The little town of Alfamén in Spain has just wrapped up this years urban art festival, hosted for the second consecutive year, endorsed by the team that leads the Festival Asalto for 13 years in Zaragoza.
The festival has placed the town of Alfamén firmly of the street art map, creating an artistic heritage that supports the tourist routes of the province. Most of the murals you will find in Alfamén are very personal to the town as they all tell the story of its inhabitants, inspired by the history, its natural environment and even its economy.
This festival is an example of how the presence of artists and their works should be integrated into the environment in which they work. An innovative project in rural areas that increasingly interests artists. Asalto
Seven artists invited to this years festival included; Cristian Blanxer, Roc Blackblock, Elisa Capdevila, Sojo, Anna Taratiel, Zësar Bahamonte and the Twee Muizen team.
“There is a more direct and natural communication, and people want to tell the stories of the people”. Artist Zësar Bahamonte
Cristian Blanxer pays homage to the local women workers of the only factory that has existed in the town. At the same time, it introduces the element of water, by placing its protagonist in a laundry that exceeds the limits of the wall.
Roc Blackblock has made two works very rooted with Alfamén. The first follows the technique of stencil, habitual in his work and represents the pillars of the people, water and land. In the background, a piece of crochet and the arid landscape of the region.
“In rural areas, an object with as much tradition as a botijo, embodies very well what I wanted to say,” Roc Blackblock
The artist’s second mural embodies the “Priest Pérez”, a character born in Alfamén who was known as the red priest and who travelled to Latin America in the 1970s, becoming a leader of the National Liberation Army.
“I try to convey the impression of how someone from a town like this, ends up in Colombia leading an armed struggle, was a person with a perspective of the world with horizons. Without entering into the focus of what I was doing, I wanted to look for the essence of the character and reflect the chiaroscuro that each one puts, according to their judgment “. Roc Blackblock
Elisa Capdevila’s describes her work offerings as “an intimate and quite introspective image, like all I do”. This self-portrait looking at a sunflower represents introspection, a universal theme in a beautiful image is enough for the artist. She gives great importance to the brushstrokes, the colour and the atmosphere that she manages to recreate.
With a wall in vertical format, artist Sojo has respectively painted a local older man, wanting to reinforce the idea to respect the elderly.
Anna Taratiel plays with movement and colour in this work. With a geometric drawing made in three volumes that acquire uniformity when you look at them from a point. With movement, unity is undone and each work is unique. Inspired by colours of the environment, the international artist offers us an abstract image for one of the nerve centres of the town.
Zësar Bahamonte has found the different nationalities that live in the locality, an argument for his work. In this mural he makes an allegory of the farming work mixing different people: autochthonous characters and communities of emigrants.
“The idea is to talk about the field as a union of different people who need each other to carry out a task”. Zësar Bahamonte
Twee Muizen paints still life of fauna and flora that has great significance within the work of this artistic couple. With the family as a central point, he makes an analogy of its members with the animals, representing a camel coming from the Sahara. The work envelops a small village house in a poetic way.
Tours were held once the murals were completed and brought the local community together to witness the joys of their new additions to the town.
“Taking into account the vision of the Assault Association, projects of this type ratify our approach and our objectives. Today, more than ever, more leisurely projects are needed and there is a connection with people and the context. Thus, neighbours generate new points of inspiration. ” Alfredo Martínez, Organiser
This is the spirit that guides the Festival Asalto which has been held in Zaragoza since 2005. The 2018 edition that will take place in the Oliver neighborhood, is preceded by a series of projects designed by the citizens to improve their environment. Stay tuned.