Ampparito: Artwork to make a wall disappear

Madrileño Nacho Nevado, also known as Ampparito recently spent a number of weeks in the Hospitalet de Llobregat barrio of Barcelona. Nacho was here as part of a creative residence with Contorno Urbano.

Thanks to that residence, there’s now an brand new ‘photoshop’ artwork in Llobregat. At first sight, it may look like a totally random representation, but it’s not a mistake. Ampparito consciously decided to paint the typical squares of the photo editor as large scale mural.

The location of the wall is never crowded, people don’t stand neither to look nor to think. Years ago, a train called Carrilet passed by this area.

Photo by Clara Anton.
Photo by Clara Anton.

This particular location is the object of love-hate feelings in the local community; many neighbours want it to disappear. Ampparito, talking and listening to them, decided to eliminate it, erase it, select and press the Delete key. In this way, he has expressed a collective problem through a digital tool used by design, illustration and photography students he met during this residence. This is, indeed, a fresh, honest and evocative artwork.

During the first days of the residence, Ampparito met with neighbours and associations. They told him about the neighbourhood’s problem and about the city’s history, so he was able to better understand the people and their concerns. Some of the opinions differed but there was one nearly everyone shared: the difficulty of communicating two sides of the city, separated by the road.

Photo by Clara Anton.
Photo by Clara Anton.

The cement wall where this particular Photoshop canvas is located, is the current train track. In the perpendicular way, there’s a two-way road which was used previously by the Carrilet train. Even though this train doesn’t exist anymore, the community still have problems to cross to the other side. That’s why the vast majority of them have requested this barrier be removed, putting it underground.

Ampparito spent five days of an artistic workshop with design, illustration and photography students, playing with framings and and canva’s forms, until he found out what the key of all this story was. These neighbourhood’s youths use Photoshop to edit, select, point and make disappear stuff. The artist didn’t want to sweeten the space because he doesn’t consider a wall can save such a collective problem. Instead he decided to create a visual metaphor of the situation: painting a part of Photoshop’s canvas, as if something had gone missing, as if the wall wasn’t there anymore.

Photo by Clara Anton.
Photo by Clara Anton.

He therefore created an anamorfosi which could be used as bait, making something else than an artwork and transforming people’s behavior. If we want it to make sense, we just need to jump the fence, stand by the middle of the road, between both lanes, and look. Actually, the wall is still there, but it’s painted and it tells a story graphically: the story of a wall people want to be erased by clicking and pressing Delete. 

Photo by Clara Anton.
Photo by Clara Anton.

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