (photo © SEBS)

SEBS. Amadora, Portugal. July 2018. (photo © SEBS)

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Trash Talk: Bordalo II in His Hometown

Trash Talk: Bordalo II in His Hometown

Just as we started 2018 we had the fortune to spend one week in the enchanting city of Lisbon, Portugal as ambassadors for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN). Lisbon is home to some great Street Art and graffiti and some striking figures on the international scene like Vhils and Bordalo II and we spent some hair raising and fun rides with the latter in his small car as he flew around corners and trash flew around in the back seat.

Of course there was trash in the back seat! Bordalo II has created a spectacular practice of creating street works from it that shock passersby with his ingenuity – while raising our collective consciousness about our responsibility to the earth.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So we thought you may like to see a collection of them together today. While combing the narrow, winding and steep streets of Lisbon we made many artistic discoveries, large and small, of the prolific and magnificent urban art expressions throughout the port town.

A number of deliciously trashy sculptures of Bordallo II had just appeared all over the city in the previous months to highlight his solo exhibition that took place in November. Others have been installed on the streets for a while and one in particular was specifically made the eve of Christmas…not so much as a celebration but as a commentary on the inordinate waste that follows, once the food is eaten, the libations had and the presents opened.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now BSA is heading to Tahiti to participate on the 5th anniversary of ONO’U Tahiti and we’ll have the pleasure of spending a few days with Bordalo II  again! Stay tuned to see what trouble he and Pixel can get into.

We published two in-depth Lisbon accounts from that visit trip HERE and HERE.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Lisbon Part II: Where Street Art is Becoming “Urban Contemporary”

Lisbon Part II: Where Street Art is Becoming “Urban Contemporary”

Street Art, graffiti, and murals are adding to the cultural character of Lisbon streets, this is undisputed. A quick tour of a museum show, a gallery exhibition, a hybrid art supply store/residency, and an artist’s studio give you an idea of the spirited and inventive contributors who are affecting the cityscape from behind closed doors as well.  Just ask artists and organizers here in the Portuguese capital a few questions and you’ll hear (and see) how the Street Art and graffiti scene graffiti scenes are also evolving to fine art and “urban contemporary”.

An Escher Show Reminds Us of His Influential Eye


Our look inside Lisbon begins with a visit to the M.C. Escher exhibition at the Museu de Arte Popular, which lays on a tract of land between Avenida de Brasília and the lapping waves of the waterfront. For some reason you always start or end near the water here, perhaps because this is where the city’s complex history brings you with nearly three centuries of international trade, culture and maritime lore forms the the foundation of this rich culture.

What brings us here today is the eclectic Dutch graphic artists work that is in our minds directly related to Street Art for a couple of reasons. A serendipitous intersection of visiting while the traveling exhibition stopped here, we had no idea that Escher’s original drawings of architecture and impossible spaces would be so handily on display for us to visually interrogate – and the artists’ wit and guile locked us into his gaze for an afternoon.

M.C. Escher. Museu De Arte Popular. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Known perhaps best for his works popularized during the surrealist and op art youth culture of 1960s and 70s, his mathematically-inspired illusions on famous rock album covers, posters, and advertisements are often reflected in the works of Street Artists today who also play with photorealism, hyperrealism, and flights of rhythmic visual fancy.

M.C. Escher. Museu De Arte Popular. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Secondly, as we had previously learned from architect Dennis Leo Hegic in Berlin, who was deeply involved in the design of the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) interiors, Escher’s famous drawings had inspired the museums walkway that wends its way overhead throughout the space. We were eager to examine many of the drawings which effectively play on bending perspective.

At any given point along the path of that walkway you are granted views near and far but you are unsure exactly how, and as you tour the artworks on walls you feel yourself inperceptibly rising and lowering your own angle. It may give the impression that you are in some way inside an Escher riddle yourself.

M.C. Escher. Museu De Arte Popular. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As museum curators at the UN, we were interested to see the original works of visual play that inspired the Graft Architects team to create the stunning interior of the haus in Berlin. We also better understood why Hegic refers to Graft as “the Rock´n´Rollers within the German architecture.”

M.C. Escher. Museu De Arte Popular. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The darkened corridors of the exhibit itself seemed to play tricks on our bearings as we looked upon Eschers “subjects and patterns of mathematical precision, impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry and perspective.”

Into the Gallery with Underdogs


Gallery Manager Raul Carvahlo leads us through the Mário Belém exhibition on display in the former industrial low-rise building that houses the Underdogs Gallery down by the river in an area of the city many remember for old factories and which is now becoming better known for its vast warehouses accommodating the city’s startup and coworking scene.

Mário Belém. Detail. Underdogs Gallery. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“He always has this surreal quality,” says Raul about the 50 or so paintings, reliefs, lazer wood-cut sculptures, and suspended mobile installations by Belém that surround three sides of the pitched ceilinged space. “He uses his work to express his fantasy world and he is quite gifted with a number of techniques.”

Owned and guided by one of Lisbon’s best known Street Artist’s Vhils (Alexandre Farto), Carvahlo says that the 400 sm space is meant to act as a platform that provides support and encouragement to local and younger artists as well as the bigger names.

Mário Belém. Detail. Underdogs Gallery. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As an internationally recognized portraitist known for an unusual technique of blasting away the façade of a building to reveal the personality hidden within it, Vhils and the gallery also partner with and feature the occasional international Street Artist sensation like last year’s Shepard Fairey show, where the two collaborated on a street wall. This spring a full-scale exhibition blow-out by Downtown New York 1990s Street Art icon WK Interact is happening in the gallery with a large scale work also on the street.

Since the Underdogs space opened in 2013 and the initiative began in 2010, Vhils and company have invited a powerhouse parade of former or current Street Artists like Nunca, Sainer, Finok, Okuda San Miguel, How Nosm, Pixel Pancho, Remed, Cyrcle, Anthony Lister, and Felipe Pantone to mount shows and murals here – effectively putting the city on the map for high-quality international urban contemporary art.

Mário Belém. Detail. Underdogs Gallery. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Notably Underdogs has also provided their platform to more conceptual artists in the Street Art/public art scene like Pedro Matos, Wasted Rita and ±MaisMenos±, perhaps indicating a healthy respect for cerebral engagement and interventions that are not primarily aesthetic.

Among the local talents, the gallery also gives support to artists like André da Loba the illustrator and sculptor known for his 2-D emblematic works in publications like the New York Times and Washington Post as well as the illustrator AkaCarleone, a 33 year-old Portuguese former graffiti writer now commercial illustration/graphic artist who has worked commercially with a number of international brands. He has also created a municipal wall mural in the city and elsewhere.

Mário Belém. Detail. Underdogs Gallery. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We’ve been working with him for quite a few years now and in 2018 we will be doing a big show with him,” says Raul of the poppy bright politics-free collages of typography, characters, and geometric forms. Later when touring with Carvalho through Lisbon streets we see on a rising hillside in the more historic part of town a large mural by AKACarleone overlooking the valley below, visible from many vantage points.

Mário Belém. Underdogs Gallery. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Propaganda Posters, Art Supplies, and Street Art Tours


As a more accessible and commercial extension to the brand The Underdogs Gallery works collaboratively with their storefront space on Rua da Cintura in Porto de Lisboa only a 15 minute drive along the waterfront from here.

20th Century Propaganda Posters culled from the personal collection of Alexandre Farto AKA VHILS exhibited at the Underdogs Store. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Shaped like a red brick channel that opens on one end into the Tagus River estuary that flows past into the Atlantic, the Underdogs store is part art supplies, print store, exhibition space, café, and mural tour company. In addition it just happens to have two small artist residencies above looking over (and on display for) art fans and tourists who make the small spot into a bustling and vibrant hub.

20th Century Propaganda Posters culled from the personal collection of Alexandre Farto AKA VHILS exhibited at the Underdogs Store. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Raul tells us it is a family affair for Farto, with a father in business who acts as integral advisor and guide as Vhils continues to expand an international presence and nutures the business on many aspects of Street Art-graffiti-contemporary art here.

A member of an early 2000s loosely formed artist collective called Visual Street Performance that held annual exhibitions, a co-organizer of the seminal Crono Project in 2010/11 with Pedro Soares Neves and Angelo Milano, and more recently co-curator of the MURO Urban Art Festival, his is a formidable creative force that influences the flow of this multi-player and quickly professionalizing scene.

Prints for sale at the Underdogs Store. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Beginning as a graffiti vandal writing his name in Seixal on the outskirts of Lisbon, Vhils now works with the government on occasion to facilitate public art projects and uses his own high profile art practice to spread socio-political goodwill internationally while proudly promoting his own heritage and city.

Underdogs Store on the foreground with the Montana store on the background sharing the same space. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Underdogs Store. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In Studio with Add Fuel


Another local talent that Underdogs works with is Diogo Machado, otherwise known as Add Fuel. A trained graphic designer and illustrator well versed in the language of skating and his own youth as a graffiti writer, he’s become known internationally for his characters and his large-scale stencil-painted murals that incorporate the classic and traditional visual patterning of Portuguese tile work, or Azulejo.

On an overcast day his buddy and slightly younger peer, the sculptural Street Artist who works with recycled trash, Bordallo II, offers to take us to Cascais, a coastal town 30 kilometers west of Lisbon, where Add Fuel lives and has his studio.

Add Fuel. Studio Visit. Cascais, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The brightly lit and spotless split level studio has a public viewing room in the front and his office/studio in the back, where a firing kiln that Bordallo II likes to experiment with sits in the corner. The two of them assemble a number of materials together and load them into the kiln while we gaze at the primarily blue and white artworks of symmetrical repetitions interspersed with Pop and cartoon elements that he is better known for in galleries.

While we visit the two of them break off into rapid-fire Portuguese conversations about some collaborative projects they are working on – and we learn that Add Fuel often gives his rejected tiles and discards to the recycling Bordallo II. “For me there are no mistakes,” says Bordallo II, “I love mistakes.”

Add Fuel. Studio Visit. Cascais, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Add Fuel shows us screen prints, giclee high definition prints, lithographs, and multi-tile mounted works that he has for sale or is shipping to galleries and art fairs throughout Europe and the US. He even has created textiles – covering a chair using a technique called sublimation on fabric to reproduce the patterning of his tile creations.

“I think I have a lot of inspiration from cartoons and from 80s skate culture,” he says. “I also like Jim Phillips’ work. He made so many great skate graphics at that time. I sort of mix and match and create my own cartoon style. There are always some elements that people will recognize like some Disney character’s hands or some old cartoon characters’ eye but they are all sort of mixed together.”

Add Fuel. Studio Visit. Cascais, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Working with the DNA strands of Portuguese design that go back centuries may scare some artists, but Add Fuel considers it an inheritance that he respects and has the latitude to mess with to make it accessible to modern audiences.

“I also use similar elements of the original tiles,” he says showing you the tiles that Lisbon buildings are skinned in. “Like this geometric one is a very traditional Portuguese or Mediterranean pattern and I just added some small details, why not?”

Add Fuel. Studio Visit. Cascais, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II interjects, “You just f**ked it up.” The chide is answered rapidly.

“Yeah I just steal stuff, you know?,” Add Fuel retorts playfully. “Its not all from my imagination, I just stole it.”

Add Fuel. Studio Visit. Cascais, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Then he turns to another tile work. “This one here is actually a two model pattern – is based on 13th century Portuguese leather work- small details that were in leather belts. But once tile making began the tile makers often took patterns from leather making and iron making as well. So many of the ornamental aspects that you see in tiles come from other artisans as well. I also grabbed them and then made them into something new.”

This moment is ripe for art in the streets for Lisbon, and based on the conversations we had and the artists and curators we met in galleries, museums, and studios, the collaborative action inside the door is as lively as the stuff out in public.

 


With most gratitude to Raul Carvalho, General Manager of Underdogs Gallery and to Pedro Soares Neves for taking the time to talk to us, for sharing their knowledge and insights with us and for showing us around Lisbon. Sincere thanks as well to Diogo Machado AKA Add Fuel for letting us visit his studio and for Bordallo II for taking us there.

 

 

This is the second of two articles with BSA in Lisbon in collaboration with UN Berlin, it was originally published on the Urban Nation website, and the project is funded in part with the support of Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin.

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Converting Gold From Our Waste: “Bordalo II / 2011 – 2017”

Converting Gold From Our Waste: “Bordalo II / 2011 – 2017”

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

Are those Ai Weiwei bicycles clustered and suspended in the air overhead? Rather they are stored here like a 3 layer spoke, wheel, and frame cake, pressed to the side of this bricked wall tin-roof warehouse along with rolling office chairs waving their legs in the air like little lady bugs stuck on their backs.

Everything here has been pressed into position by the small mountains of white garbage bags filled with something soft, like dollops of whipped cream. The entire confection is sprinkled across the top with lanterns and light fixtures plucked from decades of the last half-century.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

Such is the splendid stuff of dreams and discovery for Bordalo II, the Lisbon-based Street Artist and maker of garbage relief animal portraits in cities across the world.

