murals

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Art

A 3D Mural by Artist Leon Keer Wraps a French Housing Complex Like a Gift

July 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Safe House” (2020). All images © Leon Keer, shared with permission

Dutch artist Leon Keer is known for his large-scale anamorphic and Trompe-l’œil projects, transforming the sides of buildings and sidewalks into illusory public art. His latest mural, titled “Safe House,” turns the side of a housing complex in Morlaix, France, into a massive, wrapped gift. Despite its flat surface, the gold paper appears to crinkle and bulge under the bright, imperfectly cut tape. “It is not obvious for everybody to have a roof over their head. Your home is precious and gives you the comfort and protection, a gift for the necessary needs in life. In honor of the great Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” the artist writes in a statement.

“Safe House” was created as part of the MX29 Graffiti Tour, a festival organized by Les Ateliers du Graff. To follow Keer’s deceptive works, head to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

From Minneapolis to Syria, Artists Are Honoring George Floyd Through Murals and Public Artworks

June 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

A mural in Minneapolis by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez

In honor of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a White police officer in May, artists have been painting murals and sharing messages in what now is a global movement supporting the victim. From Minneapolis to Los Angeles to Syria, the public artworks are drawing attention to the horrific killing, in addition to the larger issue of police perpetrating state-sanctioned violence.

A collaborative project by artists Xena GoldmanCadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez, the Minneapolis mural centers Floyd within a sunflower. Herrera told Hyperallergic that the “idea was to depict Floyd not as a martyr but as a social justice hero.” He’s surrounded by the names of others killed by police, in addition to protestors. The 20-by-6.5-foot project is located near the Cup Foods where Floyd died.

Louisiana-born artist Jammie Holmes created typographic banners with Floyd’s last words that emblazoned the skies of U.S. cities. Bold statements reading, “Please I can’t breathe,” “My neck hurts,” and “They’re going to kill me,” flew over Detroit, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York.

We’ve gathered some of the most recent projects below, including work from Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun, Fayetville-based Octavio Logo, and Barcelona-based Tvboy. (via Artnet News)

 

Fayetteville mural by Octavio Logo. via Clarissa Bustamante

 

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A message that was flown over Detroit by Jammie Holmes

A mural by Jesus Cruz Artile, also known as Eme Freethinker, in Berlin

 

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A mural of George Floyd in Dublin, painted by street artist Emmalene Blake. | Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

Posted by RTÉ News on Monday, June 1, 2020

 

 

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Art

A 20,000-Square-Foot Tribute to Healthcare Workers Emerges at Queens Museum

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Somos La Luz” (2020). All images © Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, by Eduardo Amorim/Greenpoint Innovations

In the Queens Museum parking lot, Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada (previously) has painted a 20,000-square-foot mural as both an act of gratitude to Latinx healthcare workers, who have risked their own safety to care for others, and a nationwide call to action.

These are the people that make our city move, the people that care for us. These are the people that contribute socially, culturally, and economically to the nation… In the year 2020, where hindsight should not be clearer, it is amazing to me that we must continue to ask ourselves…how it is that minorities today still have to suffer the same injustices of the minorities of the past(?)

Somos La Luz,” or “We Are The Light,” is a large-scale rendering of Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo, a pediatrician who died when fighting the virus in New York City. Rodríguez-Gerada hopes to draw attention to the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among Latinx and Black populations across the United States, in addition to the alarming rates of infection in Queens, one of the city’s epicenters for the virus.

In an Instagram post about the project, Rodríguez-Gerada said presenting the masked figure on such a massive scale reflects the enormity of the issue. “This artwork ‘Somos La Luz’ strives to give deeper meaning to the loss of each life,” the artist writes. “It strives to make evident the importance of every life as well as to value the amazing contribution of migrant people.”

Best viewed aerially, the mural was commissioned by the immigrant healthcare organization SOMOS and Make the Road New York, an advocacy group. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art

A Three-Story Tree Acts as a Scaffold for a Growing Community in a Mural by Ethan Murrow

May 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Garden” in Seattle. All images © Ethan Murrow, by Julia Featheringill and Stewart Clements

In a 53-foot mural of exposed roots and tangled branches, Boston-based artist Ethan Murrow (previously) situates an energetic construction site manned by human workers, who heave their materials and balance across taught ropes. “The Garden” is replete with scaffolding, small tool sheds, and suspended orbs of sod and lumber among the sturdy boughs. With flags staked on its top, the tree serves as an organic backdrop for the humans’ manufactured expansion. Evidenced by the figure raising a tree branch to the sky in the top left corner, though, the workers’ actions often appear peculiar and inconsequential.

In a statement, Murrow explains that his scenic works are rooted in United States history and culture. Whereas traditional narratives are founded on the idea that progress and human superiority are natural, the artist works to subvert those assumptions.

