glow in the dark
with glow in the dark
By day, Reskate Studio’s bold, deceptively simple murals outline the forms of rope, a mountain, or a dog in a neutral palette. When the sun sets, though, an entirely new image emerges from within the unassuming motif. María López and Javier de Riba, who work collaboratively as Reskate, continue to paint bold, light-sensitive works as part of their ongoing Harreman Project (previously). The artists say their intention is “to try to light up dark corners of cities, both installing new lights and encouraging citizens to interact with the wall—painting with light on it.”
“Harreman” is a Basque word meaning “relationship,” a combination of two verbs: hartu, which means “receive” and eman, which means “give.” The duo is interested in etymology, duality, and the way language can present multiple interpretations or how some information can only be revealed in a certain light. During the day, Reskate’s compositions appear uncomplicated in cream white and dark gray, but this discloses only half the story. At night, lights illuminate scenes created with photo-sensitive paint, like a koi fish appearing in a net or dogs brawling within the silhouette of a larger, much calmer canine.
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A new collaborative mural by Barcelona-based artists María López and Javier de Riba undergoes a dramatic shift from day to night. Titled Hizkuntza, the mural appears to be a simple outline of a whale by day, but darkness reveals an intricate glowing design. The placement of the whalers inside the whale’s belly suggests an ambiguous power dynamic: did the whale swallow the sailors, or did they overtake the beast and turn it into a ghost of its former self?
The mural is located in Patxa Plaza in Baiona, a small city on the southwest coast of France that is a popular tourist destination. The Plaza in particular is a site of public gathering and celebration of Basque culture. In a description of the mural on Behance, the artists explain that they were inspired by the complex history of whaling. Commercial extinction of the Eubalena Glacialis whale in the Cantabrian Sea forced Basque sailors to explore new horizons, which created new languages like Basque-Icelandic and Algonquin-Basque.
López and de Riba often work in glowing paints, and focus on the culture and history of the locations where they install their murals. You can see more of their work on Instagram and see behind-the-scenes in videos on their Vimeo channel. Hizkuntza is also available as a limited edition glow-in-the-dark print from the artists’ website, Reskate Studio.
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.