Last October I wrote about a neighbourhood that made me feel uneasy. I commented that even the somewhat stark graffiti felt threatening. With regular twice weekly visits I have become to feel more comfortable and found areas that while not the most pleasing on the eye, go some way to relieving my anxiety. And I received an e-mail from an ex-pat resident of the area who claimed I was being too hard on the place. He's probably right!
And I have revisited the graffiti and found that some is far from frightening. For instance, what indolent youth with his hat on backwards could have created this Christmas Card scene below?
And which menacing lout could have produced such beauty here?
And while I am not sure what this artist has been smoking, he obviously believes in angels.
You have to admit, the detail is quite amazing. And I will also admit that quite frankly the walls these works adorn would have been far uglier without the artwork. Hey, how about that - Graffiti as a public service. Who would have thought?
Even the lesser works show promise:
Ok, I know this is not even in the same league as the first three, but with a few strokes of the spray paint the artist has produced a comic book style portrait that conveys some emotion.
Actually, the alley where this public art is on display has now become a fixture on my route. I always have my camera because somewhere in this 'hood there are some people of real talent. Although there is still the odd menacing design, although I think the one below has a comic effect.
The foliage softens the impact somewhat, don't you think?
Wandering the streets of central Madrid there is one building where graffiti has been officially sanctioned.
Which begs the question - where would they stick them.
Anyway, I beg my e-mailer's pardon. His barrio is not so bad. In fact it has some quite remarkable examples of modern architecture, which I will get to in a later post, once the statistically mired one I am working on at the moment is completed and I have returned from my week away.