Art has taken to the streets and, once again, the city's landscape is even more colourful and alive with the three new artistic interventions that can be admired on Rua de O Primeiro de Janeiro, Rua da Calçada de Monchique (including Rua de Monchique) and on Rua de Faria Guimarães.
The work on Rua de O Primeiro de Janeiro, next to the Bessa XXI Stadium, in Boavista, is by Inês Arisca, a multidisciplinary artist from Porto. It is on the walls of the former transformation substation, dating from 1915, where a female memory” now lives, entitled “A Primeira. Having overcome the adverse weather conditions and a flu, Arisca managed to realise, after 40 hours of intense work and 12 litters of paint, a painting inspired by the eternal feminine. Now everyone who passes by this street, sees the joyful face of a girl holding hands with hope for a more compassionate world, like a fruit that must be cultivated and be left to ripen.
The second street art intervention is by João Domingos, better known by his artistic name, Bigod. It is located on Rua da Calçada de Monchique (also includes Rua de Monchique), in the heart of Alfândega do Porto [custom house], in what was the centre of an intense mercantile dynamism in the city. Inspired by this area, once “very used for the transport and exchange of goods”, Bigod gave life and soul to the walls of the transformation substation located next to the building of the extinct Convento de Monchique [convent], belonging, since the 19th century, to the Clemente Menéres agricultural society.
Given the strong commercial link in this specific area of the city, the artist was inspired by an icon - the rabelo boat, a privileged means of transport for Port wine before the arrival of the major land and rail routes. Bigod admitted that it was a “challenge” to overcome the “slope of the street and the very architecture of the building”, but at the end of ten hours of digital work, 32 hours of making the artwork and more than 30 litters of paint used, having “good feedback from people” is “rewarding”. Having this “opportunity to make an artwork [called Mercadores] in Porto, in a city that I identify with and where street culture already has a great expression in Portugal”, will be something that Bigod will keep with the utmost satisfaction.
On Rua de Faria Guimarães, there is yet another work of street art, by Nuno Barbedo (known as The Caver). After three days and 25 spray cans, the main challenge for the graffiti artist was to adapt the design to the shape of the wall. The greatest difficulty, he told to us, was “painting evenly over all the reliefs”, being such a busy street, “the constant traffic hindered our concentration a little”. In the work entitled “Mad World”, a reflection of the artist's unique style with simple, contrasting and colourful shapes, erupting volcanoes, a comet on a collision course with the planet, untimely winds stand out. It is a hostile environment of “danger and discomfort”, revealing the “chaotic state the world is currently in, with wars and global warming”, explained the artist.
Text: Sara Oliveira