Archives for posts with tag: C215

At the end of January, I took a long weekend in London to visit some friends who live between there and Barcelona. I’d only been to the city twice before, once in 2012 for an 8 hour layover, which allowed me a short overnight stay in an airbnb near Paddington Station, and once in 2003 on another short weekend during which I coincided with the global Iraq War protests. Neither visit has permitted me the time I would have needed to get a good feel for the city and, of course, its art.

In this most recent visit I was blessed with fine weather, though chilly by Barcelona standards, and a slight overcast sky, which is always better for getting pictures.

As for the art that I saw, I had heard and seen much about the scene in London, and I wasn’t disappointed. The hotspots of Shoreditch and Brick Lane is where most of the shots on this post were taken. I found quite a bit of politically-motivated work, much of it lampooning Brexit PM Theresa May and her equally-adored ally President Donald Trump (still feels strange to type those three words), as well as some work from familiar artists such as C215.

I was also introduced to a well-known London street artist named Nathan Bowen, whose online shop you can find here.

As with any city the size of London, I didn’t get to nearly enough, but the ease, convenience and price mean that I can get away whenever I have a three, or four day mini-holiday.

PS: If you look carefully, you’ll find a rare shot of this blogger among the pics.

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?

Over the last weeks on a few of my instagram feeds and the Barcelona urban art blogosphere, there have been rumblings about some new pieces by French artist c215 that had popped up in the Poble Sec district. As I have only passed through this neighborhood a few times, I knew I would need most of the morning, and I was right, While on my way, as often happens, I managed to discover two images of Amelia Earhart on a large wooden warehouse door. I eventually did find three of c215’s pieces, though I was only able to photograph two, as the third one was under some scaffolding where a man was stripping bits of paint and loose plaster from the side of a building. I decided not to risk a stray brick to the head and return another day. The pair of red eyes can be found on the concrete steps leading to the huge portrait of the old woman. As for what streets they can be found on, well, as another blogger noted (in Spanish): the search for these pieces cost me two afternoons, but that’s part of the fun. If you ever wanted a good illustration of why the journey is more important than the destination, just go out street art hunting one day.

Familiar artist in a faraway city, part 2

Monday, my first day in Amsterdam, I was pleasantly surprised to find this image from another one of my favourite artists, c215. As with the previous entry, I think this one also might be a self-portrait. And because it’s in Amsterdam, this portrait was of course framed by a bicycle.

Eyes up and forward

There are numerous ways to get from the buzz of downtown Barcelona to the small-town charm of Gràcia, but one of my favorites is the Carrer Riera de San Miquel, which starts at one of Barcelona’s busiest crossings, Avinguda Diagonal and the glitzy Passeig de Gràcia, and winds its way up, ending at the famous Travessera de Gràcia. It also runs parallel to the wider and  more well-known Gran de Gràcia, and for this reason is quite easy to miss. Even easier to miss was this piece from C215, which is on the street-facing side of an electrical box, partially blocked by the metal support structure protecting it from errant drivers who go a little too fast on this street’s narrow curves. Car-damaged electrical boxes are an everyday sight in Barcelona, along with the resulting chaos if that box contains control switches for nearby traffic signals. This box seems to have fared pretty well so far. Could this vigilant face be watching out for it?

C215, an exhibition in Barcelona

I read a week or two back in this article in Barcelona Metropolitan magazine about a solo exhibition of some work by French artist c215, who makes quite a few appearances on this blog. The exhibition is being held in the gallery section of a paint shop downtown. Although the exhibition was small, I think it was a good survey of c215’s work. One of my favorites was the huge painting that’s on the wall and visible from the front window of the gallery. I didn’t take any photos, as I feel a bit strange taking photos when visiting an art exhibition. I feel as if it could be disrespectful to the artist and his/her work. Yet on the street I have no problem snapping away. Am I alone in this?
The photo accompanying this post is not a part of the exhibition; it was found near the window of a bike shop right next to the gallery.

The c215 exhibition can be seen until 2 February at the Montana Gallery Barcelona, Comerç 6 BCN, http://www.montanagallerybarcelona.com

In a doorway smoking

From artist C215, this image was found on a doorway near a workshop or garage of some sort just a the northern edge of the Raval. I’ve always been a fan of the color blue, so this one immediately caught my attention. It wasn’t until later that I noticed the phrase “It gives me a tingle” running down the side of the picture. The phrase most likely was placed there separately, though from my smoking days I do remember cloves and menthols inducing a rather creepy tingle. The cloves a tingle and numbness in the mouth and the menthols more of a deep respiratory tingle, neither of which are probably very good for longevity. It’s fitting that this image is found in a doorway, as most smokers nowadays have been condemned to standing in doorways. Though I quit nearly three years ago, I do miss the smoky little bars and cafes that were such an important part of the landscape here.

Sidewise glance

My neighborhood of Gràcia, or la Vila de Gràcia as it’s officially known isn’t exactly the epicenter of Barcelona’s vibrant street art culture. But when you find an image, usually on the side of an electrical box on a side street, what you’ll find is usually a gem. This image is a perfect example, and comes from one of my favorite artists, c215. I especially like this woman’s glance, sidewise, as I’ve suggested in the title, with a special emphasis on the “wise”. I think this one is still around and can be found very close to the Plaça de Vila de Gràcia (the one with the big clock tower in the center). What does she know that we don’t?

Blowin bubbles

This piece is from artist c215, who has made various appearances on this blog. I think this one might be my favorite (so far). I found it last week in the raval, a welcome splash of color on the increasingly grayer autumn days.

Stolen kiss

This beauty is another piece from artist C215, who has recently sprinkled some of these little gifts round the city. The artist was quite generous with my neighborhood, the “Vila de Gràcia”. This image of two lovers in the midst of a kiss was found on the cover plate of an electrical box on Bonavista street, which leads from Gràcia to the busier boulevard Passeig de Gràcia, which leads directly to the heart of the city. I snapped this original photo about 3 weeks ago; after having passed by it with some friends late one night I hurried back the next morning to capture it before the first modifications appeared. I returned just a few days ago to check on its evolution and found that the entire plate had been removed from the utility box. Whether it was taken by someone who wanted it for the artwork or scrap metal I can’t say, but it was gone. Whenever I have doubts about what or why I’m doing this in the future, this incident will serve as a reminder. Street art is beautiful, transient and constantly appearing, evolving, disappearing and reappearing. The flipside of this is that it doesn’t last forever. But as a few politicans and many celebrities know, the internet is forever.