As our world leaks and creaks forward, landscape can act as the ultimate term and representation of the joys and foibles of our actions. Landscape is an aesthetic ideal, an edited view of reality that suits the maker—in essence, a fiction. For me, the word has come to define our use of images and stories to convince ourselves of who we are, what we know to be true, and what we wish was fact.

Rendered in high flow acrylic and paint pens, “The Garden” is installed at Expedia Group headquarters in Seattle. Many of Murrow’s projects that are concerned with historical narratives and human progress can be found on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Home MuralFest: 67 Artists Simultaneously Painted Murals in Their Homes and Gardens While Quarantined

May 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“O Cavalo Preto” (2020) by Alex Senna. All images couretesy of Void Projects, shared with permission

Similar to other muralists, Copenhagen-based artist Jacoba Niepoort was preparing for a busy period full of travel and public projects when COVID-19 canceled all of her plans. “I had been dreaming of methods for connecting individual, like-minded creatives who share common dreams within this multi-layered/directional world of art in the public space,” she tells Colossal. “When quarantine hit, I wanted to use the spaces we were in to create parallel individual works.”

Niepoort connected with Axel Void (previously), a Miami-based artist who leads a cultural platform designed to bring art out of conventional spaces. The pair and the Void Projects’ creative team curated Home MuralFest, a collective initiative that inspired 67 quarantined artists around the world to paint their latest artworks on blank walls in their living rooms, studios, and garden sheds. Each worked simultaneously throughout April to create pieces that range from monochromatic birds inked on windows to vibrant geometric expanses.

By bringing them out of the public sphere, Home MuralFest subverts how viewers typically engage with these artworks. “What interests me about this project is the new unexpected connections across time and space—using this digital world in some potentially more productive way, letting it grow, seeing what unexpectedness comes out of this,” says Niepoort, whose contribution is shown below.

Because only the residents inside the building have the opportunity to view each mural, technology and social media serve as integral and sincere methods of connection. “Being cooped up has presented an opportunity to come together in new ways, both as coordinators and as artists,” Niepoort says. “To share visuals of the space and time we’re standing in now, created in solitude, but with the solidarity and simultaneousness being an important value-factor.”

See the full Home MuralFest collection and process videos on Void Projects’ site, and watch for the 35 murals being rendered throughout May on Instagram.

 

“New Horizons” (2020), Chinese ink on window and shutter of a house in Montevideo, by David de la Mano

“New Horizons” (2020), Chinese ink on window and shutter of a house in Montevideo, by David de la Mano

“Indoors” (2020), Helen Bur and Erin Holly

“Loading” (2020) by Icy and Sot

 

 



Art

A Graffiti-Covered Mural by PichiAvo Converts a Pipe into Cupid’s Arrow

April 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Mural in Port Adelaide, 9 x 17 meters. Image © PichiAvo, shared with permission

French artist François-Joseph Bosio notably left his iconic marble sculpture Cupid with a Bow (1808) without the actual weapon. In a recent rendering by Valencia-based duo PichiAvo (previously), though, the Roman god is outfitted with a long arrow fashioned out of a preexisting horizontal duct. The graffiti-laden mural was PichiAvo’s contribution to the 2020 Wonderwalls Festival in Port Adelaide.

Known for Urbanmythology—a style that blends urban artwork and Greek and Roman mythology—PichiAvo seamlessly merges the two into vibrant, large-scale compositions. The street artists also depicted Cupid in a 2018 project in Italy, and they tell Colossal that their recent mural is an extension of their fascination with the deity of love and lust. Head to Instagram and YouTube for a deeper look into the duo’s processes, and pick up a print from their shop. (via Street Art News)

Image © PichiAvo

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects,

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects

 

 



Art

Illusory Street Typography Pops Off the Wall in Bold Murals by Ben Johnston

April 20, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Ben Johnston

Toronto-based designer Ben Johnston plays with color, shadow, and perspective to create typography that appears three-dimensional in his site-specific murals. He’s a self-taught designer, spending time in the agency world of South Africa before moving back to his home country of Canada to pursue a freelance career focusing on branding and typography.

Johnston happened upon mural painting when a friend asked him to create a piece for the entranceway of a new office building. That opportunity completely shifted the course of his career, and he now spends 80% of his time creating murals for clients, charity, and fun.

A disciplined designer, Johnston told Scotty Russell of the Perspective Podcast that he spends no more than four days painting a mural, preferring to work longer days to get it done rather than stretch it out over a week. He balances outdoor mural painting with client work in his studio and always tries to get in a bike ride before the day begins to clear his mind. The designer pushes what’s possible with letter art by finding inspiration outside of the digital realm—by flipping through classic design books on Bauhaus and taking photos of peeling vinyl lettering. He even has entire mood boards dedicated to shadow references.

Follow Johnston on Instagram to keep up with his latest illusory murals, and get a glimpse into his painting process on Vimeo.

 

 

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