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.
Ruys de Beerenbruckstraat
Very bad / Almost illegible
This small work is made with the stencil technique and the use of montana spray directly onto a sheet of paper, which is then glued onto a public surface. The technique, known as paste-up, is typical of urban artists who want to endow their works with detail and realism or for serial reproduction. In this case, the portrait is executed with great realism as well as the details (the cross, the crown, etc). The work enhances Btoy's rich multicolourism with bright shades of purple, the pinkish tones of the skin, the ultramarine blue of the tunic and the gold of the crown.
The female portrait is one of the most recurrent themes in Btoy's production, especially when related to the theme of female empowerment, feminism and multiculturalism. In this work, Btoy depicts a female face with the features of a virgin: the upturned face and the triangular composition are reminiscent of classical religious paintings of the Renaissance, as is the crucifix clasped to the chest, which reinforces the religious approximation. In contrast to the religiosity, the portrait is encircled by a golden crown with a red star in the centre, reminiscent of the DC Comics superheroine Wonder Woman.