Stencil graffiti is often associated with a political or humorous message or a great aesthetic but Clavahead has been painting a series of designs for a different cause. His stencil portraits are entitled ‘Las caras del olvido’ or ‘Forgotten faces’ and depict people, most of whom he’s never met, who have died of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ermelinda by Clavahead in Colegiales
Clavahead, whose real name is Alberto, told BA Street Art: “It all started when I wanted to make a portrait of Ermelinda, the grandmother of my girlfriend Solana. I made the portrait in a way to give it a happiness and say that although Ermelinda didn’t remember who she was, her family or the city where she lived in her last days, we and the city remember her.”
Ermelinda and design by Cabaio Stencil
Alberto, who is an illustrator and graphic designer, made his first stencil of Ermelinda in Colegiales six months ago. After that the project started to take off and families with relatives who have died of Alzheimer’s got in touch and became involved in the project. “What we want to do is get people to take more interest in this illness,” said Alberto. “The idea is to help the families who suffer even more than those who are ill. We believe in doing good deeds and we want to pay homage to them, not only to those who have been ill but to their families as well.
Clavahead’s second portrait is of Elba, a mother-of-three, who was born in Rafaela, Santa Fe and lived in Buenos Aires. “What she liked most was gardening and above all she loved her five grand-children and she looked after them all until they went to nursery school,” said Alberto. “In her last years (before she was ill) she dedicated herself to her grand-kids and they will remember every meal they shared, every chat and her company forever.”
‘El Rafa’ in Colegiales
On 1st October it will be the second anniversary of the death of Rafael, the third person in the series, who Alberto painted a few weeks ago. ‘El Rafa’ as he was known to his friends, was from Paraguay and worked for much of his life as a health visitor. Alberto didn’t know him personally either but said: “Rafa liked to work and tell stories and he loved his family, music and beef.”
The fourth portrait Alberto has finished recently is of Rina, and he has plans to go to San Luis to paint a stencil in her home town. Alberto is also working on a documentary and plans to involve other street artists in Buenos Aires and extend the project to different cities and countries if possible.
Find out more about Las caras de olvido at lascarasdelolvido.wordpress.com