Archives for category: RICE

In the heart of Gràcia, on the corner of Verdi and Asturies streets, you can find the Pastisseria Verdi, a pastry shop which is quite popular with locals, known for its red exteriors and delicious, sweet baked goods.

Recently, the Catalan artist Rice has installed a new project on the red exterior of the corner bakery. All of the work are portraits on which there is a baked good somewhere on the faces of the subjects. Interestingly, there is also a QR code which takes you to a site where each work is accompanied by a text. Here is the link, in case your QR code readers are not cooperating.


Pretty much everyone is familiar with one of Warhol’s most famous quotes about how in the future we’d all be famous for 15 minutes. I think he’s mostly right, in the sense that the ability to upload into internet immortality thousands of bathroom mirror selfies and video rants and responses has greatly democratized pop culture, I do think that his estimate of 15 minutes might have been a bit high, as this curve shows. The image which inspired this post is a pasteup on a small alley just off my street in Gràcia, which seems to be a modified version of this photo of Warhol. I like to imagine that Warhol would have been rather pleased with himself, as his prediction has come true tenfold and (mostly) pleased with the fact that the ability to immortalize oneself and possibly experience the fleeting excitement of viral fame has become accessible to the smartphoned masses. Why do I say mostly? Well, I just think of my own impressions of the state of things. On one hand, I think it truly is revolutionary that anyone can become famous nowadays. On the other, I’ve become more than tired of looking at the artistically overfiltered images of Starbucks beverages and cracks in the pavement which make up a lot of the visual chatter in any given flickr or instagram feed. Thankfully, unlike the days when I had to sit through 5 carousels of slides my aunt and uncle’s Carribean cruise or 6 minute commercial breaks, in the world of the internet I can skip ahead or skip altogether.
The other images included in this post are of other famous faces only one of which is still alive, that of Gwen Stefani. One thing they do have in common is that they were all able to surpass Warhol’s 15-minute mark.

If you ask most people for directions from Plaça Universitat to the Rambles, they will probably tell you to take Carrer Pelai, which is certainly the most direct route, but rather ugly for my tastes, punctuated with such original gems of modern urban ingenuity as Starbucks, any number of Inditex clothing shops (Zara, Stradivarius, etc) and at the corner which it shares with the emblematic Rambles, a McDonalds. Pelai is the cheap, short, easy and comfortably familiar route for the non-intrepid, and quite nicely lit up during the Christmas shopping season.
This blogger, however, prefers a route that’s a bit curvier, a bit dirty around the edges and much easier to find yourself suddenly lost or distracted. That route would be Carrer Tallers, which curves off just before Pelai. Shopping-wise, there’s little of interest, a few small bars, vintage shops, a record store, a Rock n Roll club, and curiously hordes of “Goth” and “Punk” teenagers in the open concrete plaza before the street narrows and sneaks through the Ciutat Vella to the Rambla.
One of the reasons I most love this street is, of course, the proliferation of painted, or paintable sufaces, which usually remain undisturbed by the city graffiti patrols because it’s a side street. The wall featured in this post is usually a host to layers upon layers of posters for concerts or calls to protest marches, along with some random tagging. I’ve taken a few shots every time I pass, but nothing really blog-worthy. Until now, that is.
This three panel piece by French artist RICE, a sort of triptych, shows three different pairs of people taking a bite from the forbidden fruit. One couple is male-female, one male-male, and the other female-female. As triptychs traditionally had religious themes, could this be some type of representation of the original sin, modern-day equality style? Or am I reading too much into it? In any case you’ll notice that in the male-female shot, I cut the top from the man’s chicken-head hat. It was an unfortunate mistake, but only later did I notice that through this mistake I had captured one of the tube-worm dragon type creatures that can be found all over Barcelona.