Street Art piece
Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Btoy is one of the first women who stepped out onto the streets of Barcelonawith detailed multi-layered stencil art that playswith colour, light and shadow to create moody and powerful portraits. Born in Barcelona, Btoy is the child of social activists and refugees fleeing the dictatorial regime in Uruguay lasting from 1973-85. As a self-taught artist, she came to graffiti while completing a photography degree (and after abandoning studies in law), first playing with paste-ups on the streets of Barcelona in the early 2000’s. At that time, before it became the mass tourism hotspot it is today, a welcoming culture and low cost of living in Barcelona created fertile ground for those experimenting with graffiti, underground music, theater and art subcultures. It was in this setting that Btoy began to vigorously investigate feminism, stereotyped gender roles and identities, and to express her own identity through her work, choosing the streets as her medium for their freedom from convention, their hidden moods, memories, and stories.
Gone / Illegible
Black Power is one of Btoy's first works for the SAMA collection. It is a small artwork, 72x56 cm, which is adapted to the advertisement box where it is affixed. The technique used is paste-up: this is a practice widely diffused in the world of urban art and diametrically opposed to classic graffiti, due to its rapidly reproducible character, multiple works and the material used. In the case of paste-up, there is not a direct impression of the paint on the support surface, the artist previously prepared a work on paper then pasted onto it. The disadvantage of paste-up is its extremely short organic cycle due to the rapid deterioration of the material used, so it is quite common to observe the loss of such works within the SAMA collection.
The work depicts three figures from the guerrilla world of the black movement in defence of human rights: the theme is closely linked to Btoy's poetics, inspired by a continuous questioning of the dominant patriarchal society and the conditions of social inequality within it. The paste-up stands out for its extreme simplicity and sobriety, which allow a greater focus on the intrinsic meaning of the work than on its aesthetics.