This is RIDICULOUS and a crime…

(Streets of Valencia)

When I visited Athens for the first time in 2016, I had many expectations. As a life-long “fan” of Ancient Greece, I was very excited about visiting the Greek capital for I knew I would come face to face with many of the structures, monuments and buildings that I had read about so many times and as many seen in pictures and videos. And I was not disappointed. However, I was shocked to find the incredible amount of graffiti all over buildings, private and public and as well on some of the ancient sites.

I will not show those pictures because I do not want to glorify vandalism. Defacing private or public property is a crime. And I will no longer use, or tolerate the word “graffiti” as a descriptive adjective of that, which is in effect, a criminal act.

It is vandalism. It is not street art. It is not graffiti. It is a criminal act perpetrated by those with no respect for the property of others. I don’t care if some are done with great precision and obvious talent on the part of the offenders, or if some are mere lines and scribbles. None of it is art.

In Valencia I have seen plenty, as I’ve seen in so many European cities. It is sad to see beautiful facades suddenly made ugly because someone has chosen them to paint on. Here are some examples of how neighbourhoods look like when the authorities do not stop the ones committing this filthy vandalism.

I truly cannot understand how anyone can think they’ve the right to deface someone else’s property in that fashion. And I cannot understand why the police does not take more overt action against these scribblers. I also think that neighbours, in those areas, as well as business owners, should take a more aggressive stance to protect not only their properties from vandalism of this sort, but to protect and keep the beauty and integrity of the neighbourhood. Here are some more examples, and these are just in some areas of Valencia, the city is full of this vandalism.

I remember New York City back in the early eighties and how full of these lines and drawings you would see, especially on the subway trains. They were so full of this scribbling that there was hardly room for any other one and they would impose the new ones on top of the old ones that would be fading away.

But that all ended by the late eighties. New York cleaned up. The painted up trains were replaced with new ones, security cameras were installed, new laws were enacted to allow the city to impose large fines and even jail time to the offenders and now you do not see a single scribble on any New York City subway train. And as well, you do not see the city vandalised as European cities are.

I can only say that as an artist I enjoy and encourage all forms of expression, especially artistic expression but I do not like to see buildings, statues and monuments defaced with vandalism. It is unfair to the community, to our visitors, to everyone. I cannot imagine anyone that is pleased to see this nonsense everywhere.

I have seen and heard about how in some cities, they have chosen neighbourhoods and areas and designated walls and other structures…sanctioned by their owners…for artists, usually young persons, to demonstrate their talent with spray cans of paint. They have created beautiful murals. I am all for that. That is not an act of vandalism, it is art. Because no matter what definition of art one subscribes to, one cannot justify art as a criminal act.

THANKS!

Nou d’Octubre…

El 9 d’octubre és la Diada Nacional del País Valencià. En aquest dia va entrar el Rei Jaume I en l’any 1238. Celebrem aquest dia en tot el territori valencià. A 1977, el Plenari de Parlamentaris proclama el nou d’octubre com a Dia del País Valencià.

Moltes felicitats a tots!

Ancient Pergamos…

(Ancient ruins of Pergamos…or Pergamon…in Turkey)

The ancient sites are fascinating to me…

The Ancient Greek cities in what is now Turkey are a sample of what man can accomplish with his intellect, his muscles, his perseverance, passion and with faith…

The ancient site, pictured above, is in present day Bergama, in the Izmir province of Turkey. It is a very well cared for site, nicely managed and very well and artistically…accurately as well…reconstructed in parts. Parts that are enough to let you imagine the majesty of the entirety…

(partial ruins of Pergamon)

The forms are alluding to a time when beauty was of utmost importance. Detail was not a detail but a prime item of consideration. Nothing was too small, nothing was too obscure. Everything vibrated at the same frequencies of splendour.

(Partial structure of a temple at Perganom)

Ancient artists, architects and craftsmen were men…and I think women were involved too…thoroughly devoted to lifting the spirit of man. Their efforts were to be as big and as grandiose as the universe…

Nothing can compare with the work of God, which is evident in nature. But when men put their faith in God and create, wonders can occur that can challenge even the most impressive aspects of Mother Nature.

(Temple columns at Pergamon, Turkey)

The Ancient Greeks, Ancient Romans, Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, Sumerians, Mayan, Aztect, Incas et al, were people who built for the glory of man but with the knowledge that the creative spirit comes from a higher source…

These were not the structures of aetheists…

Thank you for following and liking this post and this blog. Please share if you are satisfied and would like others to see. If you would like to see more of my artwork…I am an artist from Spain…please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries for my 2019 collection of “JaZzArt en Valencia” at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!

