Can the street be more than tarmac, street furniture and pavements? For some artists, any space in the public street suffices to express their art. Thus, they manage to transform cold gutters, cracks in walls or junction boxes in facilities into true works of art that arouse feelings in viewers.
This room seeks to awaken feelings in the viewer in a two-fold game, the effort to find these elements which are often subtly located in the spaces and then, having discovered them, the search for their meaning, which is sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle.
At the beginning of the 1960´s, Fernández Padrón created this mural of mosaic pieces, whose design featured strong Masonic symbolism. The work, which often goes unnoticed by pedestrians, is located on the façade of the so-called “Rising Sun” building, on the southwest corner of Plaza del Charco. It measures approximately 14 metres high and 4 metres wide and contains several clues linking it to the world of freemasonry: its rectangular shape, like a lodge; the east at the top and the west at the bottom; the rising sun: a linked carpenter´s square with the letter G, possibly for geometry; the morning star; an N that is a compass and sceptre; a skull; an equilateral triangle; and lastly, the eye of Horus, on the left the Moon or the feminine, and on the right the Sun or the masculine.
The mural is unique in the Canaries, and that is why the Puerto Street Art platform, based on the research work of Juan Amilcar Fariña Acosta, and other articles published on the work, has decided to recover the mural for the project, thus making it the ground zero work, the starting point for everything, from the route of mural art of this museum to the outdoor space of Puerto Street Art.
1- Dinamarca: Border to Paradise(2014)
This mural represents a living mesh which, through economic factors and social prejudices, stops some of humanity from entering paradise.
A Portuguese man raised in Paris, and residing in Copenhagen, in his works Ash seeks to reflect what is happening in society here and now. For him, the greatest danger is what arises out of the ever deeper split between rural and urban life; between nature and culture. He does not offer answers or solutions, rather, he questions the state of things, with images that are imprinted on the mind of whoever sees them. In his pieces he normally uses a stencil and creates figures such as silhouettes, with a very unique style and technique, in very original formats that manage to astonish.
Ash began to do graffiti in the streets of Paris in the early 80´s and he refined his style in successive trips to New York, where he made friends with some members of the iconic New York graffiti scene. By the end of the 80´s he was already a part of the central core of the urban art world of Paris. Some of his murals are already classics in worldwide urban art, such as the gigantic weightless astronaut in Berlin.
2- Tenerife: Rum, rum, rum, a bottle of rum! (2014)
A group of characters sing to the all-powerful goddess of pirates: a bottle on rum, on a wall in the seafaring neighbourhood of La Ranilla, in Puerto de la Cruz.
Roberto Rodríguez Ro.Ro, an addict of Chinese bazaars and the colour pink, pays with playmobile characters and recreates scenes with dolls. His work is embodied in painting, photography and installations, and he manages to create new spaces full of life, anonymous and humanised, where the figuration becomes the basis of the narrative.
This Tenerife native, a resident of Puerto de la Cruz, likes to create characters who he directs in a freaky, foul-mouthed, hedonistic and kitsch universe. He creates works that blend humour, speculation, emotion, the absurd and poetry. An artistic showpiece where fun is not without reflection. He does not normally work in mural format, so this is one of his most special pieces.
Psychedelic surrealism, Pink Floyd and Dalí inspire this piece which depicts a character floating in space.
Muro (also known as Murone, a staunch defender of “murocracia” or “wallcracy”) defines his work as an acid mix of pop elements where graphic design and illustration collide, explode and mix to result in murals that embody his aesthetic concerns. His argument is clear: forcefulness and colour.
This native of Bilbao, who has lived in Tenerife for more than a decade, has become one of the most highly sought-after artists in the Canaries and his works now brighten up the streets and bridges such as Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Washington, Istanbul and Malaga.
“Strength lies in the roots” is a hymn to Canarian culture; this impressive mural is best viewed from the area allocated to parking, which we know was “the quay”. In it we see elements such as the manta esperancera (traditional Tenerife shawl, pintaderas (form of stamp) and the hibiscus flower.
Ever since “The paintings boy” (alias of Raúl Ruiz) began painting, an artist from Granada (born in Madrid) has turned his passion for painting into a way of life. With the simplicity and sensibility inherent to those who see the world from a different perspective, his graffiti paintings combine the intensity of human feeling, reflected in simulations of hands and gazes, with poetry and quotations that lead to reflection for anyone who stops to contemplate the works. He stands out for combining refined graffiti with poetic prose.
Also known as “Sex”, Ruiz is one of the most important graffiti artists of his generation, with a career spanning more than twenty years. His oeuvre exceeds more than 2000 murals scattered around countries such as Argentina, Portugal, France, Venezuela, Holland, Mexico and Hungary. In 2007 he compiled his best works in the book A través del muro (Through the wall) and again in 2013 in the documentary “20 years”.
