- Words and Photos by Fernando Bastos
More From Porto, Portugal
If you intend to visit the second biggest city in Portugal, you should be ready to enjoy good food and wine, the famous Oporto Wine have their cellars here, on the left bank of Douro River there are plenty of good tasty spots.
The city itself is very beautiful; one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.
We can find a large number of very good artwork all over the city; from Portuguese artists but also international. However nearby Porto, in a place called Senhora da Hora (there are plenty of tram lines which links city center with Senhora da Hora Metro station), we can find Movimento Flash (Flash Movement), this independent movement is curated by Filipe Granja, started in May 2016.
Every single month Filipe invited a different artist to paint, and give color to a small part of the Football stadium wall for the local team...
doresdefome was the first one to be invited and it’s artwork; “O Errante“, reflects someone who always travels without a destiny, always guided by the train lines, which will show him all the world.
“Metro“ was the second artwork made by feio_porco_mau, this is a project that portrays a geek kid who loves small trains, but also like a parody due to the relationship between trains and graffiti.
The third piece was made by HAZUL a well known Porto artist. We can find a lot of his artwork in old part of the city, this one is called “Outrora“, and is a reflection between elements and time.
The first international artists who came to Flash appeared in August; the Brazilian Bella Amaral, and American JUSTINPHAME made “ Trains on the Brain “ , this artwork depicts a man and woman lying down, facing each other, with a train coming out of their heads, as if they are sharing the same dream.
“El Boze One“ artwork was made in September by Paulo Boz, this piece reflects the artist's lettering style as well as bringing some expressive figures to his lettering.
The Porto artist GODMESS made “The Prince“ artwork in October, and in the last two months of 2016 Mariana PTKS and #heitorcorreahc made “Concreto Abstracto“ and “Sabat do Saber”, with Mariana’s artwork the artist poses a question to all of us; What is concrete and what is abstract? The answer to her question arises within each of us, incited by the inflamed colors of a reinterpreted cosmos, whose fragments hover on the threshold of dimensions.
At “Sabat do Saber”, the artist was inspired by a Portuguese novel “A Rosa de Paracelso", by Jorge Luis Borges. This novel represents a celebration moment to the value of learning and learning along the way. A communion of Thanksgiving for every step made, and every slip; achievements and failures. Extremely opposed to the alienated cult of the law of the least effort, empty of dignity, the scene is based on a stimulus of encouragement to ethical character, meritocracy, and recognition of the love of life and nature.
In the beginning of 2017, the artist invited was Mesk85, very well known in Porto due to his mice all over the city; this artwork “O Caminho“, shows us that the right path is not always the right one.
In February 2017 Filipe Granja invited 3 artists; Conrta, Frederico Draw and OKER from “Colectivo Rua“, the “Come Closer“ artwork is a sublime artwork; the delicacy of the female face painted by Draw contrasts with the typographic and abstract elements elaborated by Contra and OKER.
The work invites two exercises, away from this the perception of the whole is more obvious, and the lines are defined more easily on a white background and an approach, where the detail gains relief and the lines and textures surpass - the white thus creating several different contexts within it.
In March 2017, two generations came to show their talent; youthone, a Portuguese graffiti pioneers, and Virus, one of the highest exponents of the new school in Porto. The result was an artwork with 30 square meters where the artists have the freedom to show their talent, and where they mix their painting techniques and their proper identity.
In April 2017, the last artist was Mr. Dheoe. He made “The New World Order“, which is an ironic representation of the “Last Supper”. In this version, a trinity composed with the World geopolitical protagonists of the West, East and Korea. Trump, Putin and Kim Jong-un show who has the highest trump in control and global domination, as if it were a simple game. The artwork is a satire on the current political landscape, and growing global threat from three leaders who seem to be looking at ways to achieve their ends, with Trump holding a tops of hearts, Putin a lady and Kim a king.
Above all, what Flash wants is to create a showcase that includes different urban art styles, the main goal is to do a little of everything, from realism, abstractionism or illustration... this was only the first phase of the project. The first stage is finished, but the intention, according to Filipe is to replicate the same format in other Senhora da Hora walls.
I hope you enjoyed this description and photos. Next time you are in Portugal; Filipe and Porto citizens are really keen to receive you all….
See you in Porto!