Archives for posts with tag: barri gotic

Today’s shots come from the free walls at Tres Xemeneies, near Avinguda Paral·lel, some random wanderings through the neighbouring Raval, and a new location (at least for me): the Jardins de Walter Benjamin, which are just near the Port, and mark the last frontier before the city gives way to Montjuic Park. As suggested in the title, the “gardens” themselves are nothing to marvel at, but the walls, which separate them from the playground of a local school, are the main attraction.

The Raval was full of tributes to famous faces, among them Debbie Harry, Kafka, Dennis Rodman, the late Prince, Jesus Christ (by artist sm172), and Football Club Barcelona’s favourite tax-dodging wunderkind, Neymar Jr.

As my geo-tagging feature on my camera app has become a bit unpredictable with the latest android update, my locations aren’t quite a precise as before. That said, a good wander round the Raval/Poble Sec area does a body good!



Impermanence is one of the things that most appeals to me about art found on the streets. I can return after a few days, weeks, or months, and find a completely different work of art. There are many people that would lament the damage done to the two images I present today, and I doubt that the person who scratched out the eyes on the stencil of the little girl from C215 had art in mind when he or she acted. Nonetheless, I think we have to accept, or even embrace this proces of decay and regeneration in the creation of a completely new work of art. If we want protected art, we can always go to a museum where the works are mostly (with this recent exception caught on video) protected from accidental and non-accidental damage. I’m not even sure damage is the correct word. Transitional blemishes?

Frog brain

I’ve been sitting on this image since the early summer, when I first started taking these pictures, and it remains one of the most popular on my instagram feed. In reality, it’s quite small, a sticker probably about the size of my palm slapped on some overscrawled surface in the Gothic quarter. I’ve since seen a few duplicates, but I think whoever produced it only made a small batch. I’d be interested to see some other organ-animal fusions in the future.

Everything's fine

This little bit of stenciled simplicity is one that is easily overlooked, and one friend even commented that it looked a bit “barato” (cheap). And I imagine that from his point of view there’s really nothing to see here. But for me, this stencil represents that archetypal American post-war smile. We won the war, everything’s ok, drive a big car, cookie cutter house, Stepford wife and duck and cover in case of attack. Or at least that would be the idea on the plain white background. On this red background, sprinkled with graffiti, he becomes someone different. Placed against this decidedly more chaotic backdrop, what is his smile saying?

Skyward into the sun

She was a tiny presence on a wall full of images shouting over one another to be heard. In her own simple way she was begging to be photographed. I crouched in and obliged. My battery was low and my mobile camera shuts down serveral times during my walks as it edges ever closer to its Samsung-planned obsolescence, but in this case it served me well.

According to the statistics gathered by the folks at WordPress, these are the top 5 most viewed posts on the blog:

5. Lenin in Love

4. Profile, Sunny day, Siesta

3. Street art squad

2. Technicolor Christ

and the number one most viewed post is……

School’s out!


Congratulations to all the winners!

Dream on...

First night in my own bed after six on the island, missing the constant feeling of sand and humidity and a pillow that’s been oversuffed and overfluffed to provide a better view of the 10-inch tv that hung in the far corner of the room. Having a tv in bed always disrupts my dreams, so a (relatively) quiet night in Gràcia allowed my subconscious to take a journey not interrupted by Spanish-dubbed CSI repeats.
Not surprisingly, I found myself walking over the pock-marked, rocky trails that lead to the beaches which separate the lazy tourists from the intrepid blue-water seekers. The rocks are incredibly uncomfortable to walk on with sandals and the smooth patches are convered in a fine dust that I can still feel between my toes right now.
In the middle of this dream path were the walls of two demolished buildings that left something like a rock-strewn vacant lot on an otherwise unspoilt Menorcan coastline. The current heat wave has blocked me from really deep sleep, so I started questioning the logic of brick walls where dunes should be when I started spotting little fragments of wall murals, half-destroyed stencils and wheat pastes covered over by graffiti and immediately reached for my camera and started shooting. I believe this has officially become an obsession.

Street Art Squad

Wandering some narrow backstreets in the Born I found this one, a huge wheatpasted image of a ferocious but happy law enforcement agent. It seems his work has to do with the problem of street art…

Olive Oyl, post Popeye?

Here’s another shot of Olive Oyl (Olivia in the Spanish versions, as can be seen from the tattoo on her chest), possibly from her life after Popeye. I think it’s post-Popeye because of the tattoos, which she didn’t have in the original series. But then again, the dress she’s wearing would suggest a prom or debutante, which would make her younger. Maybe they removed the tattoos for the kids’ cartoon.


This boxer was on a metal door somewhere in the Barri Gotic. He seems to have taken quite a few blows to the head.