The 12+1 Project is an exciting year-long event that’s organized by the Contorno Urbano Foundation in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, just southwest of Barcelona. Each month brings a new talent to paint a mural and leave their imprint on the city. Its newest edition, comes from the Spanish artist Miquel Wert who created a hypnotic and striking mural that depicts a nostalgic family portrait, titled “Vida en Sombras,” (Life in Shadows).
For this mural, Wert took a vintage photograph of a family gathered at a table and eloquently enlarged it onto a wall. He often uses photography that portrays families together; many of them on vacation or celebrating. It serves as a symbol to trigger the viewer’s subconscious exploration. Every family is similar to the other, yet completely different and unique. These shared motifs allows the viewer to reflect on their own memories, identity and search for familiarity. Here, his use of vivid imagery creates a delightful sensation of anticipation. One can’t help but wonder what happened to these people- to this family in the future.
Another interesting concept is the monochromatic tones Wert uses to recreate history. A common approach, done quite successfully for “Life in Shadows.” Despite how bare this image might be, we can clearly see the light that depicts the mother, father and baby, sitting closer together. However, also at the table, slightly separated from the others is a girl painted slightly darker than the rest. He leaves it open-ended for each viewer to interpret why.
Miquel Wert was born in Barcelona in 1982. He is of Swedish decent and often examines the influences of his heritage on his personal beliefs and values. His charcoal drawings, and monochrome paintings are inspired by old photographs from the 50’s, he feels adds a more personal touch to the fabricated photography.
His nostalgic-driven artwork questions the collective memory of random strangers. He generally portrays vintage scenes of families- pictorials that offer the viewer a sneak-peak into the lives of others, to develop the story behind it triggered by a reflection of their own identity, memories, and familiarity.
A graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona, since 2000 he’s exhibited in group and solo shows all over the world. Currently, He’s represented by Green Flowers Art Gallery in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Galeria Anquins in Reus, Tarragona, Spain, Galerie Art du Temps in Cléon d’Andran, France and Luxart Galerie in Arlon, Belgium.
About the 12+1 Project
12+1 is a project organized by the Contorno Urbano Foundation and aims to study, preserve and promote urban art. In partnership with local associations and businesses, it’s an outdoor exhibition of mural art, large and small that’s successfully redefined the concept of an art gallery. Currently operating in Sant Feliu de Llobregat and Hospitalet de Llobregat, the year-long project invites one artist per month to paint a mural that will be displayed for 30 days. At the end of the 12-month period, artists will exhibit their study work (canvas, illustrations, sculpture, etc.)