These are the things that when arranged on shelves and in placed relation to a floor plan, within parameters and boundaries of our mundanity, will comprise a perfect environment of domesticity; full of memory, associative emotion, symmetry. Objects, materials melted and poured, carved and plain, screwed and snapped, polished and sprayed, emulsified, inset, extruded, coiled, soldiered, plated, woven. These dimensional collections of matter matter to us. Metal alloy. Plastic polymer. Blown glass. Rubber, copper, steel, bakelite, particle board, glue.

Disarrange. You create chaos, disruption, disunity, discontent. Arrange again and create a muskrat, a buck deer, a petulant parakeet, an undulant octopus.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

Bordalo II, so-named after his watercolor master grandfather Real Bordalo who passed last year at 91, has in six or seven short years made a name for himself with your garbage, refusing to allow it to go to the junkyard or to float in the ocean just yet.

“After surveying the variety of offerings that included industrial, commercial, and consumer detritus, he speedily chose what appear to me to be a random bunch of junk,” writes five-decade photographer of urban art and artists, Martha Cooper about how he captured her interest.

“It was a genuine pleasure to watch an animal evolve before everyone’s eyes. As I watched him create the sculptural mural I was amazed to see how he utilized the shapes, textures, and aesthetic qualities of the found items to recreate the octopus in such a true-to-life manner.”

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

Hers and others’ observations and essays are collected in “Bordalo II, 2011-2017” released in concert with his massive solo show “Attero” this November in Lisbon. A graffiti writer as a youth with his crew R315 Dream Team, the artist credits the three years at the Fine Arts Faculty in his city for allowing him to discover sculpture and to experiment with different materials, seducing him away from strictly painting. With it he is creating critique of our love of “things” and the excesses of consumerism, especially those excesses that are endangering wildlife.

“Bordalo is a master of our refuse,” says writer and critic Carlo McCormick, “what we throw way in our endless glut of consumption, the ideas, sensibilities and dreams we discard in the name of progress and all that accumulates unwanted, ignored, and even reviled by society’s voracious appetite for something disposable.” McCormick looks carefully at the implications of such an art practice and praises Bordalo II for the sharp tongue he brings to a sometimes superficial conversation occurring in the Street Art scene.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

No hero is he, nor does he pretend to be. Rather Bordalo II uses his work to remind us of our integral part of a cycle that includes everyone and everything. João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the Portuguese Minister of Environment adds his voice to those in this unassuming but powerful tome after laying out the treacherous story of our trash.

Speaking of Bordalo’s work, Mr. Fernandes writes,” It calls to our attention the choices we make in our everyday life, and to the consequences of our actions. And he does so in a scathing fashion, which I thoroughly enjoy, by using trash to represent some of the more emblematic species which our behavior puts at risk.”

It’s a brief snapshot of the artist in motion, with surely more evolutions to come. Ever the delicious quipster with the poetic tongue, McCormick lauds the street trash wizard.

“And in this world where we choke the planet with out incessant rubbish, let us celebrate those alchemical artists like Bordalo II who have that rare gift of being able to turn shit into gold.”

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal.

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Add Fuel and “OVERLAPANHA” in Viseu, Portugal

Add Fuel and “OVERLAPANHA” in Viseu, Portugal

Today we have a fresh look at a new piece by Portuguese Street Artist/muralist Add Fuel. Titled “OVERLAPANHA”, the freshly painted wall in Viseu is part of the Tons de Primavera Festival which just ran this weekend.

Typically Add Fuel studies the local craft of tile making and traditions that are honored in a region, as well as their significant histories, before beginning his sketches – and this new one is no different. The modern aspect of these traditional patterns in the “ripping away” illusion he creates, providing the illusion of seeing something hidden, perhaps gaining understanding of the present by studying the past.

Add Fuel. Tons de Primavera Festival 2017, Viseu, Portugal. (photo © Add Fuel)

different.

Here we find that one of the oldest established wine regions in the country (located in the Dão region) provides plenty of design inspiration and his patterning is revelatory. For those who know this precise work and Add Fuel’s native tile making influences, this blue and white tableau is a very classic and traditional Portuguese style.

“This is the result of an exploration on how two distinct quadrilateral shapes can inhabit in the same space and how this experience can be occupied by a semi-human component,” he says, “depicted as the romantic act of simply ‘holding’ ”.

