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.
Doctor H. Colijnstraat
Good / Legible
The mural was created in consultation with the residents and groups of residents (128 nationalities are said to live in the district), the housing association Open Haard and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts . The image consists of a human figure surrounded by flights of kingfisher and cormorants , bird species that occur near the nearby Sloterplas. Man looks through a barrier (the chimney) at a smaller group of exotic looking birds of mixed race / species. Falling bricks can also be seen on that side, also a reference to the Sloterplas, the sand released during the excavation of that lake was used in the mortar that connects the bricks. Those falling stones come from the peephole that man has made, a sign of a new perspective on the neighborhood. At the bottom left, flowers can be seen as a sign of the blooming new people in the neighborhood. The mural was installed using a cherry picker .
Bastardilla came to paint the biggest artwork in SAMA collection in the spring of 2019. The artwork is called Memories, which talks about transformations and remembrance, suiting not only the moment our neighbourhood is going through, with major renovations happening in the area, but also the shifting of focus in the museum’s role, having the preservation and dissemination of the memories and stories around our collection as the main purpose of SAMA’s activities.