“Urvanity seeks to explore and thus imagine possible future scenarios for this New Contemporary Art,” they say boldly in the manifesto for this art fair/cultural platform in Madrid. A thrilling nexus is created here in this college campus of architecture where art from the streets is evolving in such ways that it is invited to come in from the street.
Whatever your perspective is on this evolution, we encourage the conversation – which usually contains elements of tribalism (various), resistance, acceptance, even euphoria. During breaks from hosting the BSA Talks this weekend we are also skipping and swerving through the crowds to look at the art that galleries have on offer.
Here we offer a very quick sample of some items that have caught our eye, looked fresh, or were indicative of larger movements in the so-called “scene”. And we use the word “scene” very loosely, because there is really not such thing as a homogeneous scene, only a constellation of them which are intersecting, coalescing, and redefining themselves. Some pieces are remarkable.
Here is the past, existing side by side with the future.
With a theme of “Theriomorphism”, curated by Okuda San Miguel with four other artists, the Pop Up exhibition just opened at Galeria Kreisler here in Madrid- and it looks like Sabek has taken the idea to the street as well.
“So it’s all about animals and
God,” say Agostino Iacurci, the Italian Street Artist, muralist, and fine
artist. “God in the shape of animals or mixing with humans.”
As you imagine human/animal hybrids your thoughts may wander to plants and sheep and bare breasted women and hooved men with erections and surrealist naturist imagery that verges on bestiality – that all seems like fair play in this cunning mix of artistic styles and fluorescent visions. Last night’s opening in a tony part of the city featured a large crowd of friends and family, including Okuda’s mom and a number of exotic and eclectically dressed hybrids as well.
But for Iacurci, it’s a domestic
matter. “My idea is more about the contemporary role of animals in our lives in
the domestic sense. I am interested in the fact that we choose some species
over others to make them into pets.”
Together with artists Bruno Pontiroli and Kristen Liu-Wong, Iacurci is listening to a gentle samba while painting in Okuda’s studio on a large canvass that will be in the show. Naturally it also has a striking multi-colored figure from Okuda as well.
The fifth artist in the show, Bordalo II created collaboratively in an aesthetic hybrid as well, a simian sculpture split in two – a parallel to the mural they completed here on the street (see Monday’s posting).
Does Agostino think that God is
involved in the selection process of our pets?
“No I think it’s human
arrogance. It’s the human being pretending to be God.”
Outside a new installation by Sabek in Plaza Callao has captured human’s imaginations – as most artworks including cats are bound to do these days. This one done in concert with Urvanity was originally scheduled to be on display until March 5th.
So successfull has the new work been that it has sparked a grassroots petition drive, gathering hundreds of community signatures to get the new sculpture to stay for much longer, even years.
How God is involved in these matters, we cannot elucidate.
Coming up during the third weekend of July will be the second installment of MIAU (The Unfinished Museum of Urban Art) in the tiny town of about 325 people named Fanzara, Spain. Begun by local artists and with a tiny budget from the local council, more than 20 Spanish and a handful of Italian street artists took part in the grassroots festival the first time around last summer, transforming homes and buildings in this aging municipality. In advance of the new paintings we bring you images of the current murals as shot by Lluis Olive Bulbena, who offers his personal account of visiting the town and getting a tour from MIAU co-founder Javier López and artist Ana Pez.
By Lluis Olive Bulbena
When I first learned of Fanzara’s Street Art I had no idea where the town was so I had to search on the Internet to locate it. The town is located about 186 miles from my own town of Barcelona in the Province of Castellón, Fanzara is about 55 miles from Valencia on the Iberian Peninsula.
Their local web page told me they had about 30 murals so my wife and I contacted the town’s office of tourism and made arrangements to meet someone there when we arrived.
Sure enough, Javi and Ana were there waiting for us and they gave us an extensive tour of the town. It was a very hot day, bathed with sun light and I had enormous problems shooting pictures because of the light. But our hosts couldn’t have been more gracious.
After our tour a drink was in order and we got a table at a bar called “Abajo” (meaning “below”). 50 meters up the street there used to be a bar called “Arriba” (above) but the owners changed the name.
Fanzara’s love for Street Art began when a group of youths began thinking of new ways to revitalize the town and Street Art was mentioned as a possibility.
They posed themselves a couple of questions to the town: Would local people want Street Art on their home’s walls? The answers came back; the majority said yes. Some said no. Many of the naysayers have now changed their minds to the yes column.
The second question: Who would they invite and under what criteria? This problem was swiftly solved as Javi was friends with a graphic designer located in Madrid named Pincho Lopez. Because of his familiarity with the mural art scene Pincho was put in charge of curating the artists who would be invited to paint.
The first group of artists included: Escif, Julieta Xlf, Deih, Laguna, Cere, Ruina, Chylo, Sabek, Xabier Xtrm, Pincho, Susie Hammer, Lolo, La Foix, Hombrelopez, Joan Tarragó, Yes, Pol Marban, Ana Pez, Rafa Gascó, Natzo, y Acció Poètica La Plana Castelló.
Once in town the artists worked tirelessly to complete the murals, big and small in just three days in September of 2014. Since the small budget did not allow for much more than paint and ladders, the town folks banded together to provide accommodations and food to the artists. In mid-January of 2015 three Italian Street Artists, Collettivo FX, Nemo’s, and Bibito, were invited to paint three additional murals.