Add Fuel.  Detail. Tons de Primavera Festival 2017, Viseu, Portugal. (photo © Add Fuel)

Add Fuel. Detail. Tons de Primavera Festival 2017, Viseu, Portugal. (photo © Add Fuel)



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Labrona and DB on the Road, Dispatch From Portugal

Labrona and DB on the Road, Dispatch From Portugal

“I didn’t get invited to paint anywhere this winter so I made my own street art trip,” says Labrona of his new wheat-pastes in Portugal. “It’s sort of a throw back to before mural festivals, when we just did stuff on the streets.”

Is that Buster Keaton? Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

A clear distinction is made thusly, between the multitude of public-private-commercial mural initiatives that artists are participating in these days and the practice of creating Street Art, which is necessarily self initiated, without permission, an autonomous performance or intervention in public space. To merge these terms and practices is to disregard the significance of the distinction between.

Furthermore, this is not new. There just happen to be a lot of mural festivals right now and organizers sometimes misappropriate the term “street art” when in describing events. We can help.

DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

But we’ve digressed a little from Labrona and DB, who took a trip to Lisbon and set up shop. “We rented a place and turned it into a studio for 10 days and made a bunch of wheatpastes,” Labrona says. The figurative, character-driven painted pieces began to appear in this city that is known today as much for its Street Art as it is for its hills.

A painter with a studio practice, DB hadn’t done Street Art previously, says Labrona, so it is interesting to see what choices DB makes for his work here in the public realm where it suffers the indignities of abuse and neglect. As ever, we are also interested whether the placement has a particular contextual component or whether he uses the existing architecture as a framing device.

Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

It is also significant to some observers how choices are made for the new wheatpastes to interact with pre-existing graffiti – sometimes in tandem, to the side of or sometimes directly pasted upon it, possibly angering the graff writer, maybe not. Because of the temporary quality of wheatpasted paper, the aerosol work will probably outlive it anyway. Sometimes a big bubble tag seems like an intentional background or co-actor. Other times a quickly dashed tag looks like it is not considered at all.

These are all metrics and filtering devices, and subjective ones at that. How an aesthetic expression hits an individual in that moment of discovery is as real as it gets.

Their dual experiments ended after 10 days and Labrona says he carried on solo for the rest of his trip, with some pieces appearing to have been drawn directly on the walls or doors – which rather lessens the distance between studio practice and street practice.

DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

This may be Picasso staring angrily from the corner at Labrona’s amorous couple, we aren’t sure. Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona and DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

DB. Lisbon, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona Porto, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona Porto, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona Porto, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona Porto, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

Labrona Porto, Portugal. Spring 2017 (photo © Labrona)

 

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MTO Makes You Stand On Your Head to See “Worker Ghetto Box”

MTO Makes You Stand On Your Head to See “Worker Ghetto Box”

Sometimes it is a good idea to turn your style upside down.

MTO often uses photo-realistic figures and a measure of biting sarcasm to capture you – riveting your eyes to a luscious rendering whose meaning you must decipher. As if to challenge himself this time in Portugal he has stripped away the eye candy and flipped your expectation onto its head.

Ironically that may be the best way to view this new piece in Loures – while standing on your head.

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MTO “Worker Ghetto Box” Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © MTO)

As if to say that immigrants are tossed into the neglected areas of a city like a shipping box, MTO created this “Worker Ghetto Box” at the crossing of Rua Agostinho and Rua Pero Escobar to cause you to think for a minute.

How well do you know the lives of the people who are working all around you? How many economies are propped up by immigrant communities? Why are they often relegated to the forgotten areas of cities, gently barred from participation in the greater city, denied the pleasant niceties afforded to wealthier neighborhoods?

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MTO “Worker Ghetto Box” Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © MTO)

“The ‘Quinta do Mocho’ neighborhood has been considered for many years as a dangerous area,” says MTO, “the hood is very poor and composed of a huge majority of African immigrants.” That’s why you see the vast seal of Africa on the upside-down cardboard box, a reference to the contained community that is not invited to integrate with the greater city of Loures, but none-the-less works in its low-wage sector and contributes to the tax base and cultural richness.

By creating the “O Bairro i o Mundo” festival, the Municipality of Loures worked with the city council and the the association Theatre IBISCO to create the project of 30 murals on facades all around the neighborhood. They say they wanted to build foot-traffic through the area and to deliberately change the image and eliminate stigma, using artistic intervention to regenerate interest in the area and to encourage new immigrants to feel connected to the greater population.

Now with this mural by MTO, passersby may get one more perspective on the immigrant experience, and want to turn that box right-side up.

