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Art

Abstract Clusters of Feathers Ruffle Across Vibrant New Murals by Adele Renault

June 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

Artscape, Sweden. All images © Adele Renault, shared with permission

Belgian artist Adele Renault (previously) has an unparalleled ability to turn an urban nuisance into an extraordinarily beautiful creature. Her oversized pigeons grace walls in cities around the world, creating public artworks that celebrate her favored subjects in the exact locations they’re often overlooked and disregarded.

A few years ago, Renault began what she calls “wandering in the macro world,” a venture that shifted her focus to the individual feathers she’s always found most alluring. “The texture is more dazzling and intriguing than showing the whole thing,” she says. “The feathers have become my own language in a way. I now create them without photo reference, more like a meditative practice that creates textures and softness as a result.” Her murals have since strayed from portraying full birds to focusing instead on clusters of plumes and the individual barbs that sprout in layers and tufts.

Although Renault is dedicated to realistic forms, her more recent artworks play with color, injecting bright rainbow hues where she previously focused on naturally occurring blues and purples. The vibrant feathers radiate with an oily, iridescent sheen and appear to ruffle on the wall, a trompe-l’œil effect she achieves by meticulously coating either oil or spray paint to create depth and shadow.

A few of Renault’s smaller works on canvas are on view at Moberg Gallery in Des Moines through the end of June, and she’s currently preparing for a solo show in Belgium that’ll feature her Plantasia series, which similarly extracts minuscule details from leaves. You can find out more about her practice in Gutter Paradise, which was published late last year, and follow her on Instagram to stay up-to-date with her latest projects.

 

New Brighton, UK (2021)

Northwest Walls, Werchter (2019). Photo by Dan Verbruggen-Ausilio

“Gutter Paradise 11” (2019)

Right: Silverlake (2019). Photo by Asato Iida

Urban Art Fair Paris. Photo by Alex Geoffrey

London, Maryland. Photo by Marian Medic

La Brea, Los Angeles (2021)

 

 

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Art

Candid Murals by Street Artist Escif Cleverly Respond to Political Issues and Current Events

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Espoire” in Lozzi, France. All images © Escif, shared with permission

Street artist Escif (previously) utilizes muted color palettes and straightforward motifs to convert walls around his home city of Valencia and other locations throughout Europe into perceptive ruminations on capitalism, politics, and society. He paints sparse scenes and objects with ties to their environment and current events, often relying on humor and wit to convey an underlying message. Although the Spanish artist has spent much of the last year in his studio working on drawings with his two-year-old son, some of his more recent artworks include a brick shattering an already damaged window, a military officer armed with a vaccine like a bazooka, and a touching tribute to the late street artist Hyuro, who died last November.

Escif just completed a series in Corse and is headed to Lithuania and northern Italy in the next few months, which you can follow on Instagram. Shop available prints on his site.

 

“Aguja” in Valencia

A tribute to the late artist Hyuro in Valencia

“Break” in Charleroi, Belgium

Left: “Low Cost” in Valencia. Right: “Brote”

“Underground” in Barcelona

 

 



Art

Trompe L’oeil Textiles Billow Across Murals by Rosie Woods in Iridescent Ripples

April 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese. All images © Rosie Woods, shared with permission

As if lifted by a breeze, oversized ribbons and bunches of fabric float across the trompe l’oeil murals by London-based artist Rosie Woods. The gleaming, prismatic textiles sway and subtly twist into folds and ripples in the spray-painted works. Through the flowing movements, Woods explores the fluid, ever-changing nature of the human experience by synthesizing abstraction and realism. She explains:

I often wonder what my soul would look like if it manifested itself as an object I could see and touch on this earth.  My artwork today looks to express the depth, growth, and complexity of the mind as well as its ability to encompass both light and dark spaces emotionally. I’d like to think you can “feel” my artwork with your eyes.

Woods translates her massive, lustrous textiles to smaller canvases, which she sells in her shop. Although she’s sold-out at the moment, you can watch for upcoming releases on Instagram, where she shares a variety of process shots and news on where she’s headed next.

