Maybe its because animals are safe subjects to paint and make it
past the neighborhood censors, maybe its because they are handily metaphoric
when it comes to communicating a complicated or difficult idea. Maybe it is
just because they are cute and everybody on Instagram is going to offer a
clever rejoinder on your new painting in Miami, you cool dude/dudette.
From unicorns to hippos to lions and alligators, the street is
full of them right now around every corner in the Wynwood District and you can
still enjoy them until the neighborhood becomes so developed that they kill
them all. Well not all of them. One or two will still be creeping up on you in
the occasional abandoned lot that has a high tax bill or a hefty remediation of
toxic soil that still makes it too pricey for potential investors.
All of that wild conjuring aside, here is a selection of currently
running creatures of the gritty urban jungle in this humid and hot southern
city for you to marvel at.
Miguel Ángel Sánchez AKA SATURNO is an artist from a small town near Barcelona in Spain. A self-taught painter and illustrator, he’s become a recognized name in the European graffiti scene since he began in 1995, biting off a bigger piece of fame with each project.
Since 2012 he’s developed his own, unmistakable style that frightens and thrills in equal measure, and he has been painting his fantastical creations on walls big and small across Europe. With an illustration style that boasts ultra-real monsters and characters of exaggerated proportions and serious high gloss, he’s led and collaborated on many commercial projects and brands in the last few years with fire-breathing success.
The 2019 edition of Art Basel/Wynwood this past December allowed him to showcase his imagination and skills in quite remarkable ways on a couple of murals in Wynwood, Miami. One, in particular, is this astoundingly baroque beast dressed in the finest regal threads, dripping jewels, and saliva with bulging eyes and a voracious appetite for consumption.
Fans say Saturno examines the subconscious and darker aspects of people and behaviors with his work – which may lead one to conclude that this epic character is a thinly veiled metaphor for opportunist alligators whom you may meet here who are trolling flamboyantly through this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, regaling themselves with so many shiny baubles. Certainly this reptilian socialite is audacious and confidently showy, and Saturno has hit gold with a likeness that is both repulsive and compelling.
This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas ( Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first “No Borders Festival.”
Called “Murs Contra el Murs”, which is Catalan for “Walls Against Walls”, the multi-mural festival intends to highlight the ongoing humanitarian crises of refugees and immigrants at international borders around the world.
Graffiti artists, Street Artists, painters, and illustrators came together to create new murals to speak to the issue and encourage debate and conversation. Artists included Btoy, Carles G.O’D, Dixon, Eledu, Enric Sant, Javier Arribas, Juanjo Surace, Julieta XLF, Kenor, Kram, Pincho, Roc Blackblock, Ruina, Saturno, Simón Vázquez, Tutzo, and Wati Bacán, among others.
BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about
the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates,
art and documentaries.
They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:
“Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.”
usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to
Our sincere thanks to photographer Lluís Olive for sharing his shots of the walls with BSA readers.
For more information on the festival running through March 3rd that includes documentaries, panel discussions, workshops, and prints, please go to https://noborders.es/ and follow @nobordersrefugees on Instagram
Sekone caught our eye in this Spanish Oceanside town of 36,000 recently with this mural that gets it all backwards – nevermind the handstyle.
Carballo in Galicia on the northwest tip of Spain is home to the Rexenera Fest, a mural festival that gathers local and international urban artists like Curiot (Mexico), Sekone (Galiza), Pixel Pancho (Valencia), Jorit (Italy), Aryz, Isaac Cordal (Galiza), Cinta Vida (Catalunya, and AnimitoLand (Argentina). Now planning for a fourth year, the town is blessed with some high quality works and photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena shares some of the loot with BSA readers here today.
What’s for dessert? You may think of public mural festivals as the final dish that is pleasing to the eye and sweet beyond belief.
DESORDES CREATIVAS (Creative Desserts) is a festival of urban art in a city called Ordenes, about 40 kilometers north of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain’s Galicia region, and it has specialized in art of the finished mural for about a decade.
Organizers of the urban/suburban/almost rural festival in this city of 160,00 are proud to tell you that nearly 80% of the original murals since the beginning are still running, a testament to the regard the community has for the formal works. Today we have excellent images by photographer Lluís Olivé Bulbena to give you an idea of the quality of the works.
We appreciate the delicious and colorful murals of course, but for this years collection we also dig the installation of a nonsensical labyrinth in the middle of a public square by Madrid’s SpY – which isn’t as obvious when you are on the ground.
Instead the installation recalls endless lines at sundrenched summer music festivals or the Lisbon airport passport control that seem to actually get longer as time goes by. These photos from Desorders Creativas show that the SpY piece is also a happy diversion for many.