For quite a while now, I have been a great lover of graffiti. Having said that, I’m not very fond of tags (unless they are works of art) and neither do I agree with vandalising buildings or urban structures randomly. But a good piece of graffiti, decal, sticker or stencil, applied in the right setting can certainly stop me in my tracks and force me to admire the ingenuity, artistry, colour, style, etc. that the artist has used. Layers of graffiti (as above) can be very interesting too as they give a semblance of depth and (in this case) contrast different styles.
Graffiti is certainly nothing new, and neither is it particularly modern. It has been a form of expression since the dawning of mankind, as has become apparent from finds such as (for example) the paintings found in the caves at Altamira.
Old graffiti exists in Barcelona too (although not as old as the aforementioned cave paintings!), as can be seen on the image above, which shows carvings in the stones that surround an archway in the neighbourhood of El Raval.
Across La Rambla, in the Barri Gòtic, an example of a very different kind of street art, where pieces that form an image have been glued to a wall, creating a kind of bas-relief. Sort of cute, I think. In any case, I like how lights and shadow are at play here…
A currently much used form of street art, is one where printed paper (in colour or not) is glued to a surface, often playing with the bends and folds of any given surface to add interest. I recently discovered these two striking examples (above and below) using black & white for this lazy leopard, and also colour, for the lovely rendition of Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra.
One of my all time favourites, is Pez, a graffiti artist who is actually from Barcelona. His trademark grinning fish have captivated me for many years now, and always bring a smile to my face. What I also like about his work is that he chooses the spots he uses carefully, and generally is quite respectful of the places he selects to paint. He does so purposefully, mainly in the hope that this way his art will last longer. And you know what? It does!
This beautiful example of stencil graffiti is by Ergo and makes a stylish addition to what is already a beautiful door.
Below, an anonymous and very small example of graffiti: a pretty hot pink heart by a door, just around the corner from the Cute Suite. I wonder who it was intended for?