5- Puerto de la Cruz: If you can dream it, you can create it (2014)
An underwater fantasy full of colour and exoticism that seems to blend the stories of The Thousand and One Nights and The Little Mermaid into one. Juliana Serrano is known in the art world for her extraordinary versatility and her passion for dreamlike subjects. Her murals represent a magical reality where the attachment to the world of illusion that is inherent to childhood remains intact. Her work is also renowned for the particular expression of colours, textures and shapes: her hyper-realistic dolls and stage settings are famous.
Photographer, tattooist and graffiti artist are just some of the occupations of this talented Puerto de la Cruz native, who is also the artist behind the homes with a “nickname” in the neighbourhood of La Ranilla: small drawings on the façade of some very colourful houses, which refer to the nickname by which the families are known in the city.
6- Valencia: Island memories (Memorias de la isla) (2014)
The main character is a puffin, a bird that lives on the cliffs of Vik, a small fishing town on the southern coast of Iceland. The artist wanted to embody that relationship and the adventure that he himself experienced, as he travelled to Puerto de la Cruz by directly crossing the Atlantic from Iceland. The mural represents his own journey, with details from both fishing towns (linked in the form of a puffin lost on the coast of Puerto de la Cruz), which are bathed by the same ocean.
Dulk is the alias of Antonio Segura Donat, a Valencian illustrator who considers himself to be a “multi-purpose, hungry and insatiable” artist. Although his speciality is mural art, he also works as a graphic designer and illustrator. He enjoys creating characters and stories based on his dreams and everyday events. However, if there is one thing that defines him, it is his boundless imagination, which leads him to create dreamlike characters in picturesque settings and give his works a pop-surrealist vibe with very special humour. His work is known in England, Germany, Holland, France, Italy and Belgium, and has been condensed into a retrospective-book entitled “The Dulk”.
The mural depicts a family of Canarian peasants, also known colloquially as “magos” (peasants). However, this is a self-portrait, as the main figures are the artist himself, his wife and his son, as an expression of gratitude to the island that took him in. Louis Lambert, who works under the alias 3ttman (Trois Têtes Man – the three headed man), is from France, but has lived in Tenerife for some years.
Lambert considers himself to be an environmental agitator. Versatile, in his works he seeks to assimilate the popular forms of expression that pass by his daily life and numerous trips to far-off lands. He deals with the present from a symbolic perspective and investigates using materials as the medium of his art: canvas, paper, fabric, ceramics, mosaics and cement, among others.
The artist is a part of the contemporary Madrid urban scene, and as his hallmark he maintains an aesthetic that combines the punk heritage of graffiti –a do it yourself attitude, with a strong influence of religious art that is as popular as it is vernacular. His works have been exhibited in places such as Mexico, Moscow, London and Vietnam; and his murals can now be admired in locations such as the Azores, Dakar, France, Morocco, as well as several Spanish cities.
No name was given to this amalgam of minute of detailed shapes simulating a pile of invertebrate beings, with a perfect contrast of warm and cool colours.
The creator, Víctor Pacheco, began painting graffiti under the pseudonym Kob in his home city, Puerto de la Cruz, at the end of the 90´s. During the years devoted to urban art, and influenced by his sculpture and installation studies, he developed an organic abstraction of graffiti typography that led him to portray his artistic concerns in different Spanish cities. He presents a wide repertoire of surrealist scenes, with invented animals, lots of vegetation or simply beings who in reality are a composite of different species; the work is “Kobtropical”.
A face weather-beaten by sun and saltpetre; a sailor holding a paper boat while staring out to sea. The creator is Belin, (Miguel Ángel Belinchón), a self-taught Andalusian plastic artist, whose career began in the world of graffiti, with all the difficulties and persecution that this entails.
At present, his hyperrealist spray style (without the need to use grids, projectors or templates) is recognised around the world in countries and cities all over. His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited all over Spain and the world, in museums, galleries and also on walls. He has painted for major international brands and for professional tattoo artists, footballers, models and celebrities from the world of culture.
Belin describes this experience and juxtaposition of styles as “Post Neo-Cubism”, as a tribute to the work of Pablo Picasso, the origin and turning point of his creation.
This work represents a strong supporter of ancestral Canarian traditions, such as the “bathing of the goats” in Puerto de la Cruz: Chucho Dorta. He is portrayed by Matías Mata, more popularly known by his alias Sabotaje al Montaje (Sabotage the Assembly), who took up painting in the street at the beginning of the 90´s, and fortunately he has not stopped. His paintings, always freehand, range from abstract works to realism and are always also linked to a social cause. His interventions, whether on billboards, bus stops or walls, exude a sense of rebelliousness and protest.
