From climate change to capitalism run amok, street artist Blu (previously) pulls no punches in his soaring multi-story murals on the streets of Italy. While mixed with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor, the inspiration behind each artwork is anything but funny as he translates searing critiques into aesthetically beautiful paintings. For instance a 2016 piece criticizing housing problems in the Celadina district of Bergamo, Italy depicts cramped residents as a brightly hued rainbow but leaves a small group of authorities in the lower right completely devoid of color. Collected here is a selection of murals from the last year, you can see more detailed shots by flipping through his blog. You can also get an idea of how he works—perched on a tiny suspended seat—in this short GIF.
Just days before the start of the UN COP21 Climate Conference held in Paris and during the French state of emergency following terrorist attacks earlier this November, 600 posters were covertly distributed and hung within the city. The posters were not taped to poles or distributed in public grounds, but secured behind glass at bus stops around the city. The large-scale posters were advertisement replacements, fake corporate ads designed by 82 artists across 19 countries to satirize messaging found throughout the Parisian streets.
Organized by the Brandalism project, the citywide sweep is meant to challenge the corporate takeover of the Paris climate talks, forming ads that target the link between corporations’ advertising with consumerism, global warming, and fossil fuel consumption. The posters reference many of the climate talks’ corporate sponsors including Air France, Dow Chemicals, GDF Suez (Engie). Many of the Photoshopped images use the same branding and voice as the original advertisement, forcing the audience to take a deeper look at the content of the hundreds of posters dotting their daily commute.
“By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem,” said Brandalism’s Joe Elan.
Scott Beale over at Laughing Squid spotted this great bumper sticker the other day while traveling through Ohio. This is probably the first time we’ve stopped to appreciate a bumper sticker on Colossal, but the message is definitely an important one these days. Pick one up through Northern Sun for just $2.50. (via Laughing Squid)
A few Latvian activists from a branch of the bicycle advocacy group Let’s Bike it recently created a visual reminder of the space taken by cars on a typical road. To accomplish this, the group fabricated bamboo skeletons shaped like actual cars and mounted them on their bikes. The activists then cycled around the streets of Riga for several hours to highlight the absurdity of using a large car to move a single person. The stunt was organized as part of European Mobility Week, an ongoing campaign that explores sustainable urban mobility around Europe. (via Designboom, My Modern Met)
For the past several years Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been collecting tons of plastic debris off a small stretch of beach near their Norther California home. The plastic is cleaned, categorized and stored before its utilized in their assorted projects including sculptural work, photography, large-scale museum installations, jewelry and art prints. Learn more here. (via vimeo)
Artist Guy Denning is a self-taught English artist currently living in France. Mostly known for his gritty and brooding paintings, Denning has heartily embraced various internet outlets such as YouTube where he demonstrates how he paints, as well as a Facebook page where he posts a new drawing each day. Recently he posted a number of powerful images inspired by the Occupy Wall St. protests—capturing moments in Oakland, London, New York and elsewhere. His uncanny ability to illustrate powerful emotion in the simplest gestural sketches is incredible. Definitely worth subscribing. (via nick)