March 5, 2021

The manchego silos revive as canvases of urban art | Culture

Two gigantic skeletons in full color, about 30 meters high, embrace and kiss in the sun terrace of the Castilian town of Porzuna. They are two figures that rise above the main wall of the silo of this village of almost 4,000 inhabitants. Who has drawn them with their sprays, in the last week, is the urban artist Nychos, which has decorated the other external walls of the building with more skeletons, skulls, bones … An old grain store is already one more work of this Austrian based in California, known for his dissected pop figures. However, Nychos has counted this time with some assistants who have painted figures that he had previously outlined, the young people and adults of a Ciudad Real association that deals with psychic and autistic people.

To get to know this cocktail, which combines culture as a tourist attraction in rural Spain and the integration of people at risk of being excluded from society, we must talk to the different parts that make it up. The person in charge of the Madrid study of cultural projects Ink And Movement, Óscar Sanz, explains by telephone that the germ of this initiative, called Titans, was born just over a year ago, during a work they developed in Puertollano in which the urban artist Okuda San Miguel painted a mural helped by young people from the Laborvalía association, which deals with the integration of people with mental disabilities from 16 occupational centers . Laborvalía is driven by the Provincial Delegation of Ciudad Real, which has paid the 400,000 euros of Titans "They asked us if we could think of what to do with the silos, which were abandoned, "recalls Sanz.

Thus, since April of this year, Spanish and foreign street artists began to arrive to paint silos of the towns of Calzada de Calatrava, Malagón, Corral de Calatrava, Herencia, La Solana, Manzanares and Porzuna. It is planned, in September, to decorate the interior of Villanueva de los Infantes and do three more in Ciudad Real. "We have tried to have different styles," says Sanz, "and we have chosen artists who knew how to live with the kids, because they were going to work together." The visual impact of silos painted from the road is wanted to be transferred to their surroundings. "We found ourselves in some cases that were almost garbage dumps, now they are a tourist attraction, you can make a route from the silos and you can have new life as cultural spaces".

Artists such as Nychos, who manages the crane that climbs slowly through the wall of the silo in which it gives shade, to take refuge from the 34 degrees of noon in Porzuna last Thursday. Inside, along with dozens of boxes with sprays, Pilar Torres, a Laborvalía technician, explains that "in the occupational centers we see that there are people with artistic talent and they do works that are exhibited". Torres emphasizes a parallel between the silos, "abandoned buildings, these artists, who were badly seen, and children with intellectual disabilities, who previously did not think they could do so many things and were apart."

Rubén is one of them. It is filling with a spray the figures that Nychos has outlined. "He explains techniques, how to review, make shadows … we are learning a lot because he tells us how to move the spray, the distance to apply it …". His partner Lionel, who has also participated in the transformation of other silos, says that the Austrian tells them "how to avoid drops."

"They are delighted, taking a spray can and painting with an artist is a great motivation, and the artists tell us that they are also learning from them," adds Torres. It is corroborated by Nychos, who has climbed down from the crane with his hat, white long-sleeved shirt and black pants. "It was really fun to be with them." At first, I drew skulls and bones for them to fill out, but I did not know if they would understand, I went to paint and when I got back, I was surprised at how well they had done it.

Before going to eat and lie down, like every day from five to six, "a nap" (he says it in Spanish), Nychos says that it is not the first time he paints on such a large surface, but that they were walls in horizontal, not vertically, what "is serving you for new projects". I did have an idea of ​​what I was going to do in Porzuna, "the skeletons, I really like to draw the bones, it's complex because of its shadows". This time he has dispensed with painting organs of the human body, as usual, a classic whose origin is to have grown up in a family of hunters.

"In one side of the silo I have drawn a skeleton of a woman, in another one of a man, in another the two meditating and in the last one, kissing, but I do not deal with the subject of death", he emphasizes, "I would like people I saw it stop thinking, skeletons refer to fear, but I would like the public to face these fears. " On the verge of finishing, with the gloves on and paint stains on his face, he says he has tried to do something "more drawn, fine, that when you move away it looks like paint and, even if they are skeletons, it looks delicate".

(tagsToTranslate) silo (t) manchego (t) revive (t) canvas (t) art (t) urban (t) project (t) convert (t) wall (t) old (t) warehouse (t) grain ( t) space (t) decorate (t) figure (t) paint (t) street (t) street

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