C is for Cookie, a cafe-restaurant in Týsgata 8, another pretty little mural that cannot compare in grandeur with the productions of the great muralists of this world, but does it matter...?
This unpretentious, deliciously retro-style commercial city-art mural is one of my sweetest memories of central Reykjavík. I took this photo on the first of october of 2016 and the following one on the sixth of September of 2017. Joylato es una heladería-cafetería sita en el número 1 de Njálsgata.
If I remember well, this photo illustrates the very first time that I was aware of the use of cty art techniques for commercial purposes in my roundabouts through Reykjavík.
Little and unpretentious, yes, but... sssssooooo cute!
I took the picture on the sixth of September of 2018 in Spítalastígur 8.
(By the way: the flowers are not real as I always beleived. No!: they are painted on the wall too, I have just noticed it right now!!)
And, again, I thank Google Street View for this photo of the same place taken by Google in July 2013:
Today I initiate a series of posts on an aspect of street art that, although vaguely noticed in my 2016 visit, I was immeditely much more aware of in 2017 (but i also felt it was unfolding and spreading in front of my very eyes from one year to another, really becoming a growing trend): the use of this form of art for embillesing commercial establishments.
I took these photos when my 2017 visit was about to expire, on the eigth of September, when, unexpectedly, I stumbled upon a city art work in progress, with the painters fully in action.
Once back in Peking, less than one month later, I saw in Iceland Monitor the announcement of the venue's opening. It is a restaurant. Location: Bergstaðastræti, 4. The owners said the painting was original from the Russian artist Karian Ebiatova, and the mural version was made by Skiltamálun Reykjavikur:
So: here it is! I took this picture on the first of october of 2016.
I have a special admiration for those I call other artists, who, despite perhaps not being so virtuosistic or so resolute as the graffiters or muralists, show such a gracious inspiration that always conquers me...
I have my gallery of Leica photos in Fotopark (leica-photopark.com). Just a couple of days ago, one of the photographers I follow published an aerial view over the sea with a nice cloudy sky, but he chose as title a sentence in Icelandic: Ég er kominn aftur 'I come back'. So I thought he was coming back from his summer hollidays in Iceland.
And today he posted a photo of just that same picturesque facility I had photographed back in 2016. It is still there and in perfect condition. With my renewed location powers, I have immediately located it and entered it in my growing map of Reykjavík street art: Njálsgata 10.
But, if you just follow Njálsgata a little further west, in the same area, really close, you almost directly end at what I showed you a couple of weeks ago, and the question arises itself spontaneously: are they both from the same author?:
Here it is! After months making sense of my photos and my memories, plus scrutinizing everything I could find on the web about te murals,... today I got it right!: a neatly organized map of Reykjavík (thanks, Avenza Maps, for the app, an amazing tool!) where continuing to efficiently add the locations of Reykyavík's city art.
- Purple: Wall Poetry 2015
- Blue: Wall Poetry 2016
- Orange: other (mostly authoctonous) citicens' murals
- Red: murals adopted (I say 'abducted' to myself) by commercial establishments (I will introduce them soon in this blog)
- Yellow: 'the other' works of art
The barely 29 works I have finally located today seem little thing for the quite a few months working on them, but now I have a good foundation to continue the task. And it will guide my steps in late October tfor good photos of Reykjavík city art with my Leica!
Thanks again, Google Earth for your amazing Street View!
I have been very active in the last days progressing on a long term systematic effort I initiated a couple of months ago for precisely locating all the city art of Reykjavík known to me and the one I know about but have not met yet.
And, as part of this effort, this week I went through a few virtual walks of Reykjavík on the Street View, quite useful, and one of them involved searching for the wonderful inverted green text I presented in my last post. I only approximately remembered the area where it was. So I went there on the Street View and took a street more or less chosen at random. Went up the slope, thinking that the green text could not be in this street, but possibly somewhere on the left of it (several minor streets not covered by Street View)..., but, suddenly, when I arrived at the end of my street... Oh, voila!!! I stumbled upon it!! What a surprise!!:
Located!: exactly at the upper end of Bókhlöðustigur, where it intersects with Þingholsstræti.
But, of course, there was another fantastic surprise: The text appears totally undercovered, without that structure that seemed an electrical facility, which blocked it when I met it, back in 2017.
Google took the image in July 2013, which demonstrates that the electric facility that blocked the view in 2017 was installed after the text was written on the wall.
And there it goes: I inverted the image, so we can read it (well, those of you who know Icelandic...) as if normally written:
The Craft Humanitas basic methodology is to discover by walking and seeing around, looking for the unexpected, which can arise at any turn. But sometimes the unexpected just traspasses a bit further beyond, where the extraordinary awaits... This happened on the eighth of September of 2017 in Reykjavík, when I stumbled upon this amazing composition: 1) a parking metter machine; 2) what seems an electricity infraestructure, painted with a big red 'hotel' sign and a grid representing black windows and entrance to it, and 3) a fascinating text written in green on the grey background. It took me a while to realize that it was mirrorlikely written, and, on top of that, part of it went beyond the electric facility!
Just in front there was a (house or shop, do not remember) window, which I used to reveal the real text (and the artist must have taken this window into account when composing their work!).
On all accounts, this is an incredibly ingeniously creative piece. Althoug one can not rule out the possibility that the two parts (green text and the hotel picture) do not belong to the same author or time..., but they constitute anyway a fantastic cluster of elements. I hope to find it again this year...
Última entrega de esta serie de ejemplos reykjaviqueños del no tan fácil encaje del graffitti con las expectativas del conjunto de la sociedad cuando sale de su estado de semianonimato, se masifica y se atreve a mostrarse más públicamente.
Many reflections can arise on this subject of the clashing interface between graffity and the established society’s understanding of good taste and and public-spiritedness. It may be naive for me to ask for aesthetic values in the graffitters’ creation (they are in their own right to pursue completely other aims, not interested in the artistic expression at all...), and, nevertheless, there are wonderfully beautiful features in them (more in some than others, I think). And, whatever their intents, the clash is there, a very real thing that has to be addressed. I am the less knowledgeable guy to be talking about these rather complex issues, anyway, and my website purports to be visual much more than argumentative, so, here are three more of my pictures of 2017 on the matter.