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.
Good / Legible
The artwork is made using the stencil technique, typical of the European street tradition. The use of the stencil allows Btoy to create overlapping layers of colour, through which he builds areas of chiaroscuro to give volumetric and realistic emphasis to his portraits. The forms are barely sketched, the detailing virtuosity is absent except for the eyes and the gaze of the young woman. Unlike the other portrait 'Negrita I', in this case Btoy decides to focus on a meticulous detail-oriented realism, enhanced by the woman's rich headdress, earrings and dress, which can barely be appreciated at the bottom. This portrait has no background, as is the case with other works by the artist in the museum: this allows the viewer to concentrate more on the details created by the artist.
The work depicts a young South American black woman and relates to other works by the artist such as 'Flower Girl' or 'Negrita II'. Multiculturalism and the fight against racism are among the predominant themes in the Spanish artist's social art.