A specialist in large-scale murals, he has created works in countries such as Jordan, Senegal, Argentina, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, and in the main Spanish cities, as well as the Canary Islands. His work can also be viewed in contemporary art museums, such as on the façade of the Atlantic Modern Art Centre (CAAM) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. At present, Matías Mata is one of the most international and well-renowned Canarian artists.
A mural whose intention is to awaken the imagination of whoever observes it. It captures the precise moment where the rose window breaks away from the tender, leaving the dreams and voyages of these anonymous crew members adrift. The name of the closest tender is an allusion to the menceyato (native kingdom) that Puerto de la Cruz belongs to: Taoro (the Guanche name for one of the nine kingdoms that formed the island of Tenerife in the pre-colonial era).
Feoflip is all about spray, latex and chalk on the wall. His characters are always strange bionic animals, semi-robotic plants, and beings undergoing a complete metamorphosis who challenge logic and reason. This plastic artist, both through education and heartfelt passion, began painting the walls of Tenerife in 2001; his mutant creatures seems to be waiting to deliver their mysterious message to some curious observer.
This is perhaps the most unsettling mural of Puerto Street Art. As with almost all the works of this artist, the main figures are large animals, in black and white, and with extraordinary detail. It reveals a certain irony, by aiming to return these animals to the place they once occupied before concrete invaded the place. It is not a coincidence that he chose insects to feature in this wall adjacent to the Archaeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz.
Roa is one of those elusive artists who shuns the limelight and interviews in order to retain his anonymity and creative freedom. Rabbits, birds, rats, fish…, sometimes living, sometimes dead, comprise the imagination of this universal Belgian; a reflection of his pessimistic vision of our society. He has painted in Europe, the United States, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and for years now he has been recognised on the world stage.
13- Vigo: The Unexpected Journey (2014)
I pass by lizards in bloom, As I fly on this unexpected journey.
(Liqen. A reptilian haiku for a anforagallo (rooster-jar)
The Guanches, natives of the Canaries, used earthenware jars for their rituals, linked to the cycles of life, and also as a vessel for transporting liquids or storing grain. This mural emerges from the depths and sediment of our earth´s crust, it creeps along the earth, feeding of the energy of the sun, and rising to the sky in an uncertain future.
The Galician artist Liqen (from “lichen”: an organism that emerges out of the symbiosis between fungi and single-cell algae), is considered to one of the best graffiti artists in the world. He focuses his interest on existence and human life observed as a mystery. Art, which has ancestral ties to magic, is responsible for keeping the flame of that mystery alive, by perceiving, directing and transforming it into pieces that can be seen all around the world. His works reflect this interest in biology and minuscule creatures, which have survived thousands of years of evolution. In a world dominated by globalising monetary interests, Liqen swims against the tide.
14- Argentina: There are Canarians and canaries (2015)
The immense bionic hand on which two “canaries” perch, is the work of Buenos Aires painter and muralist Martín Ron, considered to be one of the world´s top ten. On this occasion, he did not work alone, but was assisted by his fellow artist Skippy.
Martín is very well-known for his visual impact, the large size of his murals and his style known as “urban surrealism”, the main characteristic of his work which, along with an excellent mastery of hyperrealist technique combined with some fantastic elements, manages to produce unique creations on walls and buildings. His art speaks of the world around him, about events that occur, it is never distanced from the world´s problems and events; including nature and the impact of humanity on its degradation and possible salvation.
His work spread from the neighbourhoods of the city of Buenos Aires to other provinces in Argentina, before reaching countries such as England, Spain, Estonia, the United States and Malaysia in recent years. Now, nobody can resist his art.
“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self”, this is the quotation by Aristotle that inspired this pair of Valencian artists to create their now legendary Greek statue over a background of graffiti. What is really striking is the amazing level of figurative detail with touches of surrealism. This is a very characteristic trait of their work, as is the deconstruction of classical art and its blending with contemporary urban art.
Pichi and Avo have been thinking and working together as one since 2007. They are renowned for their capacity to create links between art, architecture, sculpture, space and social contexts, by adopting a highly appealing and performative approach, convincing in its artistic discourse and totally innovative in its fusions.
Urban Warrior is one of their most admired works, as it features in the 2105 ranking of the twenty best murals in the world, produced by the specialised press.
The title (taken from the name of the German musical duo Kollektiv Turmstrasse), addresses the influence of foreign tourists on the development and traditions of the Canary Islands. It is a wide-angle night view, on an unusual facade in Puerto de la Cruz, with a portrait of a young dreamer as the central figure, against a background of hotels and tourist apartments alongside elements of traditional Canarian architecture.
Sebas Velasco, a resident of San Sebastián for many years now, includes a wide variety of subjects and techniques in his work, which ranges from illustration to contemporary figurative painting. He has been acknowledged via different prizes and has held individual and group exhibitions in galleries and museums in Europe, China and the United States.
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