street art

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Art

An Artistic Endeavor in Brussels Installs Custom Mosaics Outside Your Home—People Are Choosing Portraits of Their Cats

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Cats, dogs, and other mammals are known to mark their territories in myriad ways, but pet owners in Brussels have discovered a more enduring and inviting method. What began as a single project by artist Ingrid Schreyers spurred a municipality-wide initiative: the government of Schaerbeek, a suburb bordering the city of Brussels, now installs any mosaic, either created by residents or a local artist like Whitney Orville, free of charge. Many people are choosing portraits of their furry companions, although the idiosyncratic designs range from playful depictions of wildlife to urban scenes.

We’ve gathered some of the street-side assemblages here, but check out this Instagram account documenting the public art initiative for hundreds more. You also might enjoy these Japanese manhole covers and a similar mosaic-centered initiative to fill potholes.

 

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

 

 



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

AnonyMouse Wedges Miniature Shops and Restaurants Built For Mice into Busy City Streets

August 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © AnonyMouse, shared with permission

In cities across Sweden, France, and the Isle of Man lies a parallel universe fit only for a mouse. Miniature restaurants, record shops, and apothecaries squeeze into ground-level windows on the street next to their human-sized equivalents. The adorable universe is a project from a collective aptly named AnonyMouse, which started crafting the charming scenes in the spring of 2016.

Suggesting that the mice have a symbiotic relationship with the pedestrians on the street, the team repurposes items people throw away, turning a champagne topper into a stool or a matchbox into a table. Twenty-five installments currently exist across Europe, which largely are inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s and Beatrix Potter’s whimsical tales and movies from Don Bluth and Disney. “We thought it would bring a bit of joy to pedestrians passing by, but it grew into something slightly bigger, and as such we’ve probably dedicated more time on each project than we originally envisioned. But that’s just part of the fun,” they say. The team crafts each scene with incredible detail, from recreating iconic record covers to plastering up posters advertising mouse- and rat-based happenings.

As its name suggests, the group’s individual identities are unknown. “We like to think that part of the allure of our installations is that they could be done by anyone,” they say. “And since we do not have a specific agenda with them our identities are unimportant.” AnonyMouse won’t divulge plans for upcoming installations, but you can follow all of its adventures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Sprawling Floral Installations Spill Over Garbage Cans and Phone Booths on New York City Streets

August 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Lewis Miller Design, shared with permisison

Thanks to Lewis Miller Design, those passing through New York City have gotten some respite from the rank smells and soggy refuse of streetside garbage cans. For years, the florist (previously) has been planting guerrilla installations of sunflowers, hydrangeas, and peonies in public areas, transforming trash receptacles, construction zones, and lampposts with sprawling assemblages. Check out some of the recent “Flower Flashes” below, and follow the designer on Instagram to see where the temporary bouquets pop up next.

 

 

 



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