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Art

Milkweed, Cypress Spurge, and Other Native Plants Soar into the Sky in Mona Caron’s Poetic Murals

September 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Balsamorhiza” (2022), Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California. All images © Mona Caron, shared with permission

Towering far above their real-life counterparts, the wild specimens that populate Mona Caron’s murals emphasize nature’s inherent beauty and resilience. Clusters of pink petals peek out from behind curled milkweed leaves in Denver, while the wispy stalks of a euphorbia plant sprout flowering tendrils on an apartment complex in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Many of the botanic murals shown here are part of the San Francisco-based artist’s ongoing Weeds series, which places flourishing plants among largely urban environments as a metaphor for the endurance of the natural world.

Caron (previously) has been prolific as of late, having worked in several cities around the world, and you can find glimpses into her process and information about her subject matter on Instagram.

 

“Milkweed” (2022), in Denver, Colorado, for Broadstone Kendrick

Detail of “Balsamorhiza” (2022), Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California

“Euphorbia” (2021-2022), Bellinzona, Switzerland

“Euphorbia” (2021-2022), Bellinzona, Switzerland

“Milkweed” (2022), in Denver, Colorado, for Broadstone Kendrick

Detail of “Milkweed” (2022), in Denver, Colorado, for Broadstone Kendrick

“Quebra-tudo, Abre Caminhos” (2022), in collaboration with Mauro Neri

“Quebra-tudo, Abre Caminhos” (2022), in collaboration with Mauro Neri

 

 



Art

Everyday Objects and Buildings Float Atmospherically in Cinta Vidal’s Perception-Bending Murals

September 19, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Public Space” (August 2022) in Toftlund, Denmark, curated by Kunstbureau Kolossal. All images © Cinta Vidal, shared with permission

It’s all about perspective in the multifaceted murals of Cinta Vidal, several of which the artist recently completed in Italy, Portugal, Germany, and Denmark. While some works focus on architectural details such as gable ends jutting out at unexpected angles or clustered together in mind-bending proportions, other pieces emphasize the relationships between people and their interactions within space or with each other as they navigate their shifting surroundings.

In preparation for a new project, Vidal researches the history and culture of an area and the buildings that surround the wall where she plans to work. Her characteristically suspended structures, household objects, and geometric shapes (previously) cast shadows and appear to sail through compositions that connect thematically to neighborhood or special events.  “All my murals play with their surroundings, reflecting and honoring the aesthetics and culture that surrounds them,” she tells Colossal. “I always do research, study the wall context, and paint a detailed sketch before going.”

Vidal’s painting “On Chairs” is also featured on the album cover of Tears for Fears’ latest album The Tipping Point. She is currently working toward a solo exhibition with Thinkspace Projects in New York in autumn of next year, and you can find more of her work on her website and Instagram.

 

“At work” (June 2022) in Covilhã, Portugal, for WOOL Urban Art Festival

“Neighborhood” (August 2022) in Horsens, Denmark, curated by Kunstbureau Kolossal.

“Behind” (July 2022) in Ludwigshafen, Germany, for Muralu Street Art

“Nonna” (July 2022) in Civitacampomarano, Italy, for CVTà Street Fest

A painted door in Civitacampomarano, Italy

Detail of “Behind”

“Neighborhood” in progress

“Public Space” in progress

 

 



Art

Seth Globepainter’s Imaginative Murals Center Childhood Optimism and Joy

September 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Back to School” (2017), Popasna, Ukraine. All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission

French artist Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously), is known for his murals that capture the playfulness, determination, and innocence of childhood. Painted in cities from Paris to Jersey City to Amman, the large-scale works find humor and joy in youthful pastimes, while capturing the vibrant imaginations associated with adolescence. The faceless characters tend to be optimistic even as they confront adversity, particularly in the artist’s most recent murals addressing the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Currently, Malland is working on a series of hand-embellished lithographs and preparing for a solo show opening on October 27 at Fluctuart in Paris, where he lives. He has a monograph slated for publishing this fall, as well, and you can follow updates on that release, in addition to his latest murals, on Instagram.

 

“Cecile’s House” (2021), Paris, France

“Secret Garden” (2022), Jersey City

Réunion Island (2021)

“Eye to Eye” (2021), Grenoble, France

“Ukraine” (2022), Paris, France

Detail of “Eye to Eye” (2021), Grenoble, France

“Three Cages” (2021), Amman, Jordan

 

 



Art History Photography

In Craig Walsh’s ‘Monuments,’ Enormous Projected Portraits Illuminate the Selective Histories of Public Art

August 31, 2022

Grace Ebert

Charlotte’s Descendents (2022) for Charlotte SHOUT! All images © Craig Walsh, shared with permission

In the mid-nineties, Australian artist Craig Walsh created his first projection at Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland. Made with photographic slides, the massive installation temporarily transformed a tree into a large-scale portrait, enlivening the canopy and initiating what’s become a 30-year project.

