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Art

ROA Stacks African Animals on a Building Facade in Johannesburg

October 30, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Street artist ROA was recently in Johannesburg where he created this epic new work featuring six enormous African animals lounging on the side of a building. ROA’s work has been popping up everywhere lately including a stop here in Chicago just last month. See many more photos of this latest piece shot by Martha Cooper over on I Art Joburg.

 

 



Art

The Classical Street Art of Borondo

October 23, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Borondo is an artist out of Spain whose work is loosely based in classical painting techniques, a somewhat uncommon sight in the world of street art. His lage-scale paintings of human figures appear unfinished and camouflaged causing a double take as you squint to see the full detail of each work. Borondo’s first solo show in Italy opens this saturday at 999Gallery in Rome. (via vandalog)

 

 



Art

One Man, 1,200 Hours, and Over 100 Pencils: City Band, A Monumental Drawing by Chris LaPorte

October 15, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Two weeks ago I was fortunate to spend a few days in Grand Rapids, Michigan at ArtPrize 2012, a sprawling international art fair featuring over 1,500 installations by more than 1,700 artists in venues throughout the city including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, as well as countless art galleries, cafes, sidewalks, and even smack dab in the middle of a river. The entire affair centers around popular vote that determines ten winners (a maximum award of $200,000) as well as several juried awards. You can see the 2012 winners here. It was a great trip and I saw more art three days than I’ve seen in person in the past year.

One of the most outstanding artworks I encountered in Grand Rapids was this gargantuan drawing on exhibit at the GRAM by artist Chris LaPorte who attended the New York Academy of Art and now lives and works in Michigan. By day he works as a caricature artist, having drawn some 85,000 portraits over the last 18 years, but he also spends significant hours in his studio where he labors over gargantuan life-size pencil drawings, one of which actually won the top ArtPrize honor back in 2010. This latest work, City Band, began when LaPorte discovered an 80-year-old photograph of his grandfather’s high school marching band while rummaging through his mother’s basement. The photograph is somewhat blurry and damaged with age, but he decided to use the piece as inspiration for a drawing that now spans 13 x 26 feet and was drawn with over 100 2H pencils spanning roughly 1,200 hours of drawing time.

It’s important to note that City Band is not a photo-realistic interpretation of an old photograph, a suggestion that’s often made by other who describe LaPorte’s work. The ratio of photo to drawing is 1/540 meaning that the quality of the original image was so poor in relation to the scale of the canvas that the vast majority of details came from the artist’s head as he worked. In that sense the drawing becomes a sort of historical fiction, where LaPorte added myriad details, stories, and patterns all of which center around a theme regarding the unrelenting passing of time, a sort of visual rhythm that pulses through the entire piece.

I urge you to watch the video above by filmmaker Mary Matthews to learn more about the artwork and you can see many more photos over on his recently updated website.

 

 



Art

New Murals by David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero on the Streets of Norway

October 5, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Three new works today from artists David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero who collaborated on the streets of Stavanger and Sandnes in Norway to create these lovely figures made of trees and people. The duo joined forces earlier this year in Uruguay and I’m glad to see them continuing to explore this style in other cities. Definitely check out their respective websites for more photos.

 

 



Art

Enormous Daddy Long-Legs Overtake the Seattle Center Armory

September 10, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Seattle artist and science illustrator Marlin Peterson was recently commissioned by the Washington State Artist Trust to paint a mural somewhere in the city. After searching unsuccessfully for a suitably large wall, Peterson got the idea to look for a large roof, and where would a painting on a roof be more visible than right underneath the Seattle Space Needle. An agreement was reached with the Seattle Center Armory (formerly the Center House) and he quickly began work on two daddy long-leg spiders using a technique called trompe l’oeil that creates the illusion when seen from above that gigantic arachnids are actually overtaking the building. You can see many more photos and an explanation of his process over on Peterson’s website. (via street art utopia)

Update: An earlier version of this post referred to these arthropods as spiders. While technically daddy long-legs belong to the class Arachnida, they fall into the order Opiliones, which means they aren’t spiders, they’re called harvestmen. We regret the error. (thnx, everyone)

 

 



Art Food

Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism

July 27, 2012

Christopher Jobson

StreetArtNews has the scoop on new work from street artist Blu who just completed this hilarious mural in Ordes, Spain that depicts a cheering crowd of fruit and veggies as they witness their suicidal compatriots take the plunge into a massive whirring blender. This vegetarian-friendly piece is quite a departure for the artist whose most recent works in Buenos Aires and Morocco have been rather politically charged. (via streetartnews)

 

 



Art

A Finger-painted Mural Made with Charcoal Dust

March 22, 2012

Christopher Jobson

I first discovered the work of Judith Braun about a year ago and wrote a short piece about her beautifully symmetrical finger drawings that she refers to as “fingerings”. Braun’s work recently exploded in both scale and complexity, shifting from the abstract to the literal in this new mural entitled Diamond Dust. The piece was painted over several days in February in front of a live audience at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia using fingerprints created from the fine powder of ground charcoal. Diamond Dust is on display through June 1.