Concrete canvas: international painters take part in small town street art festival
Second edition of Torrefarrera Street Art Festival gets underway
Colour in the streets. Something different from the status quo of drab concrete in cities and towns the world over. Street art transforms urban spaces, from big cities where the art form as we know it today originated, to small towns, like Torrefarrera in western Catalonia.
For the second year in a row, it is playing host to the Torrefarrera Street Art Festival. Artists and crews have come from all over the world to take part.
Transforming bricks and mortar
A total of 1,200 square metres of walls dotted around various parts of the town have been set aside as blank canvases waiting for inspiration to bring them alive. A selection of artists are going to transform them beyond the norm of bricks and mortar.
One of the key ideas behind the festival is improving urban spaces and promoting culture. Torrefarrera, with a population of less than 5,000, may not seem like the most likely place to be an international street art destination.
Where in many parts of the world street art is criminalized, the Torrefarrera council is one of the key sponsors of the event.
100 artistic proposals were received for the event. Street artists from Argentina, Mexico, Peru, the United States have also wanted to get involved alongside people from Catalonia and Spain. The local council highlighted that the festival is in the interest of the neighbourhood, after the success of the last edition.
And at the Torrefarrera Street Art Festival, it's not your standard spray can business.
Italian painter LaRame13 uses a brush instead of a spray can. He is happy to have passed the festival's selection process, saying that previously his work was "criminalized." "They thought we were bandits," he said.
Also going against the grain of the traditional concept of street art is Rodrigo Romero from Madrid. He says he emphasizes walls. "In this case I will make a sculpture on the wall," he explains.
His work will be a reflection on nature, he said, where a message can be seen between the different animals that he will sculpt. The owner of the wall painted he is to paint on, Andrea Vila, said he "trusts" the artist.