murals

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Art

In ‘The Boy Who Wanted to Fly,’ Sentrock Imagines the Origin of His Signature Bird Character

September 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

Photo by Steven Koch

Wander through Chicago’s streets, and you’re bound to encounter one of Sentrock’s signature bird characters (previously). Disguised in a red mask with big eyes and round, pink cheeks, the boy is curious, imaginative, and playful, often seen interacting with animals, daydreaming, or riding a bike. The fictional figure is also the artist’s expression of strength and hope, particularly as it relates to his own childhood in the Mexican-American community of the city’s Pilsen neighborhood.

An ongoing exhibition at Elmhurst Art Museum celebrates the character and his lineage through sculptures, installations, paintings, and murals. Drawing on Sentrock’s background in street art and graffiti, The Boy Who Wanted to Fly spreads several narratives across the galleries. A massive, ten-foot sculpture lounges on artificial turf, and smaller, colorful paintings help compose the figure’s origin story. At the center of one gallery is a child-sized birdhouse cloaked in the artist’s stylized renderings, with vibrant works on paper taped to the inside walls. Interactive lightswitches transform the interior into a vividly colorful playhouse. A final gallery culminates in a wall-sized animation that brings Sentrock’s work to life for the first time, and as a whole, the collection is an homage to Sentrock’s upbringing and “a gesture of compassion for his community.”

The Boy Who Wanted to Fly is on view through January 15, 2023. Follow the artist’s work and news about future limited-edition prints and sculptures—keep an eye out for a special merch release in the Elmhurst gift shop in early December—on Instagram.

 

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

Photos by John McKinnon

Photo by Christopher Jobson

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

 

 



Art

Everyday Objects and Buildings Float Atmospherically in Cinta Vidal’s Perception-Bending Murals

September 19, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Public Space” (August 2022) in Toftlund, Denmark, curated by Kunstbureau Kolossal. All images © Cinta Vidal, shared with permission

It’s all about perspective in the multifaceted murals of Cinta Vidal, several of which the artist recently completed in Italy, Portugal, Germany, and Denmark. While some works focus on architectural details such as gable ends jutting out at unexpected angles or clustered together in mind-bending proportions, other pieces emphasize the relationships between people and their interactions within space or with each other as they navigate their shifting surroundings.

In preparation for a new project, Vidal researches the history and culture of an area and the buildings that surround the wall where she plans to work. Her characteristically suspended structures, household objects, and geometric shapes (previously) cast shadows and appear to sail through compositions that connect thematically to neighborhood or special events.  “All my murals play with their surroundings, reflecting and honoring the aesthetics and culture that surrounds them,” she tells Colossal. “I always do research, study the wall context, and paint a detailed sketch before going.”

Vidal’s painting “On Chairs” is also featured on the album cover of Tears for Fears’ latest album The Tipping Point. She is currently working toward a solo exhibition with Thinkspace Projects in New York in autumn of next year, and you can find more of her work on her website and Instagram.

 

“At work” (June 2022) in Covilhã, Portugal, for WOOL Urban Art Festival

“Neighborhood” (August 2022) in Horsens, Denmark, curated by Kunstbureau Kolossal.

“Behind” (July 2022) in Ludwigshafen, Germany, for Muralu Street Art

“Nonna” (July 2022) in Civitacampomarano, Italy, for CVTà Street Fest

A painted door in Civitacampomarano, Italy

Detail of “Behind”

“Neighborhood” in progress

“Public Space” in progress

 

 



Art

Seth Globepainter’s Imaginative Murals Center Childhood Optimism and Joy

September 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Back to School” (2017), Popasna, Ukraine. All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission

French artist Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously), is known for his murals that capture the playfulness, determination, and innocence of childhood. Painted in cities from Paris to Jersey City to Amman, the large-scale works find humor and joy in youthful pastimes, while capturing the vibrant imaginations associated with adolescence. The faceless characters tend to be optimistic even as they confront adversity, particularly in the artist’s most recent murals addressing the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Currently, Malland is working on a series of hand-embellished lithographs and preparing for a solo show opening on October 27 at Fluctuart in Paris, where he lives. He has a monograph slated for publishing this fall, as well, and you can follow updates on that release, in addition to his latest murals, on Instagram.

