Downey’s piece is amusingly titled Buff the Fucks and we’ve become truly enchanted by it. Having found a derelict factory in the Alcântara district, the artist proceeded to cover the whole area with the combat tool of choice of graffiti clean-up crews worldwide: concrete-grey paint. He buffed everything: building, broken windows, metal barriers, paving stones, even the dirt. Everything, that is, apart from the graffiti.
Although much of the graffiti is recent, some of it appears to hark back to the time of Portugal’s Carnation Revolution in the mid-seventies, including the word Solidariedade (Solidarity) which had faded to near obscurity before Downey’s intervention brought it back to the fore.