Btoy aka Andrea Michaellson (ES)
Andrea Michaellson is a famous female Spanish street-artist, better known as BTOY. She was born 1977 and received her art education at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia (2001-2003). Her vocation as street artist has began in 2002, as a result of experimenting and improvising with various techniques (acrylic painting, spray, stencil, etc.). Since then, creating murals on the streets of Barcelona and other cities has became her main artistic devotion. Though she started working with stencils only in 2001, soon she got a very good reputation in the worldwide street art subculture.
Her works are mostly based on old photographs of the prominent Hollywood actresses from the 20ie and the 50ie years like Judy Garland as Dorothy in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” or Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. She lends them an unforgettable expression through her painting technique reminding the classical glaze: she puts many semitransparent color coatings over each other. With the large powerful brushstrokes she puts the luscious colors and earthy shades on the black and white surface of the old pictures and breath the new life into them. The nostalgic mood is increased by the contrast of the monochrome and the multicolored parts in her works. From the deep of another epoch the fragile characters look at the viewer seeking for the direct eye contact with him. With this glance they want to tell him their stories. It seems that the passed time is responsible for their frailty. The images appear to the viewer so dreamy, mysterious, melancholic. The beauty of her models raises even more, because they are ripped out of their original context and putted into a new surroundings where they are left alone. Intertextuality also plays a very important role for BTOY. She wants to stop the time for a short moment, to invite the viewer to a dialogue with her work, to encourage him to look behind the mask, to think on the fates of her figures and to remind their own volatilized dreams.
Now BTOY is an established name in this subculture, her exhibitions always cause a stir and attack public attention. Andrea participated in numerous street art festivals, including the Cans Festival in London (2008) organized by Banksy, when she realized several murals and installations in a tunnel at Waterloo Station. In 2005 Andrea started exhibiting her art indoors, and has exhibited in the art galleries in Los Angeles, London, Mexico, Barcelona and Brussels.