Archives for posts with tag: collage

For my second May post (which is actually hitting in June) I’ve decided to return to Gràcia, as I haven’t posted much from the surrounding area lately. Most of these shots come from strolls around the vila over the last three or four weeks. As suggested in the title, one of the more interesting ones is a portrait of tourists as paella-wielding, selfie-sticked zombie hordes who come to invade our quiet little neighbourhood nearly year-round. This sentiment can be seen in occasional graffiti which read “tourists go home”. As a foreigner who first came as a tourist, I’m a bit torn; while I recognize that tourism is vital to our local economy, and that a good majority of tourists are well-behaved and civilized, I also know as a resident what a putada it can be having the area so constantly crowded. On balance, I’m in favour of tourism, but I think that we need to start moving toward a more sustainable model. This is what the current city administration (in theory) is going for–a city planned and built for its residents, but also welcoming for tourists. A difficult happy medium to achieve, but a noble objective, in my humble opinion.

The other shots are rather random and generally political in nature, along with some anthropomorphized popsicles from konair, and some paste ups which have been appearing with increasing frequency.


Accidental collage

One of the sad side effects of the proliferation of digital content over the years is the near disappearance of magazines. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of magazines I have lying around the house. When I was younger, one of my favourite pasttimes was cutting up the magazines that were always piling up on, around and under the coffee table to create multi-layered collages. Sometimes I would use up an entire stick of glue on one project, and often many of the pieces which seemed so important at the beginning of a collage would end up completely covered by the time I had finally decided to cap the glue stick. I now notice the same thing as I pass by certain streets looking for new shots for my collection. Images get covered, sometimes completely, other times partially, with stickers, stencils, tags, posters, even newspaper and magazine clippings. Often the result is just a peeling, wheat-pasted mess, but every now and then I stumble upon an accidental masterpiece like this one. This is just a small fragment of a large wall that’s actually a tunnel-like entrance to this small street in the Raval, called Picalquers. How much of it was planned and carefully placed I don’t know. I took several shots from different spots and this one was my favourite. To fully appreciate it, I think it needs to be seen in person.
The day I took this shot, I was momentarily inspired, and gathered the 5 or so magazines I had lying around the house, found a pair of scissors and a glue stick among some long-forgotten teaching materials. Scissors never touched paper, as I soon realized that the only magazines I had were specialized, design or fashion-related and created by friends and often very limited-edition. It would have been a very expensive (and possibly offensive) collage. A far cry from the periodicals that seemed to fill our mailbox, and then coffee table every week, automatically renenewed until the end of time…

Collaboration, evolution

I’d like to think that this is exactly that, an unintentional collaborative piece. Maybe the original artist pasted this photo, which over time is torn away little by little. Until one day another artist (or non-artist) cam along and decided to complete the new piece. If so, this image represents exactly what I love most about street art–that it’s always changing. I can go back in a week and discover something new and (possibly) better.

Toothpaste ad

This shot comes from the same newspaper-plastered door as the happy couple below

Newspaper clipping ca. 1930

This comes from a door in the old center of Barcelona which completed plastered with old Italian and Spanish newspapers, much of which is torn away. This is one of the few photos that was intact. I’ve always loved creepy old photos like this. The man in this photo reminds me of my great-grandfather right down to that great smile. If you like this, check out this Weird Vintage Photography I stumbled upon this evening.