Archives for posts with tag: wheatpaste

Just after the point where my street changes names from Bruniquer to Terol–it actually does so 4 times before finally ending–there is a dead end street/alleyway where you can find a blue doorway which has been decorated, and over-decorated constantly during the time I’ve had this blog. Saturday morning, I noticed that the artist TVboy had pasted up a giant image of Frida Kahlo dressed as a tourist, complete with an I ♥ BCN t-shirt. I snapped a quick photo, but as is often the case in sunny Barcelona, the time of day left a heavy shadow. On my way back home just two hours later, the sun had changed position , and I was hoping to get a better shadow-free shot. It wasn’t to be, however, as someone had come by and sprayed an orange cover over Frida, leaving just her eyes free. While I was a bit dismayed at not having been able to get my photo, I don’t personally see this as an act of destruction. I prefer to see it as part of the natural process, albeit quite accelerated, of what happens to art that is in the street, unprotected by vigilant museum security, alarms, glass casing, or velvet ropes.

Something similar happened to another piece by TvBoy which gained international media attention. The artist had pasted up an image of international football superstars Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo locked in a passionate kiss, just before one of the famous “Clasico” matches that take place between eternal rivals Barça and Real Madrid. It was near Plaça Catalunya, one of the most highly-traversed points in the Catalan capital. I won’t include a photo here, as my personal policy for this blog is that all photos must be taken by me, and in this case, I missed my opportunity, as not only did someone remove the image, but the entire abandoned petrol kiosk which hosted the image was removed. A bit overdramatic, in my opinion. In any case, here is a link to the Ronaldo-Messi photo, and another that was placed in Italy near the Vatican just this week of  Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump.

frida before after

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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!

 

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.

Election week Catalunya

Now that things have calmed down from the US elections, here in Barcelona we find ourselves facing Sunday’s Catalan autonomous elections. The stakes are especialy high this time round, as the leading issue is the possibility of Catalunya declaring itself an independent country from Spain. This morning on the way to work I found my neighbourhood plastered with these Banksy-style portraits of important Catalan political figures, poised to hurl a molotov cocktail. This one, on the side of a rubbish container is an image of current Catalan president and favourite to win Artur Mas. In his case, this molotov cocktail could be a metaphor for the deep cuts made by his government which continue to eviscerate the education and health care network, and raise the ire of his constituents.

Wound up

This image is probably one of my favorite recent finds, and it seems like it’s been there a while. How could I have missed it? I’d probably walked down this narrow street at least 5 times that day, although I couldn’t tell you its name. As is typical for this area, the street was extremely narrow, more of a pedestrian alley, and the image was quite big and getting both girls into the shot was a challenge. Where might they be going, and how long have they got left until they need to be rewound?

Wolf boy

Despite having had his fuzzy jowls torn away, this image is easily recognizable as someone who was probably classified as a human wolf, werewolf, etc. Perhaps it’s dedicated to this famous example. For me it brought back memories of the morbid fascination I had as a young boy with the lobster man, mermaid girl etc., whenever I found myself around one of those tacky travelling carnivals. Prohibited by my parents from the shoddily constructed rides and the rigged games of skill, I was somehow able to scrape the 50 cents or dollar to walk through the tent of whatever human wonder was on display, enticed by the recorded message that whoever was inside was indeed alive and guaranteed genuine by a team of medical experts. And if that wasn’t enough, there was an ambulance waiting in case anyone fainted from the trauma. No word on if they would refund your money if you happened to lose consciousness.

Behind bars 2

This image reminds me of the evil bunny from Donnie Darko.

Aquesta imatge em recorda al conill dolent de Donnie Darko.

Esta imágen me recuerda al conejo malo de Donnie Darko.

Those cats were fast as lightning...

Despite having only half a head and a problem with his feet.

He's torn

For some reason I really like these images that are a bit more worn and torn than the others…