The seeming concrete infinity of the city, has in recent years been broken up by murals created by artists,(often former graffiti artists).  These artists have discovered legitimacy and entrance to the world of established art, by being backed by commissoners like public art focused Controno Urbano, based in Barcelona.  This December, Controno Urbano has artists Sepe, El Rughi, Margalef, and Ampparito on the roster for Project 12+1, with murals to be painted on a monthly schedule.  Sepe’s mural is in L’Hospitalet, El Rughi’s is to be found at Sant Feliu de Llobregat.  Barcelona features the mural done by Margalef, and Hospitalet de Llobregat, is Ampparito’s mural site.  These four murals of Project 12+1, will splash interesting colored pictures on the often too grim face of urban structures.

About The Murals

The mural “Samsara” by Sepe, incorporates Sanskrit, cycles, and death and rebirth.  The title Samsara has two rather different meanings in Sanskrit.  The word’s one interpretation is “wandering” and the other is “world”. The mural is a spiral shape, which hints at wandering and the movement of a world or entity being created.  The artist is named Michal Sepe Wrega and was born in Warsaw in 1982. His artistic work has emerged from graffiti and Polish street art.

Samsara by Sepe
Travellerz by El Rughi

El Rughi has a delightfully playful mural located at Verge de Montserrat,2.  It’s titled “Travellerz,” and is a mural with an outer space-esque black background, and some delicate white decorations. The mural features a creature that is reminiscent of a hallucinogenic shark with the shark-like head and tail, and a large wild body. This colorful being also has a likely inter-dimensional parasite sitting on its back.  The cartoonist touch is the bent party hat atop the “shark” head.  Born in Martina, Franca, Sourh Italy, El Rughi is known for his lengthy graffiti experience and his children friendly psychedelic drawing.

Located at the Centre Civic Cotxeres Borrell (Barcelona), is a rather intriguing art installation called “Hazard,” by artist Margalef.  The artist has created an artwork of mural proportions that showcases shiny red geometric shapes against a white background.  It is the sort of outdoor art installation that draws urban dwellers close to the piece.  This is so they can stare at and into the red shapes and contemplate any visuals that materialize.  Margalef is an artist who concentrates on art and architecture in various combinations.  He reflects this in producing art that is an attempt to balance geometry with color and repeating forms.  These expressions are often constructed using industrial materials.

Hazard by Margalef

Conceptual art is best described as art where the idea the art depicts is often supposed to be more important than the actual art piece. Artist in residence of Controno Urbano, Ampparito, has executed a mural on a wall with the mural being a replica of the Photoshop Canvas. Specifically it is a conceptual idea, as the wall is mostly covered in the checkerboard and dotted line design that equates with “no data” in Photoshop cyberspace. The mural, on a wall of neighborhood conflict, (as part of a train overpass in Hospitalet de Llobregat).
In preparation for the mural, the artist met with the denizens, as most of them find the wall distasteful. This is because it creates a literal barrier between the two sides of the road, and the train doesn’t even run anymore. Citizens desired the wall to disappear, thus Ampparito colored the wall with the Photoshop checkerboard form, in grey and white, with a dotted border. This represents “no data” in this digital age. Thus conceptually the wall has indeed disappeared. Ampparito has another playful moniker, Nacho Nevada, and hails from Madrid.


About The Project

12 + 1 is a project operated by Contorno Urbano, that aims to bring the concept of gallery to another level, on a scale and language other than the large format murals, creating an exhibition space on the street, closer to the city and strategically located. Each edition of this project will last for 12 months, 1 for each participating artist. The artists will always paint on the same space and their work will remain exposed during 30 days until the realization of a new mural of the following artist. At the end of the 12 months the artists will exhibit their work of study (paintings, illustrations,
sculptures, etc.).

This project is currently in operation in Barcelona, ​​Sant Feliu de Llobregat and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat in collaboration with other local entities.

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