 

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

Woods working at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

 

 



Art

Monumental Murals of Anatomical Creatures by ROA Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Biodiversity

April 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Red Tail Hawk in Humacao, November 2018. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Belgian street artist ROA (previously) has been touring Puerto Rico painting his signature monochromatic menagerie around the island. Depicting both native creatures like parrots and seahorses and invasive species like lionfish, the massive pieces celebrate the region’s biodiversity and the biologists and conservationists working tirelessly to preserve it. Many of the murals are anatomical and juxtapose life and death, a recurring theme in ROA’s body of work and one that’s apparent in his most recent rendering in Isla de Cabras. Spanning 160 feet, the massive artwork positions a plump, wrinkled manatee alongside a lengthy skeleton.

The ongoing project has produced 15 murals so far and is a collaboration with Elegel Group. You can find out more about the impetus behind each animal on Instagram. (via Street Art News)

 

Manatee in Isla de Cabras, April 2021. Photog by Four Two Photography

Puerto Rican Parrot in Utuado, July 2019. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Octopus in Playa Escambron, July 2019. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Lionfish in Naguabo, June 2019. Photo by Pedro “Huck” Rosa, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Seahorse in Playa Escambron. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Snail in Aibonit, January 2019. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Monkey in Naguabo, November 2018. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Lizard in San Juan. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Tortuga. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

 

 



Art Photography

Candid Moments Captured in Vintage Photos Are Magnified in Mohamed L’Ghacham’s Murals

April 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Confinamiento” (2019), Cheste, Valencia, Spain. All images © Mohamed L’Ghacham, shared with permission

Whether depicting a birthday party or a child’s first steps, the expressive murals by Mohamed L’Ghacham (previously) enlarge sincere, unposed moments into monumental celebrations of everyday life. The Moroccan artist recreates vintage photographs as wall-sized artworks in locations across Europe that portray a woman readying for bed or the chaotic minutes before a family portrait at a massive scale.

L’Ghacham tells Colossal that his relationship to the original images has evolved in recent years from a simple juxtaposition of the site and the quiet, unassuming beauty of the domestic scenes to a more complex understanding. “Those first murals were done in abandoned, demolished places or simply on the outskirts of cities and public spaces. The impact of seeing an image of this type painted with a technique closer to classical painting than graffiti in such spaces created a concept by itself for me,” he says.

Today, the Barcelona-based artist sources reference photographs and home videos from neighbors and city archives to connect more directly with the local culture. While his style is unchanged—L’Ghacham continues to use loose brushstrokes and layers of muted tones to achieve the vintage aesthetic—the streetside works reflect those living nearby. “I think (the murals) can be very symbolic and that many people can feel represented even if they are not necessarily the protagonists portrayed,” he says. “Until now my intention was to pay tribute and give visibility to situations that we all live in and that maybe sometimes we find it hard to value.”

Starting next month, L’Ghacham will be traveling around Europe for a few projects and has a solo exhibition at PDP Gallery slated for this summer, which will be comprised of the smaller paintings he’s been sharing on Instagram.

 

“Pillando el globo” (2019), Mataró, Spain. Done in collaboration with Ivan Floro

“Matança do porco” (2019), Figueiró Dos Vinhos, Portugal

“Indoor II” (2019), Schiedam, Netherlands

“Dormitorio III” (2019), Mantova, Italy

“La Fondue” (2019), Crans-montana, Switzerland

“Family portrait” (2020), Wevelgem, Belgium

“El dormitorio de Aina” (2020), Torrellas, Spain

 

 



Art

A Technicolor Flower Bed Sprouts From a 70-Foot-Tall Water Tower in Arkansas

January 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

A drab water tower in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, is overrun with a 70-foot-tall garden of technicolor flowers and vines thanks to artists Darren and Emmelene Mate, aka DabsMyla. The Australian wife and husband are known for their hand-painted psychedelic dreamscapes, which envelop the otherwise utilitarian tank with oversized flora. Titled “Magical Unity,” the circular mural features plants native to the region, along with a fuzzy bumblebee mid-pollination, all rendered in the duo’s playful style.

DabsMyla completed the public project in just one week, which they describe:

Color plays a big role in our work and how we create. For this piece, we wanted to produce an uplifting feeling through flowers and running a rainbow of hues from the bottom to the top. This is a really large work, and we hope that it will positively impact the community and bring happiness to everyone who passes by it.

The transformative artwork is the latest commissioned by the women-led curators of Justkids (previously) and OZ Art, which have been collaborating to revitalize areas around Arkansas in recent years. Shop pins and stickers of DabsMyla’s quirky characters in their shop, and check out more of the couple’s work on Instagram.