PichiAvo Pushes the Boundaries of their Urbanmythology Style with New Solo Exhibition and Graffiti-Covered Greek Statue
Art center Centro del Carmen in Valencia, Spain is currently hosting Evreka, a large solo exhibition by local artist duo PichiAvo (previously). Through this landmark showcase, the artists present their renowned Urbanmythology style that blends the dynamics, immediacy, and uncompromising attitude of graffiti along with the traditional quality and timeless appearance of ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Dominated by a massive sliced and tagged Greek pillar, the immersive installation features ten new paintings, nine sculptures, and an outdoor monument to the local graffiti scene.
Along with the explosion of colors and graffiti elements on top of traditional Greek iconography, one of the main parts of the show is the “Reflectory room” in which the works are experienced through a mirror. The artists wanted to recreate the accidental and often concealed discovery of graffiti or street art in real life. Eight out of ten paintings exhibited in the show are presented through this concept. Sculptural pieces are scattered around them, with their biggest studio piece, a 40-foot-long column inspired by the temple of Zeus in Athens, laying through the length of the room.
All of the works in the show, except for the column, have been created especially for the show and are related to the Falles monument that they are currently finishing. Fallas de València is a traditional celebration held every year in commemoration of Saint Joseph, and it includes the year-long building and eventual burning of large-scale public statues. The peak of the event takes place around midnight on March 19, when around 400 Falles are burnt as huge bonfires through the city of Valencia.
Following the success of their friend Okuda San Miguel, who was invited by the Falles Festival in 2018 to build the Falla Mayor (previously), the art duo started working on their own statue right after the burning of last year’s works. Pichi & Avo partnered with the local Falles artisan firm Latorre y Sanz to execute the incredibly large-scale piece. Unlike previous years when artisans used mostly foam as a building material, this year’s sculptures are made from wood and cardboard, making the work more flammable and less pollutant.
PichiAvo’s Falles statue is set to be finished on March 15, 2019, along with the others included in the Falles Festival, and will be burned in a big celebration on March 19, 2019. Evreka will be on view at the Centro del Carmen in Valencia until May 5, 2019 and a show dedicated to PichiAvo’s limited editions will be on view at Plastic Murs gallery between March 7 and April 19, 2019. You can see more of the artists’ previous works on their website and Instagram.
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Not everyone is lucky enough to travel the world to witness the evolution of street art. Luckily there are books like Mural Masters: A New Generation published by Gingko Press to close those gaps. Authored by Kiriakos Iosifidis, the new book is over 260 pages long and showcases walls painted by more than 90 established and emerging artists.
With the help of many talented photographers, Mural Masters takes viewers on a non-linear journey across the planet, hitting Arkansas and Zurich and all points in between to check in on Alexis Diaz, Hyuro, Nychos, ETAM, and several others. Individual artist bios reveal details about where the creators are from, how long they’ve been honing their craft, and where in the world their pieces can be found. The book also includes a handy index filled with contact information and social media handles (for those who have them), as well as the locations and photographer credits for each mural included in its pages.
Mural Masters: A New Generation is available on shelves now, but you can save a trip and grab a copy here.
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Artist Adele Renault (previously here and here) creates large-scale paintings of pigeons, highlighting the spectacular feather patterns and hues that might otherwise go unnoticed at the birds’ small scale. Recently the Belgian artist completed a mural of two grey and blue-toned pigeons for St+art India’s Lodhi Street Art Festival in Delhi. The bird on the right has its mouth agape, squawking at the one on the left from the other side of a window that peers into a courtyard. Programming for the festival runs through the end of March, 2019. You can view more of Renault’s large-scale paintings on her website and Instagram, and take a look at her Amsterdam-based space Unruly Gallery which she runs with collaborator Niels Shoe Meulman. (via Street Art News)
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Finding Hope: A Balloon Mural by Mehdi Ghadyanloo Brings Levity to the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
Iranian muralist and fine artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo is the creator of the poetic mural recently installed in the lobby of the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland, where the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is currently taking place. After participating in the forum last year as one of the speakers, Ghadyanloo contributed a large-scale commissioned painting titled Finding Hope, designed specifically for this event.
The work is comprised of three separate panels installed in the main entry hall of the Congress Centre, and depicts a young girl with a floating red balloon. Although Ghadyanloo was initially challenged by the unusual structure of the inward facing walls, he decided to create a triptych whose parts correlate with each other in both a hopeful and tense narrative. The balloon suggests innocence when paired with the little girl, while noting possible destruction when placed opposite of a sharp needle.
“The audience here has more power to create real change than the rest of the world,” Ghadyanloo tells Colossal, “so this is a good place to touch their hearts and ask them to do something. Not in a direct way as they are used to be asked, but in a kind of a visual, poetic way I would say.”
Last year, joined by a small team of muralists from his hometown, the artist completed Rebuilding the Sky in Almetyevsk, Russia, in similar style to his perspective-challenging and illusion-based works in Tehran. Ghadyanloo wanted to add joyfulness and color to the concrete look of the city. Around the same time, he also painted a piece titled The Fraud and Hope on the rooftop of the OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, which depicts a huge water swirl and a gaping black hole. The piece was created as commentary on the issue of the global warming, melting ice, and the role of water, but also references migration crises and the artist’s personal phobias.
Although Ghadyanloo is known worldwide for the 100 large murals he painted in Tehran between 2004 and 2011, the Iranian artist has taken a little break from public works in the recent years. “I was doing more personal things in my studio and enjoyed to be away from this responsibility that I feel on my shoulder when I work in public,” he explains. “I think now is the time for action, to do more public art projects besides my gallery paintings.” You can view more of Ghadyanloo’s reality-bending murals and paintings on his website and Instagram.
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A Mural of Brightly Colored Shapes and Clusters of Spots Gives a Striking Update to a School Courtyard in Sicily
Atlanta-based artist Alex Brewer, a.k.a. Hense, paints overlapping shapes and patterns on canvases, outdoor murals, and even billboards. His brightly colored abstract work appears around the world, from the US and Germany to Taiwan and Australia. Most recently Brewer created an acrylic paint mural on the asphalt courtyard of the Liceo Scientifico E. Fermi high school in Ragusa, Sicily.
For the piece, titled “Ragusa Sun,” Brewer wanted to add an element of inspiration and curiosity for the students at the school. “We used colors that contrasted starkly with the existing architecture and we were very conscience of the space and scale we worked in,” he tells to Colossal. “The forms, lines, and colors are intended to be purely compositional, but I enjoy the idea of viewers having different interpretations of the work.”
Brewer’s show INTERPLAY is on view through January 26, 2019, at Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. You can follow his indoor and outdoor creations on the artist’s website and Instagram. (via designboom)
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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 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 is 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)
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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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Editor's Picks: Street Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.