Street art piece
Portrait of Jesse
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
The artwork is among the few photorealistic portraits by Btoy, who generally prefers a rougher style with stencils. Jesse is represented with great realism in the facial features with chiaroscuro patches that make the profile volumetric especially when contrasted with the multicoloured geometry of the background.
The portrait is characterised by an excellent adherence to realism on the part of Btoy who uses all his mastery of detail to create a vibrant and penetrating portrait of young Jesse. The colours, in keeping with Btoy's tradition, are used in a bright and vivid manner with the aim of creating contrasts that are attractive to the viewer's contemplation.