murals

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Art

A Pair of Vibrant, Color-Blocked Murals by Lakwena Transform Two Basketball Courts in Arkansas

December 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

Tucked into the verdant landscape of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, are two dramatically altered basketball courts primed for play. Commissioned by the women-led curators of Justkids (previously) and OZ Art, the public project was conceived by London-based artist Lakwena, who transformed the outdoor spot into a lively area with her trademark typographic murals.

Basketball jargon covers the patterned court with an arched “Make it rain” demarcating the three-point lines. Creating under a larger theme of unity, Lakwena also referenced iconic poet Maya Angelou, who lived in the state throughout her life. “Bury me down / still I rise” lines the perimeter of the court, with Lakwena’s title of the work, “I’ll bring you flowers,” spelled out on multi-color petals at the center circle.

This community-centered project is the artist’s second in Arkansas and follows a 2017 work at Sebastian County’s Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Smith. Lakwena writes that “I’ll bring you flowers” is an extension of that piece as it looks “at growth and blessing in spite of adversity.” She expands on the idea:

I was really excited to work in a place with a largely Black demographic. It was nice to make an artwork for people that I have a connection to in that respect, especially at what feels like a very significant time for the Black community. The piece is called “I’ll bring you flowers.” Flowers are often used as a way of greeting, paying respect and honor people, and I wanted to honor the community in Pine Bluff.

For more of Lakwena’s vibrant pieces, head to Instagram. Check out this opulent kintsugi court and another angular mural for similarly sports-centered artworks.

 

 

 



Art

Celebrating the Late Tamara Djurovic, AKA Hyuro, and Her Sincere, Monumental Murals

November 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

Argentinian artist Tamara Djurovic, who worked under the name Hyuro, died Thursday at her home in Valencia. Known for imbuing her works with sincerity, the artist utilized her large-scale pieces to capture the complexity of human emotion. Her style was distinct and subdued, and her process was informed by her concerns and questions about the world, a process she spoke of at length previously on Colossal.

During her life, Djurovic made significant strides in the international mural community that is largely male-dominated. She completed projects across Europe, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Morocco, and Tunisia, many of which you can see on her site and Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art

An Anamorphic Mural Transforms a Montreal Street into Undulating Sand Dunes

November 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © NÓS, by Olivier Bousquet, Eloa Defly, Raphaël Thibodeau, Alex Lesage, and Charles Laurence Proulx

Along the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, sandy drifts swell and surge in a massive mural by the Canadian architecture firm NÓS. Aptly named “Moving Dunes,” the anamorphic artwork is comprised of neutral-toned lines that undulate along the walkway, creating a deceptive path mimicking deserts and beaches. Chrome spheres sporadically appear along the street in order to reflect the surrounding architecture and rippling patterns on the ground.

The 2018 project coincided with the museum’s exhibition, From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-face Picasso, Past and Present, which prompted NÓS to evoke the perspective-bending approach of cubist painters. “Moving Dunes” was chosen after an annual call for proposals to install a large-scale artwork on the Avenue de Musée. Follow NÓS’s latest designs and illusory projects on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art

A Colorful Geometric Mural of a Cityscape Visualizes Humans’ Impact on Nature

November 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Love of Nature” in Chelyabinsk, Russia. All images © Vitaly Tsarenkov, shared with permission

Artist Vitaly Tsarenkov, who works under the moniker SY, depicts the threat of ecological catastrophe through a new mural featuring geometric flora, fauna, and objects typically found in bustling city centers. Created for the Urban Morphogenesis festival in Chelyabinsk, Russia, “Love of Nature” is a vertical rendering of the human impact on nature, with color-blocked trucks, road cones, and towering buildings near the top and a fire, flowers, and tufts of grass occupying space at the bottom.

Based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tsarenkov says the 50-meter-high mural conveys that each person has the agency to protect the planet’s resources. “It’s impossible to stop all harmful factories at once, but to make the first step towards the clean Earth is not difficult and within everybody’s power just by taking the trash away after recreation in nature,” he writes on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Multi-Story Murals Showcase Domesticity through Elegant Ceramic Tableware

October 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Oviedo, Spain. All images © Manolo Mesa, shared with permission

Spanish street artist Manolo Mesa merges public and private spheres through large-scale murals that highlight simple domestic objects. The multiple-story artworks depict traditional dining scenes, from an elegant porcelain tea set to a lone jug with swirling flourishes to another vessel resting on a saucer.

To complete a recent tableau in Oviedo, Spain, for Parees Fest, Mesa explored the history of an abandoned pottery factory in San Claudio. Event organizers gathered tableware from local residents, a collection that informed the shapes and exterior motifs of his work. “I was able to see all the evolution of this earthenware in the houses of Oviedo. I found postwar pieces, which were inherited and preserved with great affection by collectors. We saw (the) tableware of a lifetime from the middle of the century,” he writes on Instagram. Showcasing a delicate collection of vessels, the resulting mural explores an otherwise hidden facet of local history.

Find Mesa on Instagram to view some works-in-progress and follow his ceramic-centric projects.

 

 

 



Art

Mantra's Trompe L’oeil Murals Encase Enormous Butterflies in Vintage-Style Boxes

October 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

Torino, Italy. All images © Mantra, shared with permission

Working with entomologists around the globe, the French street artist known as Mantra (previously) transforms brick facades and concrete walls into massive studies of local butterfly specimens. With framed outer edges that mimic a wooden box, the trompe l’oeil murals render the winged insects in detail, depicting their richly hued scales and delicate antennae. Each artwork features species native to the area, making it possible that a live specimen might flutter by its enormous counterpart.

In a conversation with Colossal, Mantra said he’s harbored a lifelong fascination with entomology that stems from spending hours in French gardens and bucolic areas as a kid. “As a child, I was interested, curious, and focused on the small life forms in those places,” he says. His current practice hearkens back to those carefree hours and connects with an adolescent desire to become a naturalist. “My approach is as a scientist,” the artist says, noting that education about environmental care and issues is part of the goal.

Although Mantra considers all insects and natural life beautiful and crucial to maintaining biodiversity, the focus on butterflies revolves around his artistic ambitions because the vivid creatures allow him to experiment with color, shape, and texture. Each specimen is rendered freehand before the artist adds detail and the illusory shadows that make them appear three-dimensional. By painting various Lepidoptera species again and again, the artist is “repeating a mantra,” a detail of his practice that informs the moniker he works under.

In recent months, Mantra has traveled to Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden, in addition to various locations throughout France, to complete public artworks, and he’ll be in Arkansas this month for two projects curated by Just Kids. Follow all of the artist’s entomological murals on Instagram.

 

Rombas, France

Cancún, Mexico. Image by Gino Caballero

Silkeborg, Denmark

Las Vegas, Nevada

Dijon, France

Jacksonville, Florida

Brooklyn, New York

Dallas, Texas. Image by Chop’ em Down

Overum, Sweden

Indianapolis, Indiana

Cancún, Mexico. Image by Gino Caballero

Torino, Italy. Image by Martha Cooper

 

 

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