Street Art piece
Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Born in Colombia, Bastardilla began painting as a child with brushes, water and lithographic inks. From a young age, the freedom she found in painting abandoned spaces inspired her to experiment with new surfaces and methodologies beyond what was possible in her home. In her work, Bastardilla chooses to maintain anonymity, despite international acclaim. This decision is both a nod to graffiti’s roots -- a time when its practitioners were criminalised -- but is also meant to avoid celebrity status overtaking her art’s mission of amplifying the voices of those struggling for self-determination and justice. She manifests her limitless appetite for exploration and experimentation through compiling disparate voices, imagery and ideas from historical and contemporary sources to creating a broad variety of media ranging from toys, games, video, paste-ups and small ink prints to monumental walls completed with brushes and rollers.
Driven by questions of worthy struggles, like of those who pursue self-determination and life autonomy, she took her observations that go beyond architectural formats or objects, onto the streets and concentrated her attention on people, peculiarities of life outdoors, the habitat of the stories of different people in the cities full of governmental devices of watch and control and dominating marketing practices by know-it-alls. She sees the public spaces as the most important places, where social participation can happen above mass media, where life cannot be made up, it is not stereotyped or generalised, where you can still say something yours or hear others. Bastardilla has chosen to maintain her anonymity. Such a decision is meant to emphasise her art’s core meanings, allowing her work to speak for itself rather than building celebrity around her personal self.
Gone / Illegible
The portrait depicts a young woman with blue, almost lily-white features in the act of swimming. Only the upper part of her face is portrayed as she is just emerging from the water, represented by the ripples of the surface around her face. The young woman, whose features are reminiscent of Bastardilla's realist-cartoon style, keeps her eyes closed as she swims, at peace with herself with long braids that follow the waves moving around her. This is one of the few works made with spray can by Bastardilla who, in recent years, has preferred to use paint and brushes for his murals.