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MTO “Worker Ghetto Box” Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © MTO)

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MTO “Worker Ghetto Box” Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © MTO)

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/O-Bairro-i-o-Mundo/370204329765600

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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“Slaves ‘R’ Us” : Advertising, Propaganda, and SEBS in Lisbon

“Slaves ‘R’ Us” : Advertising, Propaganda, and SEBS in Lisbon

The power of advertising and propaganda is undisputed, whether it is for toothpaste or war. We are being acted upon daily by people who would like us to do (or not do) something.  Usually it is to give money for a product or service, but more than ever it is to stand by and allow bombs to fall or laws to be eroded.

Artists have been parodying the methods of advertisement and our willingness to be swayed by it almost since it began, perhaps as a way of alerting us of the deleterious effects of unthinking consumerism in general, or to give us the tools to comprehend and analyze the methods that are effectively driving our behavior.  Invariably, our actions as individuals, citizens, and consumers are all folded into the critique.

 
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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

But whether it is the illustrated stickers of Wacky Packages  or the cereal killers and billboard takeovers of Ron English, many artists have found that humor and irony are effective ways to sweeten the lampoon of advertisers and our complicity – a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, as Mary Poppins sang.

Street Artist Mauro Carmelino, who writes SEBS as his moniker, recently completed an entire campaign of his own that questions many things we do and wonders if we are even aware of the lines between citizenry and consumerism we traverse these days.

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

Entitled “Slaves ‘R’ Us”, this series of handmade works are on the walls of Ajuda, a civil parish in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. Bright and simple designs that are cheerful enough, even if they belie a less pleasant series of questions for pondering.

“Democracy, the environment, freedom, security, employment and corporatism are all portrayed as products of a ‘Progress’ that seems to reach the expiration date,” he says as he describes the various elements in the campaign. In Carmelino’s view, our free will is seriously in question today.  “We look back to past societies and feel we came a long way. Did we? Are we free when all our lives can be crunched into zeros and ones, somewhere on a server in California?”

The work looks welcoming and cartoonish on these aged walls and buildings, and if the artists intentions are realized, his greater messages will have an affect on the mind of the viewer. It helps that some of the locations of the walls provides a bit of context, like the silo-shaped building that has a warning about cow milk, “Some of these are inspired by the personal stories of people or are somehow related to the intervened walls,” says the artist.

Special thanks to the artist for providing these exclusive photos for BSA readers.

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

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SEBS, or Mauro Carmelino in Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Mauro Carmelino)

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Cane Morto Spray and Roll for 60 Days In Lisbon

Cane Morto Spray and Roll for 60 Days In Lisbon

It’s very hard to see love as a force, as a power, but it is a reality.

For some it may be difficult to see art, much less unsanctioned public art, as a force for love and unmitigated passion. However it can be that as well.

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

We are not sure if those are the exact aims of Cane Morto over the course of 60 days (and nights) in Lisbon. But how else can you explain this force that drives and accompanies them? Working on something they call a secret project, this series of photos shows the sometimes grueling, sometimes langorous pace and profile of this always-experimenting troupe of Italian troubadors.

As ever it is Cane Morto’s misshapen figures, monstrous mugs, and obliquely Picassoesque references to longing and fear and God that roll themselves across surfaces in this Portuguese capital that full of museums and, increasingly, Street Artists inside as well as outside of them. The coarse work is rough-hewn and unwinding, unraveling, reforming; at times an energy hardly contained, perhaps because to do so would be a sacrilege – better to barely capture it here by camera than with a cage, this dead dog.

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

 

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

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Cane Morto: 60 Days in Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal. 2014. (photo © Tanguy Bombonera)

 

Thank you to Tanguy Bombonera for sharing these images with BSA readers.

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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PANTØNIO Races Rabbits Underground in Lisbon

PANTØNIO Races Rabbits Underground in Lisbon

PANTØNIO from Portugal has been racing with the rabbits across buildings, facades, and last week into a parking garage. The last time we published his rapid liquid rabbits was a year ago when he encircled a room at the La Tour Paris 13 installation. Today we get a look at the process for this underground work that appears to pull you quickly along up and down the ramp into the subterranean parking.

“I thought this theme would be appropriate,” he says of the aqua and blue blurring mob of burrowing bunnies, “It is a metaphor for the aggressive nature of shoppers sometimes when they are in cars and in shopping malls like this.” Yeah, you can see where PANTØNIO is headed with this hare racing scene and you can check it a little closer by clicking the image below.

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

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PANTØNIO. Lisbon, Portugal. September 2014. (photo © Francisco Gomes)

 

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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