The majority of the shots in this post (including the first-ever shot of myself) are the work of the urban pop artist TVBOY. They are part of a series of famous artists from the past with touches of the present, including a Frida Kahlo Iphone selfie–the shot in which I couldn’t resist joining the famous Mexican artist for a rare narcissistic arm’s length self-portrait. The shot of Serge Gainsbourg comes from the artist Valerie Maho, and the great Muhammad Ali in stencil was created by RAF Urban. The other image (from sm172) which I’ve included is a darker reflection on our pop-selfie culture and is a statement on the voyeuristic bystander syndrome which seems to be a side effect of all of us being able to record and photograph all that we see, while forgetting to experience it, or get involved when necessary.
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.