Urban art: From the Street to the Museum is a really exciting show that is on offer at the Museum of Fine Arts of Murcia (MUBAM) · From 05/04/2017 to 07/09/2017.

Urban art from wall murals to graffiti street art are popping up everywhere in Spain. It has not only gained appreciating from the public, but it has saved villages (read: ART SAVES SPANISH TOWN AND SURPRISES THE WORLD!) and impressed the Fine Arts circles. Artists from around the world are being commissioned to take what was once only thought of as a mischievous pastime for trouble-makers into the mainstream.

It was an easy 2 hour drive from my place in Cumbre del Sol to Murcia city and parking was surprisingly easy outside the Fine Arts Museum.
Arriving we were greeted by one of the exhibiting artists who was painting just outside in the courtyard. After a brief chat with him, we found out that his name was Kraser born in Cartagena.

When I got home, I found him on Facebook where his biography says that "He attended the School of Art in Murcia in 2000 and moved to Milan in 2009, where he continues to live. Even as a young child he was attracted by painting. He began in the Street Art scene in his early teens. Since then he has participated in many national and international exhibitions. His works have appeared in numerous books and magazines, and he has curated exhibitions of his works at art festivals and expositions. He has also participated in Live Painting events at many european festivals.

The exhibition inside houses a total of 85 works over two floors. They are mostly large format, made in various techniques from spray cans, markers, and air brush.
Among the represented artists were names such as Cope2, CornBread, Obey, Blek Le Rat, Blade, Futura 2000, Dran, Mr. Brainwash, Jonone, Alexis Diaz, and more from different parts of the world including 25 countries like Brazil, France, Spain, United Kingdom, and Argentina.

APRIL 24TH, 2017 - Murcia city will make a big splash in the global art world by inviting one of the most famous and recognized urban artists in the world to make an enormous mural in the cultural center Puertas de Castilla.
Brazilian Eduardo Kobra is known as the first artist entered into the Guinness Book of Records by painting the largest mural in the world, 2,500 square meters, located in Rio de Janeiro at the entrance of the sports complex where the last Olympic Games were held.


This lecture explores the second half to Goya's life and works whereby his overall perspective of life becomes dark and cynical. Now he turns the dramatic Romanticism deep into the monstrous side of the irrational and the dangerous flaws of Enlightenment.

He uses the new invention of "aquatint" (a print resembling a watercolour, made by etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading.) as a form of print making to fuel his revelations and revolutionary expressions in order to lampoon, satirize and mock the institutions, practices and commonly held beliefs of his time.

In 1799 Goya published 80 Caprichos prints depicting what he described as "the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual."
Another collection of 82 prints called the Disasters of War, 1810s, Goya vents his visual voice with protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814.

The scenes created withing these prints are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. Goya expresses the randomness of violence in these prints, and in their immediacy and brutality they have been described as analogous to 19th- and 20th-century photojournalism of the atrocities of war.

They were not published until 1863, 35 years after his death. It is likely that only then was it considered politically safe to distribute a sequence of artworks criticising both the French and restored Bourbons.
Goya created another set of prints - Tauromaquia (the art of bull fighting) between 1815 and 1816, at the age of 69. Bullfighting was not politically sensitive, and the series was published at the end of 1816 in an edition of 320—for sale individually or in sets—without incident. It did not meet with critical or commercial success however.
His late period culminates with the Black Paintings of 1819–1823, applied on oil on the plaster walls of his house the "Quinta del Sordo" (house of the deaf man) where, disillusioned by political and social developments in Spain he lived in near isolation.

The paintings originally were painted as murals on the walls of the house, later they were lifted off the walls and attached to canvas. Currently they are held in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

At the same time, he worked on 22 prints called Los disparates (The Follies), also known as Proverbios (Proverbs) or Sueños (Dreams), again a series of prints in aquatint and etching, with retouching in drypoint and burin, created between 1815 and 1823.

The scenes of the Disparates, which are difficult to explain, include dark, dream-like scenes that scholars have related to political issues, traditional proverbs and the Spanish carnival.

Goya eventually abandoned Spain in 1824 to retire to the French city of Bordeaux, accompanied by his much younger maid and companion, Leocadia Weiss, who may or may not have been his lover.


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Goya captures the fissure of the human condition unabashedly in his engravings - "The Disasters of War", "The Tauromachy" and "The Disparates", which are being exhibited for the first time in the Valencia region.

The Museum of Fine Arts Gravina of Alicante (Mubag) is hosting this exhibition until the 11th of June "Goya. Witness of your time", which gathers 138 prints in black and white, from private collections and distributed in a "breakthrough" assembly that invites reflection on issues that are still present after 200 years.

Some of the pieces have been shown in Paris and Turkey, although the selection made by the curators to be exhibited at the Mubag is unique, according to consortium sources, who have emphasized that it is "very difficult to see complete series of Goya's graphics works ".

