Photographer: Patrick Barry Barr, a Jamaican living in Lima, Peru, following a detour of 30 years in the U.S.
Getting the Shot: For several weeks, as I taxied south along Paseo de la República, a major highway near central Lima, I would see graffiti on the wall of a building on the elevated local street. I noted the cross streets in the vicinity and, recently, took a bus from Breña, where I was staying. I walked the five blocks to the building, braced myself against the rail across the street and waited for breaks in the traffic to take the wall that I had been seeing.
It was when I went onto the side street that I saw this delightful piece of art for the first time. After taking the photo, I rang the bell—for two reasons. Could they close their doors that were slightly obscuring the art just for one minute, and would they happen to know the artists?
I was rewarded on three levels: Yes, they closed the doors. Then, the location turned out to be a ceramics manufacturing center. And, finally, the son of the proprietors is the artist, Pessimo. First, I met his mother, Lala Higuchi, who, like her husband Oswaldo, is a ceramist. Under the title inmigrantes, an exhibition of his work is currently in the Galeria Ryoichi Jinnai at the Centro Cultural Peruano Japones.
Lima ranks next to New York City as far as quantity of graffiti that I have shot. And quite often the graffiti will rise to the level of what I have seen in New York, Milan, Barcelona, Victoria, B.C., Canada, among other countries. This is the only country where I have stayed long enough to actually spend time with graffiti artists as they bomb a wall or walls on any given weekend. The graffiti culture here is highly developed.
The Details: The light was perfect, since I arrived in the afternoon and found the sun behind me. I leave my camera on auto so it actually does the thinking while I do the composing. The photo was taken with an Olympus SP-500UZ, 6.0 Megapixel. I stuck with Olympus because my first one fell about four feet onto the concrete floor of a store in Budapest, if memory serves, and didn’t miss a beat. Continued to work like a charm.