Art in the streets around the world has been signaling the beginning of a new US presidential era, even as Trump continues to deny it.
Many, though not all, leaders from countries around the world have offered congratulations and words of praise and recognition to Joe Biden as the next president. In some cases artists have taken to the streets to express their support with their art – as in the case here by Barcelona-based TV Boy.
The pose recalls the poster for the movie Rocky V, which may be the number of times Biden ran for president before he finally won. We’ll have to confirm with our fact-checkers.
These days it is the default storyline of a non-British arts journalist to deign that their local street artist is “Tel Aviv’s Banksy”, or “Wanaka’s Banksy”. Here in Madrid, this artist just calls himself Banksy’s cousin, or at least that could be one interpretation of his artistic name.
Primo Banksy is a trained artistic talent and uses his carefully rendered ink and watercolor illustrations to highlight cultural figures in art, politics, literature – like John & Yoko, the girl from the Velázquez’ Las Meninas, or this portrait of Federico García Lorca, the poet, playwright, and theater director.
Meanwhile the street artist known as TVBoy is much closer in style and sentimentality to the Bristol-born street art man of mystery known around the world. The Barcelona based Italian favors the pop side of so-called “urban art” here, his filter treatments of popular figures a sure hit for passersby who relate to the subject.
Our thanks to BSA reader Ricardo Hernandez who shares with
us some recent shots while strolling the streets of Madrid.
The numbers of sick and dying continue to climb this week in New York, and so does our determination.
And our appreciation. Stuck inside a building full of artists and weirdos, we hang our heads and hands out the window to clap loudly at 7 o’clock, our Hasidic neighbors across the street gathered on their tiny verandas to do the same. United in our illness, fears, and pain, we are reminded of our common heroes; doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, truck drivers, sanitation workers, friends, neighbors and colleagues
“I keep a saucepan and spoon at my window to join in the 7 pm clapping every night,” says photographer Martha Cooper as she describes her solo venture out the window while her cat Melia most likely hides under the bed. “People have even started beating drums. Of course, I never cook in the saucepan but it was my dear mom’s and I remember her cooking in it so I think of her when I’m beating it.”
“The healthcare workers deserve more than applause,” she adds. Amen.
Also, applause can go to at least one landlord in the Williamsburg-Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Mario Salerno reportedly has waived the rent for April, relieving hundreds of people from fear and stress during this economic crash.
Bottom line is, we need BIG thinkers, BIG proposals, and BIG solutions for the hundreds of thousands of people who cannot pay the rent in this expensive city – and around the world. We need a Rent Forgiveness Jubilee, a Universal Basic Income and an actual Infrastructure building mass jobs program. The idea is not going to come from all the millionaires in the White House, the Congress, or the Senate. If people get desperate enough, these changes will be born from the street.
Let’s keep positive, safe, and strong as we weather what comes next.
So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Berlin Kidz, Chris RWK, City Kitty, Darla Kitty, David Saenz, Food Baby Soul, Surface of Beauty, The Postman Art, TiHumph, Martha Cooper and TV Boy.
A well branded cultural initiative brings for the second edition a festival of art, music, craft beer, food trucks, workshops to the village of Penelles in Spain, including 900 square meters of murals in this town with farmer roots and low one story buildings.
It has become almost a formula for cities and municipalities to inject a youthful culture and energy into an area – as you may expect, it is about striking a balance and treating all of your artists well and creating a mixture of events and opportunities for the people to engage with the scene. Even when the population of your Catalonian town is a little less than 500 people.
GarGar2 just happened in May with about 30 artists displaying public art in disciplines that touch on almost all of the currently used styles on the street; aerosol, wild style, figurative, illustration, neo-realism, photorealist, commercially slick, folk heroism, calligraphy, text based, pop art, abstract optics, political commentary, brush paint, stencil, craft, crochet, primitive sculpture… Organizers have studied the websites and social postings and surveyed closely what is happening in the mural/Street Art scene and are presenting a cross-section of at least one example of every category.
The somewhat arid agricultural community is spread out over many small roads and fields of wheat, rye, and corn. Old buildings are used for small art exhibitions and music venues – with many of the performing solo artists and ensembles playing a familiar mix of folk, jazz, afrocarribean, and electronic genres that merge local with international tastes.
It is a polished presentation meant to draw attention to the town, and we are thankful to photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena for capturing some of the images from this year’s festival. Following it is a video from last years’ GarGar.