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
This is one of the few monumental works by Btoy in the Sama's collection, made entirely with the spray and freehand technique and leaving the typical paste-up technique that characterises the Spanish artist to the side. In the brick wall, the face of a young woman with orange hues and a penetrating gaze is represented with a ninety degree distortion. Around her, the artist gives free rein to her imagination by reproducing a series of geometric patrons, such as zigzag lines, leopard spots or zebra stripes in a variety of colours: pink, blue, green, black, white, purple, sky blue etc. It is a rare case of Btoy approaching the stille of the new abstract school of graffiti, characterised by bright colours and intersecting geometric shapes, of which Kenor, the artist in the collection, is a well-known example.
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