Amaia was here…

With what happened in Barcelona yesterday I thought it would be good to take my mind away from all the troubles in the world and think/write about something that makes me happy… Art! Art and music always help take my mind away from whatever is going on out there or even in my own mind and help me drift away into a happier more peaceful place.

So with that in mind here’s another blog post whooooo hoooooo, well I imagine you are all making that noise with such good news! That’s three in a week after three months of procrastinating and making excuses, I’m becoming almost prolific! Almost.

For today I am focussing on the Barcelona residing Basque born illustrator Amaia Arrazola. Amaia has been creating in the streets of Barcelona since 2011 and isn’t the type of artist to get bogged down in doing the same piece over and over again. In the artists own words she “loves art, drawing, typography, screen printing, pottery, sewing and embroidery” so definitely an artist who is always looking to progress and improve and not one for stagnation.

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Amaia was recently amongst a group of local artists chosen to paint a large mural as part of the city’s world famous Primavera sound music festival. The festival which attracts around 190,000 visitors each year commissioned these artists to create murals on a large wall right at the entrance point to the festival. This was, for me, was one of my highlights of the festival, seeing artists that I really admire working to create something that not only would be seen by so many thousands of people but also those music fans getting the chance to see art created from a blank wall to the finished piece in just a matter of days. Like a real life time-lapse if you will.

In my opinion there is something really soft and sympathetic about the characters that Amaia creates, cartoonish humans and animals comforting each other and sharing food. It’s one big love fest and with what has happened here in the last 24 hours that’s exactly what I need right now.

Peace and love to all…

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Oreo – the Badass Bear

Takeover seems to be a common word in my world at the moment what with last weekends first ever takeover event in the city and now with my latest feature on Oreo aka Zach the Scientist aka Badassbearz.

Zach is a French artist, from Paris to be exact, residing here in Barcelona running his Endzlab clothes shop in the city’s exciting Gracia barrio. Zack has made it his mission to turn (read: takeover) the boring plain grey persianas of the street where he works into ones of art and colour with his badass bears adorning as many persianas as humanely possible.

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Not only is Zack creating these wonderful pieces of art but he’s also roping in some of his graffiti making friends with Tim Marsh, Konair, Kamil Escruela & Yosh le Poisson all collaborating with him to help breathe life into this little street in the north of the city.

By my count he’s up to 9 Persianas at this point but with plenty more still free of his badass bears I’m certainly looking forward to his continued works on this exciting and colourful street ‘takeover’

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The Takeover Barcelona

Well I was hoping to be slightly more prolific with this blog but seeing as this is my first post in 3 months I’m going to have to claim some sort of writers block as my excuse! Or the summer heat here making me a little more dopey than usual.

Now that my excuses are out of the way lets get down to business. This weekend in Barcelona saw the innaugral ‘Takeover’ event which in the words of the organisers… “Is a street art event that brings together Barcelona and Berlin based artists to takeover an urban space and transform it into an urban oasis”

The event was held at the Nau Bostik in the city’s La Sagrera district. The Nau Bostik is a former glue factory which now houses a myriad of local events from street art to photography shows to food truck and music shows.

 

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The takeover brought together some of Barcelona’s finest artists along with a smattering of artists from Berlin to create a truly unique event allowing various artists to collaborate on pieces that might not have been possible in a normal day to day setting.

The art created this weekend will be on show at Nau Bostik for a extended period of time allowing plenty of street art fans to witness the fruits of what was a memorable experience for the artists involved.

Here’s hoping to more ‘Takeovers’ in the future.

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GO GO GO – BYG & Contorno Urbano’s 12+1 Project

Hello everyone, welcome to my very first post for my new blog, No Grey Walls! Well in fact it’s my first blog post anywhere, ever, so bear with my whilst I get my writing style down to an art… terrible pun very much intended sadly.

The main aim of this blog is to speak a little bit about the art scene here in Barcelona and hopefully bring even just a little bit more attention to some of the amazing artists that reside in this fantastic city.  The art scene is absolutely thriving at the moment and with the sheer amount of legal walls available in the city centre and on the outskirts artists appear to have taken the baton and very much ran with it. Even me who spends the majority of his time ambling around the city looking for art is finding it difficult to keep up with the sheer amount of painting that’s going on! Judging by my step counter app I am most definitely embracing the challenge though!

Speaking of legal walls, one organisation which is doing amazing things on the outskirts of the city are Contorno Urbano who have created their 12+1 project. The aim of the project is to bring the concept of gallery work to the general public on a far grander scale in the form of a giant mural. Each month Contorno partner with an artist(s) to create a new mural which will be exhibited for 30 days in one of their three locations.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to their latest exhibit which is by a collective known as BYG. BYG are Patricia and Luis who are passionate about collage and have done multiple street interventions around Spain using their favourite technique.

Patricia and Luis believe that collage is the meeting, the surprise, what confuses and decontextualizes. That collage is discovery. And this is exactly what they want to happen in people’s minds when they pass in front of their artworks.

It’s a wonderful piece of work and I personally really enjoy the fact that areas of the city that are maybe forgotten about or don’t receive as much attention have an area where the local population can see and enjoy an amazing piece of art on a large scale. The fact that they get 12 pieces of art over the course of the year makes it even better. Long may it continue.

If you want any more information on Contorno Urbano check out their website – http://www.contornourbano.com

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