 

“Cecile’s House” (2021), Paris, France

“Secret Garden” (2022), Jersey City

Réunion Island (2021)

“Eye to Eye” (2021), Grenoble, France

“Ukraine” (2022), Paris, France

Detail of “Eye to Eye” (2021), Grenoble, France

“Three Cages” (2021), Amman, Jordan

 

 



Art Craft

Delicate Lace Patterns Overlay Facades in Ornate Large-Scale Murals by NeSpoon

August 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

Yffiniac, France (2022). All images © NeSpoon, shared with permission

Polish artist NeSpoon (previously) continues to add to her expansive collection of murals that merge local craft traditions and street art. Having traveled around Europe in recent months, she’s completed pieces in France, Spain, and Italy, to name a few, and each oversized motif recreates a lace pattern sourced from a museum or resident at a massive scale. The resulting works, which are spray-painted in white, are intricate studies of the region’s florals, ornamental styles, and tatting methods and how they differ throughout cultures and eras.

NeSpoon, who is based in Warsaw, generously shares in-progress and production photos on her site, and you can follow her latest pieces on Instagram.

 

Montpellier, France (2021)

Corsica, France (2022)

Brescia, Italy (2022)

Penelles, Spain (2022)

Montpellier, France (2021)

Detail of mural in Montpellier, France (2021)

Mendicino, Italy (2022)

 

 



Art

Interview: Swoon Speaks to Finding Compassion Through the Act of Looking and Unearthing Her Own Vulnerability

August 1, 2022

Paulette Beete

“Seven Contemplations” (2020 to 2021) at Albright-Knox Northland. All images © Swoon, shared with permission

In some ways, Caledonia Curry’s work as a public artist has come full circle, an evolution she discusses in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Curry debuted as a New York City street artist known as Swoon right around the turn of the last century, her hand-worked portraits making striking, albeit illegal, statements on old walls. Today, she harnesses that same energy into intricate—and intimate—installations set in museums and galleries.

When I look at a face for days, when I take a portrait of somebody on the street, and then I stare at that face for days and days, there’s this part of my brain that’s like, “This human is utterly perfect. I’ve never seen anything more noble and beautiful than this person.” And then I think, “You think that every time.” That’s because it’s true.

Swoon spoke with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete about how the act of looking is at the center of her practice, why she’s started to address her own trauma in addition to that experienced by others, and why her body of work to date is like a lifesaving yarn, a map of both where she’s been, where she’s going, and everything she’s learned along the way.

 

“Yaya,” Hong Kong

 

 



Art

Movement and Instinct Inform Taquen’s Murals of Migrating Birds and Human Touch

July 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Magpies and swifts.” All images © Taquen, shared with permission

Thin, structural lines delineate a magpie wing and contour a child’s nose or cheekbone in Taquen’s murals. Working with a color palette of pastels and neutral tones, the Spanish artist (previously) paints large-scale portraits, fragments of limbs, and birds, often leaving the composition’s skeletal forms visible. “The supports are just as important as the work itself,” he tells Colossal. “I look for camouflage, minimalism, and mixture. In the end, it is also a metaphorical form of the footprint that I believe we should leave in the places we pass through.”

Many of Taquen’s works consider the relationship between species through the lens of movement and impulse, focusing on gesture, touch, and instinctive acts. Birds mid-flight embody the tie between freedom and migration, while bare feet lounging in the grass or a hand grasping a flower channel a desire for physical contact. “I think we are very disconnected, living in parallel with nature, and it is a mistake. We must share it, experience it, live it, and thus we will be able to understand and respect it,” he says.

In the coming months, the artist will be working on murals in Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, France, and Spain, in addition to a conceptual project centered on paths and walking. You can follow those on Instagram.

 

Briançon, France

Detail of mural in Briançon, France

“Discover and learn,” Port of Sagunto, Valencia

Grenoble

Camprovin

“Hold the oak, be a tree for the trees,” Mostar

“Apology for the wild,” Stockholm, Sweden

Madrid. Photo by Gustavo Bulnes