murals

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Art

Okuda San Miguel Transforms a Stark Lighthouse in Spain into a Technicolor Beacon

September 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Infinite Cantabria” (2020, Spain. All images © Okuda San Miguel, by Beatriz Carretero and Omar H. Garcia, shared with permission

Situated along the coast in Cantabria, the Faro de Ajo has been transformed from a barren facade into a vivid display of more than 70 hues. The undertaking of artist Okuda San Miguel (previously), the 16-meter tower features a striped bird, wild animals rendered in bold blocks of color, and various dots and squiggles. Now bearing the name “Infinite Cantabria,” it is the first intervention on a Spanish lighthouse. “It has been a unique experience, both because of the artistic challenge that it has brought about for me, as well having carried this project out in my homeland,” says the artist, who is from the region in northern Spain.

Follow Okuda San Miguel on Instagram to check out more of his global projects, and pick up a face mask, puzzle, or print for a smaller dose of his technicolor interventions. (via TimeOut)

 

 

 



Art

Outfitted with Knights' Helmets, Children Painted by Seth Globepainter Play in the Streets of Paris

September 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission

French artist Julien Malland, who works as Seth Globepainter (previously), is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with a new series of murals that capture the innocence of childhood. Painted throughout the thirteenth district of Paris, the public artworks feature kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure or playful activity: one rides an oversized pigeon, another blows multicolored bubbles, and a pair appears to float above the ground to embrace.

Each of the figures is sporting a metal knight’s helmet, a sign of protection for their physical wellbeing, in addition to a show of strength and resilience. In a note to Colossal, Globepainter says the headwear also refers to French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech in March in which he said, “We are at war,” as he ordered residents to stay home. The murals represent the way Parisians have accepted this new way of living and are about “how children, in particular, seem to have adapted easily to it,” the artist says. “They are protected by their helmets which weigh so heavily on them. They can only see through small openings in the metal, but they continue to play as if nothing had happened.”

To see more Globepainter’s public artworks that consider the world through the lens of childhood, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A Vibrant, Geometric Rug Cascades Down a Staircase in a New Mural by Jessie and Katey

August 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jessie and Katey, shared with permission. By Shauna Caldwell

To create the brightly colored textile that cloaks a three-level staircase on the Appalachian State University campus, artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn (previously) imagined the concrete steps as a massive loom. They drew grids on the outdoor structure to map out where each individual strip would start, end, and intersect with the larger geometric forms. “There was a lot of math involved, getting the angles and perspective right was a challenge but eventually everything locked into place,” the Baltimore-based duo, who are known as Jessie and Katey, shares with Colossal.

Evoking the quilts and other textiles that are traditional to Appalachia, the large-scale artwork is composed of vivid gradients layered into a complex web of stripes and woven patches. Neutral-toned tassels line the angled edge at the bottom of the staircase, giving the flat mural the appearance of a rug.

This public artwork is just one Jessie and Katey have undertaken in recent months. Many of their projects that were postponed due to COVID-19 are reconvening, bringing the pair to Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and a few spots in North Carolina. Although the actual painting process is solitary, Jessie and Katey say they’ve enjoyed seeing how people are experiencing outdoor art since the onset of the pandemic. “It’s really rewarding watching the work get embraced by the public. People get really creative with it, and murals end up becoming a part of the community,” they say.

To see where the duo is headed next, follow them on Instagram, and check out the prints available in their shop.

 

 

 



Art

A Massive Flower Splays Across Six Surfaces in a New Mural by Artist Mona Caron

August 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“⁣Limonium.” All images © Mona Caron, shared with permission

An enormous flower overtakes the San José’s cultural affairs building in a multi-plane mural by artist Mona Caron (previously). Titled “Limonium,” the delicate, pink-and-green leaves spread out across the structure’s facade, transcending a single side. Wrapped around six walls and across four planes, the flower appears to be growing continuously from multiple angles.

The San Francisco-based artist says determining the spatial logistics was straightforward. She added reference points to the wall and superimposed her botanical piece to a photo, which guided her through the process. In a video posted to Instagram, Caron walks around the pastel mural to capture its illusory qualities. “The main plant faces the entrance to the Convention Center on Market Street, but to its left, there is a semi-enclosed cove, which is the entrance to the garage, and there’s another plant in there, with a flower stem that calculatedly appears to be a part of whichever plant you’re looking at,” she shares with Colossal. “Similarly, I carefully drafted the rightmost flower stem (and) leaves to appear continuous when seen both from the street and from the upper terrace.”

 

 

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Art

Bright Elephants Squeeze Into Their Surroundings in Site-Specific Murals by Artist Falko One

July 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Everybody wants to be down with the dude on top the stairs” (2019), Cape Town, South Africa. All images © Falko One, shared with permission

For decades, Falko One (previously) has been transforming blank staircases and piles of refuse around South Africa into homes for his technicolor elephants. Despite their striking hues, each mural is site-specific, allowing it to blend in with the facades and surrounding environments. The artist might position the trunk along a ventilation duct or the torso atop cinder blocks and crates, creating an optical illusion within his vivid murals. “My approach is just to add a bit of color to the space without breaking the scenery,” he tells Colossal. “I try not to make them too intrusive. I always respect that for that moment I am just a tourist to that specific community.”

Generally, the artist finds viewers are drawn in by the colors before considering the ways the elephant bends and conforms to the structured space. “The value for me is listening to the debate about it. At that moment, there are no wrong or right answers. What better way to get people to discuss something without telling them to discuss it. It’s not a formal discussion on the street but playful, honest banter. I like that the most,” he notes.

Often sharing his latest murals on Instagram, the artist’s motivation for painting the massive pachyderms is simple and about accessibility. “Everyone loves an elephant,” he says. To travel around Africa with Falko One, check out this documentary (NSFW) by Red Bull Media House about his work.

 

“Evergreen” (2018), Cape Town, South Africa

“Brick Ross” (2020), Cape Town, South Africa

“Broke back boat” (2019), Praia, Cape Verde Islands

“Heavy metal” (2019), Johannesburg, South Africa

“Homestead” (2016), Nkandla, South Africa

“Perioscope” (2019), Johannesburg, South Africa

“Welcome home” (2016), Coffee Bay, South Africa

“What have you done for me lately” (2019), Cape Town, South Africa

“Wheel of fortune” (2019), Praia, Cape Verde Islands

 

 



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.