Street Art

Escif Paints a Bit of History in Barcelona and Paris

June 13, 2018

One of our favorite interviews from the past few issues of our print edition was our conversation with Spanish artist Escif in our recent Spring 2018 issue. It was funny, even with a few jabs at multiple establishments and his own practice. The artist has recently painted two large and unique murals in Paris and Barcelona. Both paying tributes to historic events that took place decades ago, they show the artist's great care and dedication about the themes and subjects his work is focused on.

The first intervention for Escif was done on the well known Parisian museum, Palais de Tokyo, where the Valencia-based artist reproduced some of the famous events from student revolution in May, 1968. Continuing on a project made in May 2016 by the Greek painter Stelios Faitakis, these interventions are placed in the context of LASCO Project, the Urban Art program of Palais de Tokyo, commissioned by Hugo Vitrani. For the project, Escif created a monumental painting by displacing elements, further connecting the imagery with the actual wall writings from the bathrooms of the institution, along with some of the slogans that accompanied the student revolts of '68. The main idea was to return graffiti to the street by questioning the part of situationism and politics that exists in the act of writing on the walls, all the way from the parietal caves to the current streets and underground.

The second piece, painted a few weeks later in Barcelona, was done as a tribute to the local people that, 40 years ago under Franco's regime, started a fight to have a decent and worthy neighborhood and gain ownership of their public square. According to the artist, in May of 1977, the residents of the neighborhood of La Salud managed to stop the construction of a gas station by pushing the concrete mixer into the hole for its foundations, covering it and planting a tree. Inspired by these events, this work narrates and remembers many lives and stories, conversations in this square, yearnings, dreams, and the many fights that took place and are yet to come. Full of details and anecdotes its a reminder that people always have to fight for their right, especially nowadays, in a time of so much repression. —Sasha Bogojev

Read our recent interview with Escif here.