En concreto, gráfica urbana (In Concrete, Urban Graphics)
En Concreto, Urban Graphics is an urban art project Rafael Trelles have developed since the summer of 2004 on the walls, sidewalks and utility poles of different neighborhoods and cities of Puerto Rico, the island municipality of Vieques, Buenos Aires, Argentina, La Havana, Cuba and lastly in the International Printmaking Biennial of Douro, Portugal. This experimental graphic work was originally designed for insertion in poor and abandoned sectors of Puerto Rico.
The graphic design is created on concrete surfaces darkened by mold and street grime spraying water from a pressure washer machine over plastic templates. The designs are imprinted on the dirty surface when the concrete is washed through the holes in the template exposing the wall’s underneath color. No paints or pigments of any kind are used in the making of the designs. These are ephemeral drawings (lasting a little more than a year) made with the accumulated grime of urban surfaces. The idea is to create a work of art out of dirt and to use artistic creation as a transmutation tool.
In August, 2007 Proyecto’ace invited Trelles to develop this project in Buenos Aires. The designs worked for Buenos Aires aimed to metaphorically synthesize six stories from Argentinean author Julio Cortázar and his emblematical novel “Rayuela”. Locations for the works were chosen based on formal and technical criteria trying to achieve the best possible integration with Buenos Aires’ urban surroundings and residents.
In April, 2009 Rafael Trelles was invited by La Havana 10th Art Biennial to further develop this project with a group Cuban artists (L.A.S.A.) in the neighborhood of San Agustín in La Havana. There Trelles worked with designs based on portraits of the people that work and live in the community.
For the 5th International Printmaking Biennial of Douro - 2010- Portugal Rafael Trelles has proposed a series of designs based in the Nobel prized Portuguese writer José Saramago novel: Blindness (Ensaio sobre a cegueira) and the famous painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Parable of the Blind (Parábola de los ciegos).
Like in all his previous projects the creation process of the work will be documented in video by Puerto Rican documentary maker Roberto Otero.