Today we visit the newest installations by Spanish artists who are participating in the community mural project that invites many disciplines and approaches to the public sphere, the “12+1 Project” in Sant Vicenç dels Horts, a neighborhood of Barcelona. In its third year, Contorno Urbano occupies a unique position in the public art world that stays clear of commercialism – as well as Street Art and graffiti – although it borrows from both. Today we see two of the newest participants and their walls.
Marking a decade as a muralist, Gonzalo Martin (1992) aka Taquen is a Spanish visual artist and illustrator with a clean linear style that may remind you of embroidery or stained glass design. His new wall for the Contorno Urbano 2020 program features a pigeon gently cradled in two hands. It calls to mind the fragility of life, and of nature.
He says that much of his work reflects a dialogue between our natural environment and our social behaviors. It’s a delicate balance, this organic relationship between us and our earth – and Taquen subtly appears to remind us that the balance is in our hands.
“Equilibrium is where I find the best way to integrate ourselves,” he says. “Without shocks, without exaggeration, leaving a camouflaged footprint that will become part of that environment naturally, without destabilizing it.”
His creative partner on this outing is Barcelona born Sonja Ben, who is creating a brash and athletic counterpoint to this world of Taquen, popping with color. Performance comes to mind, seeing these animated figures punching forward like characters in a video game, avatars of aspiration and adventure.
Using symbols as actors, her work is representing the real world – in a child’s language; processing the travelogue of the inner explorer as seen through anime and saturated digital colorways.