• the extraordinary

    the extraordinary

    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... 

  • discordant chords (3)

    discordant chords (3)

    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. 

  • discordant chords (2)

    discordant chords (2)

    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.

  • discordant chords (1)

    discordant chords (1)

    I said elsewhere that, during my 2017 visit to Reykjavík, for the first time, my eye got sight of those  instances where graffity do collide with, let’s say..., urbanity. I had seen in 2016 the classical manifestations of what many would find ugly, vandalic graffity, but those I saw then were in relatively secluded alleys or corners. Whether the more publicly ostentatious graffity were mainly absent at that time, or simply that I did not pay attention to them, I do not know... But certainly I did notice them in 2017. I devote three successive posts here to show those I photographed.

  • the petroglyph-ish graffiti

    the petroglyph-ish graffiti

    This is the image (September 28, 2016), included in the page ‘The line’ of my website, for which I found a connection with prehistoric petroglyphs. It was photographed in Ljósvallagata, the street that runs all along the back edge of the cemetery in central Reykjavík. And I found the same one again on September 7, 2017, in perfect state of conservation:

    But, again, there was still a picture of a second version of the same graffiti that I had taken in that same day of 2016, in the same street, very close to the site of the first one. The execution is slightly different, but it is obviously the same motif and, presumably, with apparently a high degree of probability, made by the same hand:


  • Ground floor reappearance

    Ground floor reappearance

    Given that urban (ground-level, if you wish) art is inherently ephemeral, my heart is always content to reencounter its gems in a new visit to Reykjavík, and this was certainly the case with this splendid ground-floor version, which I photographed on October 2, 2016 almost besides the bus terminal and the city airport (you see an airplane  taking off in the left). Let us call it (a).

    Until now I showed its photo in the page 'the line' of this website, but I had omitted (I will add it later on) a second example, (b), which was located only meters away. Here is the picture, taken on the same day:

    And here it was again the following year!!! (photo taken on the seventh of September of 2017):

    For adding here a precise note about their location, I looked today through Google Earth. Here is the information:

    And, finally, on a closer inspection of the Google Earth images, I was amazed to discover that they both can be seen there as two white stains on the darker surface of the pedestrian way:


  • disappearance and decay

    disappearance and decay

    Street artists know very well that one of the chief features inherent to their works is their very efemerality. In this photo, which I took on September 29, 2016 at one of the corners of the cozy Fógetagarðurinn square, in downtown Reykjavík, just besides the Settlement Exhibition, you see what I took as one of my favourite graffiti of the city, if you abstract it from its surroundings and consider only its aesthetic appeal as a creative work, although it was certainly rather impactfully placed (many would say insolently placed perhaps, but I think this location, together with its being the only piece in place, was an important part of its artistic allure).

    I was there again on September 7, 2017, and the view was completely different:

    Am I the only one who compares the two photos and sees the replacement as less than a shadow of the original? That piece of wall WAS truly a piece of art (of a sort). Now it was ONLY a wall tainted with grafitti.

    Besides, in this 2017 visit, my eye was a bit keener to pinpoint, besides the inherent brilliantly artistic quality of grafitti practice, its Mr Hide, sinister or ugly facet. You will see a few examples later on in this blog.

  • Faroese urban art?

    Faroese urban art?

    I photographed this weird collection of beautiful orange little lines on the dark grey earth in downtown Tóshavn on the first of September of 2017. The fact is that I had already seen the intriguing lines, of exactly this same type, in one or two other places in the city, on the pavement. Although they may have been made on purpose by somebody, perhaps a more plausible explanation (I thought) was that they may be simply licks from machines used for construction or city maintenance works... Whatever the case, I found them truly wonderful!!

    In fact, in my detours through the city, this appeared to me something of a desert from the point of view of city art. The only certain sign I saw was this beautiful collection of hand prints on a white wall in a very narrow alley (if I remember well, there was an art or design studio at the corner, what helps to explain the presence of this otherwise concealed work of urban art):

    There is, nevertheless, a little space in downtown expresely dedicated to city art, the name of which I did not see or record. I can only provide this photo I made. See the daring red lines steming out and even crossing the street:

  • Iversen


    As you may know, the page ‘The line’ of this website is accessed by clicking on the same picture that opens today’s blog post, which I took in 2016 in an exhibition of the Faroese artist Hansina Iversen held that year by Copenhagen’s North Atlantic House (otherwise known also as The Nordic House). This picture, and Iversen’s art in general, are the icons of this long term investigation of mine that I call The Line...

    In 2017, after travelling for 3-4 days with my brother and friends in the Feroes, I stayed by my own for another few more days, accomodated in the Hostel Kerjalon, Tórshavn. Kerjalon is itself a more affordable annex of the very luxurious Hotel Føroyar, so I was allowed to spend time at the public areas of the Føroyar, mainly the extense reception desk area. And it was there that I discovered this painting:

    I failed to see any signature, but, if the author is not Iversen herself, the style is unmistakably hers...

    Just by chance, at the same reception area they had a very nice book, written in Faroese, precisely about Hansina Iversen!! I made a couple of pictures and, later on, went into a bookstore in downtown to see if they had it.

    Yes, they had it!!

    I purchased the book, and here are some pictures of it that I have taken today in my office:

    This artist that represented the icon of my ‘The line’ research seemed to follow or surround me like a hypnotic presence in those extra days I spent by my own in Tórshavn. I visited Hansina Iversen’s website and wrote an e-mail to her contact address, hoping perhaps to have a chance to meet her there. But I got no reply.

    I could, nevertheless, admire one of her most prominent works of art to date, the public work she was comissioned to do for the building of the national Faroese Parliament: