Art or Vandalism? – Porto

What role does Graffiti play in society?

Some love it, others hate it … some is even commissioned by municipalities like this piece below –

This huge eye catching piece is called “AN.FI.TRI.AO (meaning host) who welcomes people to the city of Porto. The graffiti was done by artist Frederico Draw in 2015.

I personally am fascinated by graffiti, my son was caught in South Africa spraying a building and was arrested and had to do some community service for his efforts. He promised never to do it again.

His efforts were not seen as art, it was seen as vandalism with a high cost to the perpetrator and the community, the community saw it as a degradation towards their buildings , even though it was a block of toilets at a beach in Simonstown , South Africa.

So graffiti has played a role in my life, and as a artist I am drawn to both graffiti and its message and what society is saying to those who take notice.

In 1932 these tiles were painted by ‘Jorge Calaco’ obviously a commissioned piece. The church was built in XV111 th century.

Interesting that both pieces are commissioned, – in my view both are beautiful and serve different purposes and the contrast of art serves to make for a beautiful city that speaks it’s culture and thoughts through art showcased in different forms?

Street art – is an attraction for people visiting a city, with some artists gaining International recognition for their urban works of art (Bordalo11 in Covilha) & (Ella & Pitr in Abrantes)

Although born out of an attitude of transgression and illegality, street art has sparked public interest. Foreign artists have been invited by local authorities and cultural associations to produce work in public spaces and derelict buildings, giving them a new image as well as attracting people like myself to photograph and post these statements of society.

There are graffiti tours that one can do through the city, so I am going to book an outing and put my Hasselblad under my arm and capture this art form as best I can. There are famous sites that photographers from around the world photograph due to their beauty, – just like others photograph the beautiful architecture and interiors of some of the most magnificent churches and history of Porto, so one can also look at street art as a brilliant subject to capture.

Many film makers and film directors look for graffiti to shoot music video’s, short films and commercials, the visual value that these add to imagery is great texture and it depicts the society we live in today. South Africa and specifically Cape Town has some incredible graffiti.

Visually there is so much to take in, South Africa has graffiti, that symbolises the struggle against apartheid and the aftermath – which birthed icons like Nelson Mandela who changed the face of South Africa.,

His message is such a powerful one and a statement – his words will remain as his image stands like art that passers by can read for decades to come :- I think this message form can be stronger and reach more people than most art forms, as millions can pass this bye and read its words….

Is this the value of Graffiti ?

What’s it’s place in society?

Everyday, I learn something new, look for compelling images and stories that capture my attention and thoughts, this story is unresolved and I will continue exploring it over the next few days / weeks and read up and update this work in progress. There are many more sites to discover and capture with my lens.

Every morning we walk past this, my daughter Savannah grabs the opportunity and gives me a kick, ….
This image is a mixture of a massive tourist attraction and perhaps vandalism or illegal graffiti, which we love as it adds contrast to our pictures

One thing is for certain , this art form is here to stay.

Art is a way to express oneself, record history and tell stories….

It even asks questions like “who are you Porto?”

This is a wall of tiles contributed by Porto natives, answering the question’Who are you Porto?’ – is this to a form of graffiti or street art ? Each person who contributed was given 4 tiles with which to answer the question ‘who are you Porto’ The idea was that of one of Portugals most socially and politically active artists +maismenos+

I wonder what the answer would be if you asked ‘who are you South Africa ?’ and what the answers would be? Mine would be ‘I am an African, I was born there’ do you recall the famous speech by Thabo Mbeki.

Porto – for me is the ‘city of angels’ and thats what I would write on my 4 tiles-

Bruce Mac – Porto

#vandalism #brucemacdonald #fashion #travel #traveladvice #sights #tourism @brucemacdirector

Published by brucemacdirector

Telling meaningful stories whether they shorts or features is what gets me out of bed every day. Passionate about those captured in slavery. Biographical films (The Perfect wave with Scott Eastwood) and (Biblical epic Samson with the late Rutger Hauer, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Zane and Taylor James) My recent short films Beat The Curve, Sex Tourism Labour have been awarded best shorts across the globe in 2020.

2 thoughts on “Art or Vandalism? – Porto

  1. Maybe this graffiti is a new wave art form. Certainly very interesting and unusual art. You have had very varied forms of entertainment in your sightseeing and your blog is such a worthwhile project. Keep it up


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