December 1st, 2005

me: ooh!

Barcelona Graffiti Special

While I work on sorting photos and posting backdated entries, I thought I'd share this. Barcelona's graffiti deserves its own post. It's everywhere. Quality varies wildly, from the crudest spray-painted messages to elaborate, multicolored stencils. Nearly all of it is political, most of it radically leftist or Catalan nationalist, although some of it is purely artistic or fascist. I experienced a certain amount of revulsion while on an escalator exiting the metro when I spotted the faint traces of fasces on every step. (The fasces looks like a swastika with one arm missing.) Although it was obvious that efforts had been made to remove them, the ridged metal ensured that some of the aging spray paint couldn't be touched.

Behind the Casa Batlló, one of Antoni Gaudí's concoctions, a driveway plays host to a couple of prime examples. The first is a Banksy-style stencil of los mossos (the police), the second a haunting spray-paint illustration. It's worth noting, I think, that the police in Barcelona wear a rather terrifying uniform that involves a black beret with a red band pulled severely to one side. Collapse )