The One Road

(Ruins of Ephesus in Turkey)
One road before me leads to eternity
and behind me eternity waits...

One life I live with a million to guide me
and a million lives truly I've lived...

One word to comfort, to soothe and to teach me
and such comfort are words that can calm and suffice...

I am a tired soul, I'm weary bones,
I've sunburned brow.
And the pebbles that once were mighty stones
have shattered...
And they're like pearls before me now
that someone's laid,
But I won't trample them
for I'm afraid to loose them...

There is one road to life,
and too many distractions,
too many alternatives,
too many attractions....
Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity?

The One Road is of rocks
carved by the ancients,
the ancients that carved rocks
for the beauty of the ages...

I stand brave upon the station
that leads always forward,
there is no backward in life,
the hours in the clock always move
with one motion,
the motion, direction,
intentions all strive
to direct my thoughts to what's real and
what's waiting
On the other end of the One Road called life...

All artwork, designs, music, words and photographs in this blog are original. You can see more of my artwork at my Instagram, @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and on my online galleries “JaZzArt en Valencia” http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

If you like what you have read, thank you so much for your attention! Please, follow, comment and hit that like button. Let us engage in pleasant discussions reference art and poetry…

THANKS!

Geperudeta, Mare de Déu

Mare de Déu dels Desamparats

La Virgen de los Desamparados es la Patrona de Valencia, llamada la Jorobadita por su leve inclinación de la cabeza. Cada segundo domingo de mayo se celebra el traslado de la Virgen de los Desamparados. La Madre de Dios, Geperudeta (en valenciano), mas bella que la belleza, mas pura que el mar que besa nuestras arenas, la madre de Valencia, de todos y de Dios.

Calle Caballeros y Palau de la Generalitat

Al fondo de la Calle Caballeros se encuentra la Plaza de la Virgen y la Basilica de la Geperudeta…

Basilica de La Virgen de los Desamparados y la Plaza de la Virgen

La Plaza de la Virgen es lugar de ocio rodeado de bares y heladerías  y centro para las fiestas de nuestra patrona.

La fuente de la Plaza de La Virgen

La Plaza de la Virgen es el punto de origen de la ciudad de Valencia. Su fuente, fue creada por el escultor Manuel Silvestre Montesinos, también conocido como Silvestre de Edeta. La fuente, que fue inagurada en 1976, es también conocida como la fuente de las ocho acequias del Turia. Se encuentra enfrente de la puerta de los Apóstoles. Esta rodeada de ocho mujeres jóvenes, desnudas y que llevan peineta y peinado de labradora valenciana y que vierten cántaros del agua en la fuente.

En el centro de la fuente, en una taza de mármol y colocado sobre un pedestal vemos al hombre que representa el Río Turia. Tiene en sus manos el cuerno de Amaltea, (cuerno de la abundancia). Del cuerno proceden los frutos de la huerta de Valencia. Las mujeres representan las ocho acequias del Turia: Benager, Faitanar, Rovella, Favara, Quart, Tormos, Rascanya, Mislata y Mestalla. Aunque lo piensen algunos, el hombre no es Neptuno…

La Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados y la Plaza de La Virgen fueron y son lugares especiales para mi. Desde que llegué a Valencia los visito casi a diario. A veces me siento a disfrutar un helado o simplemente a ver lo que acontece en la plaza. Siempre hay algo diferente y aun en los días donde no hay nada, la plaza desolada da abundante razones para admirarla.

Dento de la basilica siempre hay gente. No hay que dudar que es atracción tanto para los turistas como para los devotos. Yo en ella entro, me siento y admiro la belleza de su interior y encuentro paz…

Detrás del altar; el manto de La Virgen

Los muchos que vienen a visitar la Basilica, entran con mucho respeto y guardan el silencio. Yo me siento muy a gusto, tranquilo, meditando, pensando, orando y a veces se me van los ojos a la cúpula, que es una belleza de planta ovalada de 18,75 metros de anchura, pues me fascinan tambien los frescos de Antonio Palomino de la bóveda.

