Once again the street artists have brightened walls in Lagos, Portugal. And they didn’t just stir the paint, they painted the town jail – like this…
Laboratório de Actividades Criativas (LAC), an arts organisation part financed by the Portuguese government, invited 5 well known street artists from Norway, Poland, Holland and two from Porto for this year’s series of events.
LAC is based in Lagos’ old town jail in Largo Convento Sra. da Glória. The first task of the visiting artists was to redecorate the inside of the jail for viewing by the public. Like the above work by Third from Porto.
Another Porto artist, Mots (real name Diogo Ruas) painted all 4 walls and the ceiling of one of the rooms at the jail – here is a detail from his painting which is perhaps redolent of M C Escher. You can view much more of his art here
Next, here is a creation on 3 walls of the old jail’s exercise yard. It is by M-City (Mariusz Waras from Poland) . It depicts workers fleeing from burning offshore oilrigs, with a reference to local virgin olive oil – highly topical in the light of crazy plans to drill for oil off the Algarve.
Further below there are some shots of a large piece of street art panted by Dutch artist Daan Botlek but here is a small example that he produced inside the jail.
Daan also produced”The Overthinker” in a stair well in the jail.
You can visit the jail (interesting in itself) and view this and a selection of other amazing art on the walls. There is no charge and no appointment is necessary, just drop in during the day and say hello.
On to the Streets
Once the jail had been transformed three of the artists created murals around the streets of Lagos on sites pre-agreed with the Camara (Council) and the owners of the walls.
LAC are sponsored by Portuguese electricity supplier EDP, so an electricity tower is fair game for M-City. He created this piece in just under 5 hours using a cherry picker.
Paint was applied using rollers and cans of spray paint.
So what is it? Close examination reveals that it is a wrecked bus or coach standing on end covering two sides of the tower, one showing the side of the bus and the other the underside.
M-City has produced other pieces around Lagos, including a stencil opposite Joe’s Garage in the old town which is worth a look. He works using both stencils and by painting freehand.
You can view his extensive catalogue of street art on the internet by going here and selecting “walls” from the menu.
More from Daan Botlek as he creates his version of Newton’s Cradle on a viaduct under the EN125 coast road next to Restaurante Trinidade and the campsite.
Daan lives in Berlin but originally hails from Holland and has an extensive online exhibition at his website
Before his visit the wall was painted white as a background. When Daan arrived he pointed out that the figures he was painting were going to be white so there was a hasty repaint in pale blue!
The finished work was painted entirely using rollers of different sizes and was tiring work, hanging off a ladder and repeatedly climbing up and down. Certainly a young man’s game.
Finally we turn to Anders Gjennestad who comes from Norway.
Whereas the other artists are quite “in your face” with bold murals that jump off the wall, Anders’ jumping men are far more subtle.
He prefers to work on old naturally weathered surfaces using stencils that he painstakingly produces in advance, each one slightly different to the next. He uses up to 8 stencils in any one piece of work and applies different shades of spray paint, sticking each stencil in place in turn with masking tape.
The result is a piece of 3D art that integrates with its surroundings as can be seen on the weathered gates in Rua Convento Sra. da Glória and on the wall below.
You will find other examples of Anders’ stencils around the town but you may need to keep your eyes open, or you can go to his website.
To conclude here is a stencil by M-City, the most prolific of the visiting artists, painted in one of the cells in the old town jail. I imagine the original inmates would have liked to have had a pneumatic drill on hand.
Why not visit the jail to view the art? They might even let you leave!