The engravings are exhibited with the titles written in the Castilian of Goya's time and in an arrangement reminiscent of compartments of confessional, under a dim light and within an atmosphere that invites a reflective contemplation to the spectator.

Of the 138 engravings that are part of this exhibition, eighty correspond to the second edition of "Disasters of War", of which there are very few prints in the world.

In this series, Goya dissects as a true "reporter" and with minute details the horror of the War of Independence, which affected the entire civilian population.

Like a witness, Goya creates pictures of the conflict, not as a direct copy but as fruit of his independent and modern vision before the war in which death is always omnipresent and the protagonists are the victims of both sides.

Also exhibited are forty prints from the series "The Tauromachy" that reflect a controversial issue in the nineteenth century, as in today's society, in which some sectors are questioned about what happens in the arena and other parties around what happens to the bull.

The rest of the works in the exhibition belong to "Los Disparates", a darker series in which Goya combines the representation of reality and his inner world, dreamlike and fantastic to denounce the vices, weaknesses and prejudices of man , such as pedophilia or prostitution.

Here we find eighteen prints loaded with subjectivism and surrealism that question the irrational human behavior from the conception of an artist whose work suffered, by "its authenticity", the censorship of the time.

This exhibition is unique in the way that the three parts are divided then accompanied by the projection of images of current scenes to reaffirm that all that Goya recounted continues to be events that echo today.



Car-sharing leaving from Mas y Mas in Benitachell on Javea road. 9:00 h

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This morning my friends and I were very pleased to visit the retrospective tribute to the Valencian painter - Miguel Sala Coll at the the Lambert Arts Center / House in the old town of Jávea.

He was a very famous personality within the Jávea community and a dedicated painter for more than 30 years. Sala Coll's love for Jávea, his birthplace, is played out in oil paints that are reminiscent of the Valencian art school of painting but to my surprise, Sala Coll was self taught.
Obviously influenced by the Impressionist movement, a genre that saw that rise of another great Valenciano by the name of Joaquín Sorolla,who was also very much in love with Jávea during his day.

Both artists were heavily devoted to Costumbrismo, whereby artists of the time created art that had a pictorial interpretation of local everyday life, mannerisms, and customs. This type of "folk art" in the Impressionist style was a winner for both artists.
According to Salla Colla's biography, he was a regular exhibitor at the Sala de Arte Jávea del Puerto and was recognized for his artistic legacy with an award on the 9th of October Prize in 2003.

"Sala Coll was attracted to the art of painting since he was a child, when he made charcoal portraits for the clients of his father's barbershop," explains the biography.

In the summer of 2010, Sala Coll passed away at the age of 83.

I urge all of my Fine Arts students to visit this tribute soon as it closes on the 22nd of April. Note the similarities of the colour palette that Sorolla once embraced. The hint of rose on the water or the sky to just give a light lift to a wave or a cloud. The myriad of blues that push waves and bring out the depths of the Mediterranean. And the rich earth tones of terra cottas highlighted with yellows to bring the splendor of the light that falls on the fields under the majestic Montgo mountain.
Also notice the the robust reflections, which all of the Impressionist adored. Coll's evenings at the Port or the early sunrises both bring to the surface the illusion of light interfaced with reality and cast only in paint.
Sala Coll might have been self taught but he was a master painter. The variety of the styles of brush tips and the brave brush strokes, which up close look like a big mess but when viewed a far, behold visual realistic magic.
In the lower floor of the Salon Lambert, are the charcoal drawings that define his visual sense of form and composition. Displayed on the wall are a variety of sketches that give rise to the interests of the artist.

Artfully Yours,
Karla Darocas


In the news last week, I came across an inspirational story about how the concept of an "open-air" art gallery transformed a struggling village of 323 people in the Castellón province of Spain and is now part of the world's circuit of street art events.

That village is called Fanzara and is located just outside of the main city of Castellón, which is about a two hour drive from our village of Benitachell.

Fanzara is off the beaten path and I doubt anyone would have even gone out in that neck of the glorious wooden countryside, had it not been for this magnificent idea to see this a village covered in art works.

Of course, I had to see it and my husband and two friends were keen to go as well.

The art works are painted on the sides of all types of structures from fancy homes and apartments to ruins. The style of art works vary from ultra modern to decorative to traditional. The village now has 105 works created by more than 200 artists!

The village has a 70% majority of retired folks and only a few families with children, hence we noticed the quiet and peaceful charm that prevailed on each turn and bend of the old streets. 

As we were exploring the village we met others who were art lovers doing exactly as we were doing. You could see the awe and excitement in their faces as they pointed and photographed the art works that popped up in front and side as the journey continued.

And, this project is not finished. Again in July this year the village has invited even more artists to come and add their creativity. It is like a growing living thing now!

We had lunch at the local restaurant, which was super busy and understaffed. However, the food was exceptional and again, even though we sat street side, only one car passed us. 

After the lunch we drove up into along side the river Mijares and it was beautiful before doubling back towards the main roads. The rural nature of the area is awesome.