En la Basilica estoy con la Madre de Dios y tambien con la grata compañía de santos y santas que se encuentran albergados en los pilares. Me uno en pensamiento al gran fundador de la Compañía de Jesús, (los Jesuitas), San Ignacio de Loyola que tiene en sus manos un libro abierto con el lema “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam”, el lema A. M. D. G. que significa “a mayor gloria divina», o “a la mayor gloria de Dios”. Cerca está Santa Bárbara, virgen y mártir portando la Santa Custodia, San Francisco de Paula fundador de los mínimos y San Juan Evangelista que lleva una pluma y el evangelio. Son todas obras de Ignacio Vergara hechas en el siglo XVIII.

Hay una escultura mas que representa a San José de Calasanz, junto a muchos niños. El santo fue fundador de la Orden de los Escolapios. Es obra del escultor valenciano Francisco Gutierrez Frechina ( né Sueca, 19/11/1908, mort 14/09/1950) hecha en 1949.

San José de Calasanz

Siempre supe que Valencia era una gran ciudad, pero hasta que mis pies manchegos no pisaron sus bellas calles y mis pulmones se llenaron del aire puro valenciano no supe lo tanto que verdaderamente es Valencia. No en balde se fundó esta ciudad en un lugar santo como la Plaza de la Virgen, pues la Geperudeta es la madre que ampara a los mas debiles, a los mas necesitados, y a los mas marginados por la sociedad, a los desamparados. Y pienso yo si acaso no somos a veces todos nosotros parte de ese enorme grupo, y como a veces siento la necesidad de un abrazo materno, acudo siempre a ella…

Sóc un artista que viu i treballa a Valencia. Si voleu veure la meva obra, us convido al meu Instagram: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera i a la meva col·lecció titulada “JaZzArt en Valencia” anant al http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

moltes gràcies!

We all Share a Single Road

There are many ways but only one direction…

There are many thoughts but only one intention…

There are days to live and nights to die

And I’ve always wondered why…

The sea before me, at times all powerful

But yet benign,

provides the calmness that enters through my eyes

to soothe my spirit as she guides my wanderings through what we call life.

We all cross the sands to reach the water…

We all cross through dreams, happy the dreamer…

We all cry at times; at times we don’t bother…

The sea is the sand and the sand the border,

Of this road we call life.

Our future is our past and our present is eternity.

And thought the road seems rather narrow,

our footsteps fit somehow.

Whether its sand,

whether its the salty sea

or even high, high in the air,

The road is there, somewhere,

From one have all things come

And we’re all walking home.

A Path of Stones I walk

HOW FAR CAN I WALK

OVER THE WATER?

FOREVER… IF

A PATH OF STONES SUPPORTS ME.

I KNOW THAT ALTHOUGH THE CLEAR BLUE SEA

SWIRLS, MOVES, SPLASHES AND

PRETENDS TO IGNORE ME

SHE KNOWS I’M THERE…

AND THE ROCKS WELL KNOW THE HISTORY

THAT, AS I WALK ON THE PLANE OF THIS EARTH

I CALL REALITY.

BUT I WILL ALWAYS CONSIDER ROCKS, THE SEA,

LIFE, NOTHING OTHER THAN A MYSTERY.

MOSTLY THE SEA ACTS AS IF I’M NOT AROUND

BUT SHE KNOWS I AM THE SOUND…

I AM THE SOUND OF QUESTIONS

I AM THE SOUND OF PRAYER

I AM THE SOUND OF WONDER

I’M MADE OF MANY LAYERS

EVENTUALLY THE STONES WILL VANISH NEATH THE WAVES,

BUT THE PATH IS ALWAYS PRESENT

FOR THE IMAGE ALWAYS STAYS…

I Went to War and then A Seagull

I went to war on St. John’s eve,

no summer’s rain, no summer’s breeze,

I thought I heard, above the clouds,

a voice that spoke but not too loud and said, “don’t leave.”

But should I listen to the wind?

I flew inside a firefly that roared then tumbled from the sky…

My ears were shattered with the thunder

while a million rays of light

that had shattered the dark night

broke the wings of our firefly.

Eventually, everything dies…

my eyes witnessed a circus in the air,

and then tree branches everywhere

and dust and grass and close, close friends,

floated and then disappeared again,

And then I vanished among trees…

I felt the pain of wounded knees,

As I walked to where I did not know, searching for destiny.

A river flowed silently towards me.

I wondered where my friends could be…

And far above me, above the trees

I saw a seagull watching me.

I saw and thought her wings were steel,

her feet machine guns,

Loaded with bullets that will burn and peel

away your skin and blood from bones, some things heal,

others never will.