Now encompassed within the artist’s Monuments series, the digital works continue to animate landscapes and public spaces around the globe, and they’ve evolved in breadth and scope, sometimes incorporating live video and sound that allows viewers to interact with the illuminated characters. Blinking, yawning, and displaying various facial expressions, the emotive figures address both connections between people and their surroundings and conversations around whose stories are upheld and disseminated. “The work in the early days conceptually linked more to how the environment we exist in influences the human condition,” Walsh tells Colossal. “Surveillance was another interpretation.”

 

“Churaki Hill” (2017), three-channel synchronized digital video, projections, and existing trees, from Bleach Festival, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Today, the responsive installations more directly address traditional narratives and challenge “the selective history represented in our public spaces,” he says. Many of the Monuments celebrate people who significantly impacted their communities, and yet, might be overlooked. His 2017 piece, “Churaki Hill,” for example, pays homage to Churaki, an Aboriginal man who was responsible for many successful water rescues in the Tweed region in the early 1900s.

Similarly, Walsh’s recent installation in Charlotte, North Carolina, honors the descendants of Mecklenburg County’s Black residents. Created for the annual Charlotte SHOUT! festival, the trio of works occupies Old Settlers’ Cemetery, the burial ground for the city’s wealthy residents throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. He shares about the project:

Much like today, Charlotte was a diverse city in its founding century…By 1790, the census for Mecklenburg County lists a total population of 1,608 enslaved African Americans or 14 percent of the town’s population. By 1850, enslaved African Americans accounted for 44 percent of the total population inside the city limits. While their graves are not marked, the north quadrant next to Church Street is the final resting place for the formerly enslaved members of Charlotte’s first one hundred years.

On display earlier this year, the installation features folk artist Nellie Ashford, filmmaker and counselor Frederick Murphy, and DJ and musician Fannie Mae. Honoring the deep family ties and legacies these three hold within the city, the portraits memorialize their continued contributions to local culture.

Walsh is currently based in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, and his latest project is on view at Victor Harbor, South Australia, through September 11. Explore more of the Monuments series on the project’s site and Instagram.

 

Charlotte’s Descendents (2022) for Charlotte SHOUT!

“Monuments”(2014), four-channel digital projection, at White Nights Festival, Melbourne Victoria, Australia. Photo courtesy of White Night

“Intension” (2011), three-channel digital projection, existing monument, trees, from Ten Days on the Island, Franklin Square, Hobart, Australia

 

 



Art

A Playfully Grotesque Monster Peeks Out of Danaé Brissonnet’s Ravenous Mural in Montréal

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Thierry du Bois, © Danaé Brissonnet, shared with permission

A grotesquely beautiful monster with monarch wings, long feathered lashes, and a curiously large mouth has taken over a corner building in Montréal. The cheeky puppet mural is by French-Canadian artist Danaé Brissonnet in collaboration with Poncili Creacion and stands at the intersection of Boulevard Saint Laurent and Rue Marie Anne. Centered around the theme of digestion, the massive public work is a playful, metaphorical interpretation of the bodily process. “These days I’m intrigued with exploring the ways in which I nourish myself… the who and what I let inside,” Brissonnet writes on Instagram. “On the outside, he seems cute and inviting, but he will ferociously protect himself, deciding just who may enter his house.”

A boxy character with outstretched arms swivels atop the roof, and a rainbow chute evocative of a digestive track emerges from one side. Flora and fauna surround the anatomical parts, which the artist explains:

His yellow eyes are positioned in the center of his face and crowned by an echinacea flower, a really special flower for the immune system, a symbol of hope and strength. The arms transform into roosters, (which honors) the Portuguese park and the neighborhood’s delicious Portuguese roast chicken… The long crane holding a house is a little message to myself to find a home somewhere that I can set roots!

Brissonnet, who’s based in Guadeloupe, is currently working on a mural in Québec before she travels to Detroit for City Walls. Find more of her projects that blend puppetry and public art on her site.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Delicate Lace Patterns Overlay Facades in Ornate Large-Scale Murals by NeSpoon

August 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

Yffiniac, France (2022). All images © NeSpoon, shared with permission

Polish artist NeSpoon (previously) continues to add to her expansive collection of murals that merge local craft traditions and street art. Having traveled around Europe in recent months, she’s completed pieces in France, Spain, and Italy, to name a few, and each oversized motif recreates a lace pattern sourced from a museum or resident at a massive scale. The resulting works, which are spray-painted in white, are intricate studies of the region’s florals, ornamental styles, and tatting methods and how they differ throughout cultures and eras.

NeSpoon, who is based in Warsaw, generously shares in-progress and production photos on her site, and you can follow her latest pieces on Instagram.

 

Montpellier, France (2021)

Corsica, France (2022)

Brescia, Italy (2022)

Penelles, Spain (2022)

Montpellier, France (2021)

Detail of mural in Montpellier, France (2021)

Mendicino, Italy (2022)