Archives for posts with tag: stencil art

Vote for Pedro: Catalan elections, 3

Continuing with our Catalan election coverage aka Decisió ’12…

While I didnt recognize it immediately, the stencil in the lower center part of this mishmash of images is Pedro from the movie Napoleon Dynamite. While this movie isn’t for everyone, I do think it captured that boring, quintessientially middle American quirkiness that you need to have experienced first hand to really understand. I think if you’ve been there, you would enjoy this movie.
In any case, one of the central parts of this movie is the school president election, with the underdog Pedro running against the popular girl. Pedro’s election platform is quite simple–you can see it here. I think this picture captures that platform perfectly. Amongst these dreams and musings, in varying states of decay, we find the candidate staring blankly ahead.

After-breakfast post, overexposed

I’ve been wanting to post this image for a while, but I just haven’t been able to find the right moment for it. Until today. I had been trying to watch a short film, but because this is my first pre-autumn in this living room, which is quite generously fed with sunlight, every scene was nothing but shadows drowned out by the mid morning glare. Something like this image. I think she was quite high up on an otherwise sparsely-decorated door, making the angle a bit awkward. And it was second week of August, just shy of 2 in the afternoon when the sun forces me down the metro and home. So at a poor angle and suffering from an impossible glare from the pre-lunch August sun when we non-tourists start packing up and heading for shadier pastures, I was able to get this one last shot. In the details she bleeds a bit, all white and such intense sun blotting out the finer points, but I still find her beatiful.
Not so much for my attempt at morning movie on the sofa. I moved to the kitchen for an extra helping of the flaky fan-shaped pastries which have been breakfast this week. My oldest and most devoted cat followed the crunching noises and was soon at his usual corner of the table, waiting for something to fall off the edge of my second breakfast. I tore off part of the sticky sugar-brushed edge and left it. He normally refuses to touch things I leave for him if I’m there, so I let him contemplate it and continue watching from the hall. The sun that ruined my movie has moved in on the table, rapidly overtaking the cat corner because I’ve left the balcony shutters open. The glare cuts short too the cat’s examination of the crumb and it’s knocked to the floor, swallowed without a crunch.

With or without the love?

On the right side is a stenciled image I had found toward the beginning of my collecting career, hence the poor color quality, etc. I liked the goggles, reminded me of some post-punk performance video I saw in college, people beating on metal, machinery, with chains hanging everywhere. I think there might have been sparks or some minor pyrotechnics, but the goggles were mostly for effect. They may have been wearing one of those thick aprons that machinists wear also. Anyway, the image on the left was the same stencil but at a different location. This one has been retouched with the crown and a bit of love, which I think comes courtesy of artist tmnk, who we’ve seen here and here. So ignoring the poor quality of the right side image, is the goggled guy better with or without the touch of love?

Everything's fine

This little bit of stenciled simplicity is one that is easily overlooked, and one friend even commented that it looked a bit “barato” (cheap). And I imagine that from his point of view there’s really nothing to see here. But for me, this stencil represents that archetypal American post-war smile. We won the war, everything’s ok, drive a big car, cookie cutter house, Stepford wife and duck and cover in case of attack. Or at least that would be the idea on the plain white background. On this red background, sprinkled with graffiti, he becomes someone different. Placed against this decidedly more chaotic backdrop, what is his smile saying?

Skyward into the sun

She was a tiny presence on a wall full of images shouting over one another to be heard. In her own simple way she was begging to be photographed. I crouched in and obliged. My battery was low and my mobile camera shuts down serveral times during my walks as it edges ever closer to its Samsung-planned obsolescence, but in this case it served me well.

Ciutadella stencil portrait

On my first day in Ciutadella I was pleasantly surprised to find these stencil pieces scattered about the small port city. They are the work of Morgan Estevez, aka M2. You can see a picture and read more (in Catalán) here. I look forward to seeing more of his work when I return to explore Menorca.

According to the statistics gathered by the folks at WordPress, these are the top 5 most viewed posts on the blog:

5. Lenin in Love

4. Profile, Sunny day, Siesta

3. Street art squad

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and the number one most viewed post is……

School’s out!


Congratulations to all the winners!

Forgot my password

This stencil has been popping up in different places throughout the city, and maybe it represents a vision of the future where we can find little terminals at which we can login to our facebook or pinterest or twitter everywhere we go, from the beach to the mountain to the local Burger King. But take a walk down any city street, or any street in general. Within a few seconds you’ll encounter someone completely occupied with answering a text message, tweeting or re-tweeting or looking for the next song (that’s me). The vision of the future with terminals on every corner has been replaced with a present where we all have the terminals in our pocket, or in our hand. So instead of a stencil, maybe this should be a tattoo.


An example of some stencil art that can be found cleverly stashed around the port city of Ciutadella. This of a young child which I thought came out really well half-hidden in the shadows nar the city market. The city market itself was closed and the current heatwave was at its midday worst, so I was more than happy to share a bit of shade with this lonely child for a quick shot.

Love bomb

I found this suspicious package at the entrance to a private parking garage in Gràcia, very close to the emergency hose access labelled “Bombers”, which is “firefighters” in Catalan. I wonder if someone will push the red button before the bomb squad sends in the robot to disconnect it.