posters

Ghost Women in Barcelona

My eye keeps finding more images for my Ghost Women series. This time, on the walls along the streets and alleyways of Barcelona. (See more of this portfolio, along with an explanation, under the Galleries tab above.)

In this photograph of some urban graffiti and poster advert detritus, I was seeing two couples–but their relationships are quite different. Perhaps one couple (upper) has managed to find accommodation and contentedness while the other (lower) is dealing with resentment, fear, perhaps even abuse?

Ghost Women, #51. Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #51 (Dos Parejas, Un Contraste). Barcelona, 2017

 

Can you see the face of self-destruction in this next photograph? Torn and disfigured…disappearing…perhaps due to unspeakable childhood traumas…the disintegrating effects of an addiction, maybe…

Ghost Women, #52 (Autodestruction). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #52 (Disappearing Self). Barcelona, 2017

 

Apparently comfortable, happy and healthy in their own skins in this urban space–what are their 3000 personal stories?

Ghost Women, #53 (What is their story?). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #53 (What is their story?). Barcelona, 2017

 

All I want is respect…dignity…you know, all those standard human rights we all ought to enjoy…

Ghost Women, #55 (Deserving of Respect). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #55 (Deserving of Respect). Barcelona, 2017

 

High voltage 69…authorized personnel only…

Ghost Women #56 (High Tension 69). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women #56 (High Tension 69). Barcelona, 2017

 

In a bar…on the street…a furtive glance. But who is he, really? Perhaps just a mere phantom of her own personal opera?

Ghost Women, #57 (A Furtive Glance). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #57 (A Furtive Glance). Barcelona, 2017

 

Is she in pursuit of a life-saving superhero? Ah, but superheroes are often distracted, with other, grander (!?), things on their minds. Or maybe they just want to go out alone on the balcony for a pensive smoke now and then…

Ghost Women, #58 (In Pursuit of a Superhero). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #58 (In Pursuit of a Superhero). Barcelona, 2017

 

And, finally, we have Leonardo’s reflective Mona Lisa selling Louis Vuitton handbags. I wonder what da Vinci would think of that? Would Lisa del Giocondo approve? And who were the Madmen/women who came up with this mad marketing campaign, anyway?

Ghost Women, #59 (Mona Lisa Marketing). Barcelona, 2017
Ghost Women, #59 (Mona Lisa Marketing). Barcelona, 2017

Art and Entropy in Navajo Land

Cow Springs Station, #1. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016
Cow Springs Station, #1. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016

 

Jetsonorama is an artist (and medical doctor) who has been living many years on Navajo Land in northeastern Arizona. His installation art, in the form of huge photographic posters pasted to the walls of various structures, you have very likely seen if you have crossed through the Nation any time in the past couple of years–and you kept your eyes open.

His goal with his poster project was to help instill and affirm pride among the Diné who live a tough life among the deserts, mountains, plateaus, arroyos, and washes of this beautiful painted land.

I stopped at one of his installation locations recently whilst on my way down to Tucson for a family visit. In this case, what caught my eye was the context within which I found his art–a run down ex-service station that advertised “Standard Oil Products”. The place was obviously of another era (happier and more hopeful??? or simply more exploited?)…and slowly crumbling and rusting into the dust from which it was erected, along with Jetsonorama’s huge photographs of sheep–a mainstay of the Navajo economy and diet.

Like urban street murals, when the elements begin to take their toll, the original artwork begins to take on additional depth and dimension…of time, certainly…but also of nostalgia…of loss…of inevitability…of that unavoidable cycle of life and death.

Here are a few images from near the turn off to Cow Springs, on the highway between Kayenta and Tuba City…

 

A poignant graffiti comment given the context. Jetsonorama’s sheep (now lost, sans herder, and wandering aimlessly through the ruins) can be seen on the far wall to the right:

Remember Who You Are. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016
Remember Who You Are. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016

 

The sheep, from a bit closer. The window frames a cleaner landscape:

Window and Sheep. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016
Window and Sheep. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016

 

A shadow catches the photographer at work:

Cow Springs Station, #2. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016
Cow Springs Station, #2. Cow Springs, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2016

When You Look Closely

Cristo Llorando. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Cristo Llorando. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

He (or the Virgin Mary) has appeared on burnt toast, sheets of linen, creases of a drying sock, a landslide, dried wood, a fried egg, and just about everything else you can think of.

Today, while looking for material for my On Women project, I discovered His image on a wall half-hidden among the residues of lost generations of pasted up and ripped down, political, vote-for-me, posters.

It’s amazing what you can find in plain view when you take the time to observe closely.

What does it all mean, Buckwheat?