A nice graffiti collection of a city could serve as a basis of various sociological studies. A big enough collection of such paintings could reflect the mental state of the city (or even a bigger region) dealing with actual problems such as political or cultural issues. At the same time graffiti could be inspired by pop culture and used solely for decorative purposes which also can hold significant value.
I was an Erasmus student in Girona in the year 2008 and I quickly become amazed by the richness and the quantity of well made graffiti in this relatively small city.
At those times I had not started to collect cameras yet, but the signs of my collector soul started to get to the surface. I photographed graffiti because many of them are really interesting, expressive or shocking. On the other hand the creators invested significant creativity, energy and not to mention money into them even though most of them can survive a very short amount of time.
I set the goal to discover and photograph as many graffiti as possible during my 4 months stay because I wanted to preserve as many of these works as possible and because I love to shoot walls :-).
I am definitely not the right person to evaluate the street art of a Spanish city due to my largely different cultural background. I could understand only the most explicit messages such as the overhyped fear from the bird flu or Catalonia’s wish for independence from Spain. So I don’t intend to give any sort of artistic, historical or cultural analysis based on this graffiti collection, I let it to you if you were interested in doing so. I only post here some of my favorites and those painitngs which are interesting for me in some ways. The complete collection can be seen here, or at the end of this post as a flickr showcase.
The City Attack graffiti was situated under the elevated railway at the side of the train station which is of course also can be found under the tracks. This made it difficult to photograph as the light was not evenly distributed on this giant (I guess around 20m in length) painting. The city attack cannot be seen any more because a waiting hall and ticket offices were built for the central bus station at the same place.
Decorations of public spaces
Most graffiti in Girona is painted on surfaces which does not really belong to anyone such as temporal palings around construction sites or walls which are a bit hidden for example abandoned buildings or pillars of the elevated train lines. But there are a few examples where graffiti was used to decorate busy, very visible spaces. Indeed such artworks can improve the atmosphere of an otherwise ordinary concrete square or can add a magical touch to an urban playground.
This giant painting with the flying light bulbs is one of my favorites. It is almost on the edge of the historical city center close to the farmers market hall which are not hidden even from the eyes of tourists. It is definitely painted with permission from the city.
This dinosaur is not particularly exciting in my opinion, but it is located on a wall of some sort of institute for children and the kids certainly love it. In fact this painting was made at the front of the children who were very much entertained by this event. I have run into the creation one day on my way to my apartment. I was amazed how much preparation must had been done by the young artists in forms of drafts and state diagrams which were lying around.
The space octopus (as I call it) is a part of a very large graffiti decorating a playground. Unfortunately the wall has some hard to photograph parts because of trees and corners and therefore I could not make a complete panorama image.
The studying boy seems to be a very old graffiti and as far as I know it is still visible. It is located very close to the train station therefore it was one of the first ones I have seen. Also, it is one of the craziest one with strong surrealistic and I would say psychedelic feeling.
Full flickr Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsiVGCY4S
Collaborative street art (Barcelona)