As the bird flew circles neath the sun, I thought of home…

The seagull circled once alone

then another one beside her

tilted her head, her eyes were fire and flew towards me,

gaining speed in a deadly dive,

and I, now barely alive,

saw a falcon racing towards her

spitting fire from its beak

breaking the seagull’s white steel wings.

And with the strength that imminent death inspires

I started to crawl far from the fires

that had started to surround me.

One step and one more inch towards shelter

Beneath the canopy of green

I closed my eyes and thought if only this could be a dream

I would be home and sleeping,

while from everywhere my blood is seeping and the night

is as dark as a midnight sun, black against a clear blue sky.

And then some hands came forth to grab me,

they seemed so kind, so strong and clean

and I thought, yes, a dream,

I’ve often dreamed of seagulls it seems

and of fireflies tumbling from the sky

on St. John’s Eve, of summer’s gone by…

From My Blood-Red Orange: Our Ezekiel 25:17

 "Our Ezekiel 25:17"

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.”

Mamma, all around me I witness those who hate,
They say we're black, they say we're brown, they call us filthy names.
I see and hear how callously they rule for their self-gain,
And how they treasure for themselves the good things that we make...

“Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.”

I’ve seen the ones that teach and guide us killed in the pouring rain,
Their path cut down, their house in ruins, their life now filled with pain,
I’ve seen the ones that seek redemption shackled and chained
To filthy walls, in iron cages, what sins have they to pay...

“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.”

I know, mamma, the time is coming, the day is near
For our suffering to end,
And justice from the highest sphere will
Fall like rocks from heaven upon these evil men,
I know, mamma, they’ll get their share,
Every measure, counted well
And we will smile, and we will have
A new story to tell...

“And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

From My Blood-Red Orange: “New York City”

“2008” acrylic on canvas, 54 x 107 cm
In private collection
Where I live there are no ice cream parlours,
no snack bars on the beach,
no fast food on the harbours.
Where I live the food is nasty, hard to eat,
the water tastes like piss,
the fruits smell like sewer rats
that before you bear their teeth.

Where I sleep the air is not conditioned cool,
or warmer during frozen days.
My mattress is a cardboard box,
I'm up as soon as I feel the first of that yellow ball's rays.
My breakfast, in the dumpster on Eighth Avenue and Fifty Seventh Street,
If I can find anything after all my neighbours eat,
'cause they're bigger and they're meaner and they never let me pass,
I guess when I turn ten or twelve I'll get something at last.

Yes, I'm from right here, Manhattan, Midtown,
but I was born in the Bronx,
and when I was just a baby my mother crossed the river
and New York's been my home.
My mom?
Lying in an alley, just west of Ninth and Forty Second Street.
She's been there for a whole day,
can't rouse her from that sleep.
But I don't care, I never knew her well,
she brought me to this island city
where the devil seems to dwell.

I was remembering a song by the Beatles, that Paul wrote and sang that started like this: “Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?” The song, “Eleanor Rigby”, was released as a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine,” in August of 1966. Both are from the album Revolver.

The song is about two lonely people, Eleanor, an old woman who exists in a world of her own, population one. Her main purpose in life is nothingness. She “picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been.” The other is the priest, Father McKenzie, who preaches in an empty church and whose sermons “no one will hear.” Eleanor dies and he buries the old woman. To her funeral, nobody came, just him, seemingly caring little for the lonely people, “he walks from the grave.”

“No one was saved, all the lonely people, where do they all come from, all the lonely people, where do they all belong.” The cycle of life and death among the “lonely people” simply begins again…

What do you think? As an artist, I encourage all others engaged in the creative arts, or not, to get involved. This is our world, this is our problem. I have been focusing on two very serious conditions found in the world today, mainly poverty and the plight of immigrants. I think that if we all do our part, we can begin to change things, even if we have to do it helping only one person at a time. That is one less. It’s worth the effort.

If you agree, please share, comment and hit that like button. Let’s discuss these topics. Whoever said that topics such as politics and religion…or others also considered polemic…should not be discussed was lying. Such topics should be the source of discussions and conversations perpetually on everyone’s agenda. Of course, only through civilised discussions, no fights, no argumentum ad hominem, let us argue only the facts.

You can see my artwork…like the one above…drawings and paintings, on my Instagram, @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries, featuring my 2019 collection, “JaZzArt en Valencia” at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 (you can browse, you need not purchase anything)

THANKS!