Today we go to Polinyà, about 45 km from Barcelona, Spain, to visit the site of a historic summer country house. Built during the 1900s, “within the so-called Catalan modernism,” says Lluis Olive, the home was inhabited by the Marti family in this municipality of 8,389 until about 10 years ago when it became a restaurant. According to a description in Wikipedia, “The façades have, within Italianate lines, symmetry and consistency in the design of openings and moldings used for framing balconies and windows at the top.”
Unfortunately, the restaurant venture didn’t succeed for long and the property became empty. You KNOW what happens next in this story. However, you may not guess that the artist Fullet Original hoped to help find a new buyer by filling all the rooms of the house with graffiti and mural art.
According to Olive, who shares his photos with BSA readers here today, Fullet carried “out a project that he had dreamed of many times.” His friend has purchased the property, plans to hold an alternative market in it, and “last weekend about 15 artists were painting practically all of the spaces,” says Olive. The rooms were flooded with light and aerosol and lively conversation as the former farmhouse came alive in January with so many artists and friends.
The cross-section of styles are indicative of tastes of the moment in Spain and should be finished within a week or two. Which is good timing because “the opening of the market is scheduled for March.”
The springtime wall jams have begun! And random Saturdays or Sundays are usually perfect days to schedule an event in many cities – since most people have time off during that time, depending on their work schedule. If an artist is lucky enough to have a job these days…
An informally organized event like this provides an opportunity to explore and create alongside peers, converse and discuss ideas and techniques, and hang out with visitors who stop by saying hello.
“We thought it was a good idea that we could notify each time any of us was going to paint,” says Spanish artist Jaume Montserrat, “in case someone else wanted to accompany them and have a good time doing what we like so much.”
He says he and his buddies have a WhatsApp group to keep each other apprised of their street art and mural projects. For this particular Sunday a couple of weeks ago, it was as simple as reaching out via text to fellow artist Núria Farré, he tells us.
“I wrote to her asking if she would like to do it on one of Wallspot’s legal walls, and when we found a date that suited us, we decided to invite some friends.”
BSA contributor and photographer Fer Acala was there in Barcelona to capture the action and the art, and we’re pleased to share his shots of the artists at work and the days’ activities.
Our thanks to Fer Alcala for sharing his excellent photos with us and BSA readers. Artists include: Irene Valiente (@valiente_creations) Sigrid Amores (@sigridamores) Pablo Navas (@pabl0navas) Antón G, Seoane (@antonseoane) Juanjo Sáez (@juanjo_saez) Núrria Farré (@nuriafarreabejon) Maria Cuellar (@mariacuellar.m) Lidia Martinez (@lidia.mpakkete) Rabassa (@israbassa) Jaume Montserrat (@jaumemontserrat)
It is notable when an organized gang of aerosol-wielding vandals protests your protest against censorship with censorship.
It’s also odious.
Everyone knows that it is normal for graffiti writers and street artists to expect that their ephemeral work may be buffed by a municipality or crossed out by a rival painter. This is a different matter entirely.
This is our 2nd time to bring you this story from a paint jam in Barcelona’s Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas where a collection of artists gathered to paint works addressing what they see as an unjust attack on the freedom of a citizen to express opinions in lyrics and writings. Taken together, these works are a passionate rejection of censorship and a colorful act of free speech by a community.
It made international news last month when Pablo Hasel, a Spanish rapper/singer/artist/musician from this city, was imprisoned under a Supreme Court ruling, which found his lyrics about King Emeritus Juan Carlos De Borbon to be offensive.
Artist Roc Blackblock was surrounded by a tight semi-circle of scrutinizing journalists and citizens as he painted. This was his second mural since his first had been immediately censored and ordered removed at the action in mid-February by an NCNeta brigade who a Barcelona Urban Guard escorted. He didn’t appear to mind the pressure.
Because there have been demonstrations in various cities and because modern media drools over scenes of destruction and violence, it’s easy to forget the many peaceful artists who paint their opinions, says documentary photographer Fernando Alcalá, who shares his work here.
“I think it’s important to keep speaking about the artistic actions when, after days of riots and looting, the media has forgotten about freedom of speech, and they just talk about burnt trash cans,” he says.
We’re happy that he captured these before they were destroyed by ‘Union de Brigadas,’ who recorded their censorious actions proudly and shared them on Twitter and YouTube.
I think it’s important to keep speaking about the artistic actions when, after days of riots and looting, the media has forgotten about freedom of speech and they just talk about burnt trash cans.”
Typically you may expect to be praying the novena and asking God for absolution of your dastardly sins here in this sprawling compound called The Konvent near Barcelona. While no one would stop you today, you may also wish to check out a number of new installations throughout the many buildings by Street Artists.
The Roman Catholic former convent hosted 50 or so artists over the last couple of years to transform the space, perhaps to reinterpret its original charge in a modern light, perhaps just to ready the compound for commercial, cultural, and community pursuits of the owners.
Certainly the decaying spaces and austere aesthetic is inviting, calming, possibly frightening, depending on your associations. Now they are home for music, dance, theatre, film festivals, and artist residencies – often offered only in Catalan but some also in European Spanish.
As you walk through the spaces you are welcomed by these works by artists, many of them at one time or another categorized as Street Artists, whose voices now usher in a new era of contemplation and perhaps internal exploration.
Our thanks to photogapher and BSA contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena for sharing these images from El Konvent.
For more information about El Konvent please Click HERE
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Street Atelier – Rocco and his Brothers
2. Sam3 and His Troupe of Dancing Statues Pump Up the Jam
3. Valiente Creations – 12 + 1
4. Sue 975 – 12 +1
BSA Special Feature: Street Atelier – Rocco and his Brothers
It’s an Italian movie directed by Luchino Visconti in 1960, yes. It is also the name of a crew of Berlin graffiti/installation artists whose satirical interventions play on issues propriety and property – and on social experiments that dupe the media, the public, and banks.
Did they really set up an apartment inside the subway? Is that really the tracks and wall of a metro inside a gallery? Is that Wagner playing in the mobile war arcade set up in the Christmas market? Are those hand grenades being lobbed by children? Is the bank facade blinking red every 20 seconds?
Rocco und seine Brüder (Rocco and His Brothers) have you engaged. Now you have to answer the questions.
VALIENTE CREATIONS launches the 12+1 project in Sant Feliu – Proyect 12+1, urban art in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
A teacher of drawing from Barcelona, Irene Valiente loves organic forms, especially those of an aquatic nature. So it makes sense that she dove right in to her mural for the 2018 premier of the 12+1 Project here in Sant Feliu this month.
Here are just a couple of new photos from her wall that interprets the amorphous shapes of the nearby swimming pool at the Sant Feliu Swimming Club. The formal painter is normally working on canvasses for exhibition in the gallery when not creating new murals on her city’s streets and she calls this one “Nare”, owing the Latin derivation of fleet.