Putting Art on Wheels and Taking It Back to the Streets

Raphael Minder in The New York Times:

TruckMADRID — Jaime Colsa owns a transport company that delivers ordinary consumer goods — computers, food, drinks. The contents of his trucks aren’t eye-catching, but his vehicles certainly are, adorned with paintings showing cartoonlike faces, dogs, brightly colored geometric patterns, spirals and landscapes. These trucks that crisscross Spain have been painted by artists as part of the Truck Art Project. Financed by Mr. Colsa, the project aims in part to bring street art back to its roots. “Thanks to people like Banksy, this kind of art has made its way into the gallery,” Mr. Colsa, 45, said here recently. “But I thought it would be interesting and challenging to do the opposite — to get artists out of the gallery or the museum and actually back on the street.”

Banksy is not among the participants, but many of Mr. Colsa’s truck painters, most of whom are Spanish, started out as street artists, though by now they have also exhibited in major galleries and museums. Abraham Lacalle, whose work has been shown at the Reina Sofía Museum here, painted what he called a truck’s “explosion,” inspired by thoughts of what could happen to the merchandise transported inside. Two years after completing his painting, Mr. Lacalle said in a phone interview that it was strange to see how trucks and vans had more recently also become associated with terrorism, after attacks in Nice, Berlin, London and, earlier this month, Barcelona. “I painted with some sense of humor, imagining what could happen to the content of a truck in movement,” he said. “Nobody was then thinking about trucks as a tool of terrorism, so a work that was meant to be fun could now unintentionally appear pretty provocative.”

More here.