Blu

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Street Artist Blu Protests the Valencia Port Expansion with a Tumultuous Battle Between Nature and Guards

October 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Blu, shared with permission

The legendary anonymous street artist known as Blu has spent his career critiquing the ills of capitalism, the carceral system, and the destruction of the environment, among myriad other problems afflicting the world today. One of his most recent projects brought him back to Sensemurs Valencia to paint a charged mural protesting the expansion of the port in the Spanish city.

The 2022 festival centered around the government’s extension of the industrial area to the north, which would “mean, among many other things, the final lunging to the beaches of l’Albufera (and) the multiplication of air pollution of ships and truck traffic.” Part of a movement to halt the proposal, the public art event brought several muralists to the city, including Blu, whose multi-part work features a battle between fist-shaped trees and port defenders. Similar to some of his earlier projects, this piece is designed as a sequence that when photographed and stitched together, creates an animation. Yellow shipping containers morph into armored guards, who are swiftly pummeled and destroyed as nature resurges from the ground.

To see more of Blu’s recent works, including a piece speaking to the current fossil fuel crisis, visit his site and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

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Art

A Multi-Color Water Slide by Blu Serves as a Harsh Critique of Capitalism in Rome

January 8, 2019

Sasha Bogojev

Last year may not have been the most prolific for Italian street art legend Blu (previously), who besides releasing Minima Muralia, a 288-page collection of 15 years of murals, completed only two officially announced murals. His latest piece titled Capita, was recently shared on the elusive artist’s only official communication channel Blublu.org. The mural was painted in Rome’s Rebibbia neighborhood, and was realized in collaboration with Comitato Mammut, a self-managed civic organization. Painted using artist’s intricate illustrative style, the image depicts an imaginary amusement park water slide attraction as a sharp critique of the social injustices of capitalism.

The slide offers participants several colorful entry points on top with all but one ending in the same swamp-like cesspool of trash. The only slide that keeps its original color and shape, gold, is the one used by politicians, businesspersons, and religious representatives. Ending with a crystal clear pool with and cocktail table set on a lush green field, it’s a direct commentary on subdued class division present in modern societies throughout the Western world. The piece further comments on the dramatic shift in the political climate of his Italian homeland, especially in terms of immigration and the ongoing refugee crisis. Painted on an 8-story building, the work’s oceanic backdrop depicts small boats filled with people on one side with luxurious yachts floating on the other.

Earlier this year, Blu spent several days in Valencia, Spain, taking part in the Sensemurs project, the first meeting of muralists whose goal is to raise awareness of the repeated abuses by the local port authority toward people living in the La Huerta (Orchard) area. For this mural, he depicted port authority personnel as Egyptian pharaohs using the local community as a source of free slave labor. A few months later he began work on another large piece in Rome, painting revisited versions of the Greek Venus de Milo next to a similarly redone David by Michelangelo, as a commentary on the modern values of consumerist society. The piece is yet to be finished.

Blu remains completely focused on working with non-government organizations and groups, creating works as a gift and source of empowerment for local communities, all while trying to retain his anonymity. Exposing everyone from corrupt politicians to violent police or greedy real-estate moguls, the artist is continuously producing work that supports common people and their fight against an increasingly imbalanced economic and political system. (via Juxtapoz)

 

 

 



Art

Minima Muralia: A Collection of 15 Years of Murals by Street Artist Blu

March 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The newly published book Minima Muralia condenses more than 200 larger-than-life murals painted by Blu (previously) into one 288-page collection. The compendium covers every piece made by the Italian street artist over the last 15 years, including backstage shots and unreleased works pulled from his archive. A special edition of the book has also been released, featuring a 32-page zine, two posters, and a specially-designed book casing. You can order both releases on Zooo Print & Press.

In addition to putting out this recent compilation of his works, Blu has also painted a new mural in the town of La Punta, just outside of Valencia, Spain. The piece was created as a part of the Sensemurs Project, a group of muralists attempting to raise awareness about the preservation of peri-urban orchards in towns affected by rapid urbanization across Europe. You can see this new mural, along with work by Borondo and Daniel Munoz SAN, over on Juxtapoz.

 

 



Art

Towering Murals by Blu on the Streets of Italy Confront Environmental and Societal Woes

May 29, 2017

Christopher Jobson

La Cuccanga, 2017

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.

 

Porto Torres, 2016

Celadina, 2016

Catina, 2016

Alta Voracita, 2016

 

 



Art

New ‘Green Giant’ Mural by Blu on the Streets of Naples

March 8, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Street artist Blu was recently spotted in Naples, Italy putting the finishing touches on this giant green prisoner tearing free from his uniform. The unannounced artwork is supposedly an allusion to the building it’s painted on, a former prison site that is being converted into an open community space. As usual, Blu painted the piece entirely by hand, using ropes to dangle from the side of the building without scaffolding or cherry pickers. See more views on StreetArtNews.

 

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Art

A Rainbow of Vegetation Consumes a 7-Story Building in a New Mural from ‘Blu’ in Rome

July 24, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Photos by the artist and Valentino Bonacquisti

Street artist Blu (previously) just wrapped up work on this monumental mural on the streets of his new home in Rebibbia, Rome. The painting depicts a clump of technicolor greenery as it swallows the facade of a 7-story residential building, and is part of a series of works by a neighborhood group called “Mammut” that is trying to redevelop abandoned green spaces in throughout the city. You can see more photos of the new piece over at Gorgo Magazine.

 

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