Better to seek forgiveness than ask permission is a useful guiding principle for those who have a cunning plan but problematic superiors. Seeking forgiveness isn’t just for usual suspect rogue operators. Ramón Mor, padre at L’Hospitalet de Llobregat near Barcelona, had a cunning plan early last year to paint a wall at his church. Artist selection required the Archbishop’s permission. But the priest took a punt. He didn’t ask permission. He commissioned Rudi and his Madrileño amigo House to paint the blank apse of Santa Eulàlia. Rudi and House use aerosols. They are escritores de grafitis. Graffiti artists. Which explains why Padre Mor didn’t seek permission.

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detail of apse at Santa Eulàlia de Provençana painted by Rudi and House. Photograph by Joan Pau Inarejos

Santa Eulàlia de Provençana was built in the mid-1950s in a neo-Romanesque style to complement the adjacent thousand year old Romanesque church L’Hospitalet. The priest asked the artists to adapt their style to Catalan Romanesque. Flat colour, monumentality, lined, planar faces and rigid expressions.

The Virgin and Child are central, flanked by the patron saint of Santa Eulàlia and a family to symbolize the working-class neighborhood of L’Hospitalet. Of particular interest to COVER is the inter-generational family. A woman hands a thimble to a young boy. According to reporter Gerry Hadden the woman is House’s grandmother who was “a keen seamstress” (does this mean the boy is House?)

ABC España’s video of the artists, and the accompanying report ends with Rudi emphasising their painting is not street art. “Graffiti is a style” he says, “this is a wall decoration made with spray, but not in the style of graffiti.” His statement underscores why Padre Mor kept quiet. He knew art should be judged by results rather than tools. DJ

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detail of apse at Santa Eulàlia de Provençana painted by Rudi and House. Photograph by Joan Pau Inarejos

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