About This Town by Artez | Calle de Fuencarral 31, Madrid
A brief visit to Puerta del Sol in Madrid was Instagram worthy, but crowded with shoppers. The stores were mostly American and there were the familiar fast food restaurants. I was disappointed.
However, my eye caught sight of this colorful mural. “About This Town” depicts a girl holding a pile of books with a bird and its birdhouse balanced on top. There’s a plant behind her or maybe she’s holding that too. The eye happily travels up and away from the crowded street to appreciate the blue sky above.
Born in Serbia, Artez painted this mural in four days to be a part of the 2019 Urvanity Art Fair. On his website, he explains: “This mural tells us the story of Madrid, a place where visitors from all around the globe are welcome to come and enjoy the vivid artistic and cultural content that this city has to offer. Positioned in the very centre of the town, this mural creates a contrast with the pedestrian shopping street in which it is located. Instead of carrying shopping bags, girl depicted on the mural is holding a pile of books important for the history and culture of the city, and a plant with a small birdhouse that is inviting all the “birds” to come and feel like home!”
A closer look reveals the title of one book Miau by Benito Pérez Galdós (considered to be one of Spain’s most famous writers since Cervantes) and another references the painter Francisco Goya. Possibly this reference is a commentary about the maladies of society.
I would say that a deeper reading surfaces from Artez’ mural. Possibly, the tourist should spend more time getting to know Madrid’s history and culture. Or, maybe it’s the Spaniards who should pay more attention to Madrid which may be selling its soul to the tourist industry. Who knows?
In any case, she’s my soul sister. I’ll give up shopping bags for a pile of books any day. And, if my nose isn’t in a book, I’ll be birdwatching with my zoom lens pointed to the sky.
El hombre de pensamiento descubre la Verdad; pero quien gozan de ella y utiliza sus celestials dones es el hombre de acción.~ Benito Pérez Galdós
The man of reflection discovers Truth; but the one who enjoys it and makes use of its heavenly gifts is the man of action.”