American in Spain

Maidens of Laredo

March 19, 2013

Maidens of Laredo (cropped)I'm a big fan of clever street art, such as this mural, in nearby Santoña, that spans three buildings. The medieval Old Town section of nearby Laredo is both the most happening social zone of the town, and also the most derelict crumbling part, full of abandoned, disintegrating buildings. Just last month one of them blew over. So there are plenty of abandoned houses with boarded up windows. A year or two ago, some interesting paintings began appearing on some of the doors and windows of the Old Town, depicting women inside the houses looking out. More than once, I've done a double-take when walking by, because they seem so real. Maidens of Laredo

Both of these doorways are boarded up with plywood. The wooden texture is all painted on. This lass holds a platter of fish, very common to this region.

Maidens of Laredo

Again, the wood grain is all painted. I wish I'd taken the time to get a closeup of the note stuck to the shutter.

There's something very dark and sad about them, as if you are looking through these windows back into the past, to a sadder, more strife-ridden time. Wait, that's redundant. The women seem trapped, longing to escape.

Maidens of Laredo

Is the symbolism strong enough on this one? The bars and flowers are real, so either the artist managed to paint through the bars, or got permission from the owner of the house to install the plywood from the other side of the bars.

What a lovely art project, adding so much character to a dilapidated neighborhood. I've only seen these three women, but one day I'd like to walk all the streets of the Old Town looking for more.