Portugal is known for its gorgeous beaches, sensational cuisine and cathedrals that look like they came out of a fairy-tale. However, many are unaware of the urban creativity bursting throughout the central region. Cities like Covilhã, Viseu, Estarreja and Figueira da Foz are brimming with colorful murals. In fact, for the recent ESTAU (Urban Art Festival of Estarreja), the artist Mohamed L’ghacham visited to add to the collection of outdoor masterpieces with a new mural titled ‘Egas & Deolinda.’
The mural is based on a photograph of Dr. Egas Moniz accompanied by his assistant Deolinda in Lisbon’s Santa Marta Hospital during the 1930s. Born in Estarreja, Moniz was a dedicated psychiatrist and neurosurgeon that was also passionate about art, especially within the community. Even today, if you went to the door of his home it reads “the great schools of fine arts are the museums. I wanted one in every town and in every village for the people to rise in spiritual communion of the beauty.” The photo in Moniz’s archive impacted Mohamed L’Ghacham and became the source of his inspiration. The 1930’s was a pivotal era that later defined him- introducing lobotomies and angiographies which awarded him the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1949. The viewer feels as though they’re looking in on a moment shared between Moniz and his trusted affiliate.
About the Artist
Born in Tangier, Morocco, Mohamed L’Ghacham is a painter and muralist from Mataró, Barcelona. Mohamed was always interested in the plastic arts. He discovered the world of graffiti during his school days and years later he became attracted by the most classic painters and the language they use. His work is mainly figurative with a realistic character with Impressionist touches. He creates scenes from everyday life around him, combined with the visual imagery of late 20th century photography. He currently bases his works on a mixture of painting and classical techniques with the most contemporary muralism.
He’s participated in festivals and urban art projects in Italy, Spain, Morocco and recently exhibited some of his paintings at the UrbanART Fair in New York.
Now in its second edition, the Urban Art Festival of Estarreja (ESTAU) is an annual event that takes place in September and brings several artists to Estarreja, Portugal to create murals and installations that celebrates Portugal’s heritage and culture. The festival has also served as a platform to unify the community through art-driven workshops, films, lectures, conferences, guided tours and more.