murals

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Art

Georgian Culture and Ukrainian Pride Highlight the 2022 Tbilisi Mural Fest

December 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a mural portrait of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers

By Sasha Korban. All images by Tiku Kobiashvili, courtesy of Tbilisi Mural Fest, shared with permission

For the last four years, Tbilisi Mural Fest has facilitated more than 40 public artworks around the Georgian capital, and the 2022 event brought a spate of new projects to the city. Given the nation’s proximity to Russia and that country’s groundless war against Ukraine, festival organizers highlighted renowned Ukrainian muralist Sasha Korban who painted a large-scale portrait of a woman in customary clothing facing the Russian embassy. Other works include celebrations of Georgian culture and history, like a large-scale tablecloth with traditional motifs by Chertova Tina and Mohamed l’Ghacham’s dreamlike rendering of the living room of Georgian thinker and author Ilia Chavchavadze.

See some of the 2022 additions below and those from previous years on Instagram.

 

A photo of a large blue mural with ornamental white motifs

By Chertova Tina

A photo of a black and white portrait mural of a woman with colorful doodles on her face

“Circus” by Luis Gomez de Teran

A photo of a mural of a dreamlike living room

“Illia’s Room” by Mohamed l’Ghacham

A photo of a mural with two women and a plant, repeated three times vertically

“Growth” by Artez

A photo of an abstract mural on an urban building

By Kera

A photo of a mural with two figures and a portal

“M3D3A” by Vesod

A photo of a mural with two regal figures and city

By Dato Machavariani and Irakli Qadeishvili

 

 

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Art

New Banksy Works Emerge Among the Destruction in Ukraine

November 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

All images shared with permission

Banksy (previously) has been traveling through the battle-scarred streets of Ukraine, producing a slew of works directly confronting Russia’s unwarranted and unjust aggression. The elusive street artist’s signature stencils have been spotted among the rubble of bombed buildings and barricades in Borodyanka and Gorenka, both in the Bucha Region, while others are just outside the capital city of Kyiv. Each centers on the strength and resiliency of the Ukrainian people.

The works broadly criticize the ongoing war and its disastrous effects on the everyday lives of citizens, depicting a woman outfitted with hair rollers, a bathrobe, and a gas mask grasping a fire extinguisher, a bearded man scrubbing his back in an open-air bathtub, and silhouettes of young children teeter-tottering on a left-behind hunk of steel. Perhaps the most pointed piece is that of a young boy slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin to the ground during a judo match—according to the BBC, Putin has projected an interest in the sport.

Watch Banksy at work on these pieces in a recent YouTube video, and find more on Instagram. This is the first time the artist has emerged since the Spraycation series 15 months ago.

 

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged barricade in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

 

 



Art Design

Vibrant Letters Drift and Twist in Bold Typographic Murals by Pref

October 31, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Shake Hands” in Leige, Belgium. All images © Pref, shared with permission

For British artist Pref, the art of decipherment is as integral to his murals as the expressively layered designs. Known for looping and layering blocky text to give the illusion of floating forms, contrasting letters wriggle, tilt, overlap, and cast bold shadows. His training in graphic design spurred an abiding fascination with typography, and while much that field is oriented toward clear communication, Pref is interested in literally twisting messages. He meticulously arranges each letter to form puzzle-like compositions, encouraging the viewer to work out a word or phrase. “The wording for my pieces are usually autobiographical,” he explains, “like clues and relics from my past or a commentary on current times.”

You can see more of Pref’s work on his website and follow updates on Instagram.

 

“Put you in a box” in Liège, Belgium

“Nuture, Nature” in Sand City, California

Left: “You are the one.” Right: “Off and on”

“Remarkable” in Jackson, Michigan

“Here we are” in Los Angeles, California

Left: “Blah blah blah.” Right: “Say bye”

“Drifting” in Ostend, Belgium

“Inspire, Expire” in Bayonne, France

 

 



Art

More Than 70 International Artists Descend on Cincinnati for BLINK, a Massive Mural and Light Festival

October 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Max Sansing. All images by Halopigg, courtesy of BLINK, shared with permission

For the first time since 2019, the largest public art and light festival in the U.S. brought a spate of new works to Cincinnati. More than 70 artists from around the world gathered in mid-October for BLINK, a four-day event that spanned 30 blocks across the Midwestern city. In attendance were quite a few artists featured previously on Colossal, including Max Sansing (previously), PichiAvo (previously), Shantell Martin (previously), Nespoon (previously), and Faith XLVII (previously).

We’ve gathered some of our favorite works created during this year’s event—you’ll find Martin’s signature line-drawn figures encircling a cityscape, PichiAvo’s vibrant amalgam of art history and graffiti, and a new delicate lace design from Nespoon—although it’s worth heading to BLINK’s Instagram to take a peek at the light projections, immersive projects, and other murals, as well.

 

Insane 51

Add Fuel

Faith XLVII

PichiAvo

Shantell Martin

Jenny Ustick

Nespoon

 

 



Art

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.

 

 

 

 



Art

Milkweed, Cypress Spurge, and Other Native Plants Soar into the Sky in Mona Caron’s Poetic Murals

September 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Balsamorhiza” (2022), Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California. All images © Mona Caron, shared with permission

Towering far above their real-life counterparts, the wild specimens that populate Mona Caron’s murals emphasize nature’s inherent beauty and resilience. Clusters of pink petals peek out from behind curled milkweed leaves in Denver, while the wispy stalks of a euphorbia plant sprout flowering tendrils on an apartment complex in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Many of the botanic murals shown here are part of the San Francisco-based artist’s ongoing Weeds series, which places flourishing plants among largely urban environments as a metaphor for the endurance of the natural world.

Caron (previously) has been prolific as of late, having worked in several cities around the world, and you can find glimpses into her process and information about her subject matter on Instagram.

 

“Milkweed” (2022), in Denver, Colorado, for Broadstone Kendrick

Detail of “Balsamorhiza” (2022), Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California

“Euphorbia” (2021-2022), Bellinzona, Switzerland

“Euphorbia” (2021-2022), Bellinzona, Switzerland

“Milkweed” (2022), in Denver, Colorado, for Broadstone Kendrick

Detail of “Milkweed” (2022), in Denver, Colorado, for Broadstone Kendrick

“Quebra-tudo, Abre Caminhos” (2022), in collaboration with Mauro Neri

“Quebra-tudo, Abre Caminhos” (2022), in collaboration with Mauro Neri