The 'The line' archive
  • 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.

  • Icelandic cursive

    Icelandic cursive

    Of course, the reason-d’étre of cursive scripts is precisely to trace any word with a single uninterrupted line. In 2016, together with my preferred example of unilinear urban artist, which I treated in my post of January 8th, I already noted the presence of another example (shown in the heading picture of today’s post, taken on September 28, 2016), which, although not unilinear, I felt somehow akin to it.

    Again, I found the same in my 2017 visit. It showed a few signs of the inevitable passage of time (photo: September 7, 2017):

    But this one (same date, same location in the same courtyard behind the cemetery) is truly cursive and graciously executed (and I wonder if in fact the word may be just the same...):

  • Unilinear humbleness still shining

    Unilinear humbleness still shining

    Here is another of my preferred humble works of city art in Reykjavík, as I shot it on September 28, 2016. It stroke me by its 'unilinear' display and the playful but at the same time strong proportions and shapes of the letters (well, I suppose they are letters..., not so sure...).

    And, during my following visit, I looked for it again and found it on September 7, 2017!! You can see there are subtle signs of decay, the paint has lost part of its lustre:

    Unfortunately, in my walks I tend to be not very scientific at all with keeping some records of the specific locations, so everything I can say, as I did back in 2016, is that this little marvel is somewhere just behind he old cemetery of Reykjavík. At least, with respect to my 2017 visit, I can now provide a more general view of the surrounding background:

  • Entering the new samples of Reykjavík's visual graphics

    Entering the new samples of Reykjavík's visual graphics

    Taken on September 30, 2016, this is my most treasured shot ever (being made, as it is the case, of course NOT with my present glorious Leica camera, but with "only" an iPhone 6s Plus, my photo machine at that time), and I take it to be THE symbol of the quest for Reykjavík's city art and the like, which I initiated that year in a totally improvised manner.

    Today, I start entering in the relevant pages (starting now with The line and later progressing through Fachadas en verso) the photos taken in my 2017 visit to the city. Which will probably take me quite a few months..., but I will document this process by regularly bringing selected cases here to the blog. 

    And I begin with this now iconic 2016 shot. In 2017, I looked for it again in my detours through the streets and managed to find it!! But one of the defining features of city art is its ephemeral nature. Compare the following two pictures, the first being another September 30, 2016 shot, the second taken on September 7, 2017:

    My beloved little Reykjavík friend was now caught in street repair works and showing already signs of its lines (see the mouth) slightly fading away. Another detail: the blue letters on my friend's cap had disappeared, but at least the initial letter (somehow ressembling an F) has been replaced by another almost identical, but this time in white: is the artist still contributing to his/her work a year later...?

    A last, general view, showing the precise location, in the crossing between Grettisgata and Vitastígur streets: