Symbiosis at M.I.A.U.
Exhibition at M.I.AU. Fanzara containing only portraits of artists taking part in the event

MIAU Fanzara is a very special street art festival, it's organised in a very small village called Fanzara near Valencia by a brave group of locals with the help of some great people like Pincho and Hombrelópez, and it has a beautiful story behind it:

Everything started some years ago, when the conservative government in power started planning to build a dumping site in the village. A group of villagers came together to fight against the project, and created an organisation to start demonstrating against the dumping site construction. After some time, they realised the only way of stopping it was to win the town council, basically because the right-wing government in power couldn't care less about their demonstrations and efforts, they only cared about the percentage they were going to get from the dumping site construction. So this small group of brave locals, who had never been especially interested in politics before, decided to create a political party and run for elections with the hope of being elected to be able to stop the garbage dump... and they did it!

After stopping the dumping site construction, they decided they could do something else while in power; one of them was very interested in street art and muralism, and his sister had studied art with a very nice guy known as Pincho, who they knew had participated in some street art festivals before. So they contacted him to paint a little mural in town, he was excited with the idea and started calling some friends to join him. Finally, after some months of preparations and hard work, they organised the first MIAU Fanzara street art festival, which was a total success.

DeihDeih

Some of the more conservative town residents were not extremely happy with the idea, but after sharing some days with the artists, they realised it wasn't such a bad thing, and they even established some nice relationships, offering them food and beer to endure the long painting sessions under the merciless Spanish sun.

From the moment they started conceiving the idea, it was really clear for them that they didn't want to organise an event in which a group of artist come to paint the village in a few days and then just leave. They wanted to create some bonds between the artists and the villagers, and establish a dialog between them; that's why they organised graffiti workshops for the kids, stencil courses for the teenagers, concerts, and lectures.

After this positive initial experience, they decided to organise the second MIAU festival one year later. Besides the murals and workshops, they also wanted to organise some art and photography exhibitions around town. I was called by Hombrelópez to organise a Symbiosis show in town including only portraits of artists who had participated in the event, and to give a little lecture to explain my experiments to the villagers (and anybody else who wanted to come). There was no money to print or send the pictures, and I had to travel by train with them and all the necessary stuff to set up the show. All they had to offer was the train ticket, a place to stay in town, some food while I was there, and a lot of love. Of course my answer was "hell yes!", who needs money when you can get some love? So I dismounted all the pictures, put the frames in a big suitcase, rolled all the canvases in a big roll and started the Fanzara adventure. I travelled with Joaquín, Kenor, and H101 to the Castellón train station where they picked us up with a van to take us to Fanzara. We set up the show with the invaluable help of Hombrelópez in the old doctor's office of the village, a very appropriate place to showcase the results of my digital-surgery experiments, and we decided to leave a stretcher in each room so the visitors could sit to admire the mutant artists portraits like in a real museum!

As I mentioned before, the show contained only pictures of artists who had painted murals in town, including a brand-new portrait of the cosmic artist Deih, highly appreciated amongst the villagers, which I had deliberately kept secret until then, not even the artist had seen it before. The show opening was fantastic, Deih was extremely happy with his portrait floating around the streets of Valencia, the town residents treated us like family, and the organisers did all they could to make everyone happy.

This kind of event proves that when a group of brave people come together they can actually change the course of events in their town, and transform a small village with a dumping site project into a beautiful town full of colour and nice people, so never surrender and always follow your dreams, it is worth it, probably more than anything else.

Mounting Frames
Hanging Pincho's Portrait
Mounting Frames
Hanging Pincho's Portrait
Tools
Tools
 
Hombrelópez Making Holes
Hombrelópez Making Holes
 
All Set
All Set
 
BTOY, Pincho & Pol Marbán
 
Emilio Cerezo, H101 & Escif
 
Lolofónico, Kenor & Joaquín Jara
 
Sabek
 
Deih Detail
Deih Detail
 
Vinyl
Vinyl
 
First Visitor
First Visitor
 
Nebbia & Ethan
Nebbia & Ethan Enjoying the Exhibition
 
Watching Pincho
Watching Pincho
 
It's Time to Go Honey
It's Time to Go Honey