Dario Silva isn’t a name that I knew until recently. I’ve been seeing his handiwork around Olhão, in the Eastern Algarve, for a number of years, mostly on old and unloved buildings. A prolific street artist, in 2009 he was forced to stop using spray paint. The toxic fumes in the paint were damaging his liver. But you can’t keep a good artist down. “The street is my addiction”, he said.
In recovery, he turned to painting with a brush and water-based paints. It’s a much slower medium but it enables him to continue to paint. His work might once have been regarded as vandalism, but now the commissions are coming in and even the local council have embraced him. Many think that Olhão is a finer place for his intervention.
It’s virtually impossible to pass through Olhão without seeing Vivenda Victoria, in it’s abandoned state. It sits on the E125, at the hub of the town’s shopping area. Other works of art have started to mushroom in the most unlikely places, but you have to seek them out.
I had thought to include the street artworks in a Monday walk, but they straggle around some of the town’s less desirable parts, and that is surely the point. At times I felt a little intrusive, wandering with my camera through the back streets of Olhão.
I had intended to link this post to Thursday’s Special, which this week is themed ‘Abstract’. By definition abstract means divorced from reality. My images are rather a reflection of sad reality, but I would urge you to visit Suzanne’s wonderful post. It might set you thinking.
Do you have a favourite of these? Mine is still the boy with sad eyes.