with street art
The 19th Edition of Pioneering Street Art Festival NuArt Challenges Participants to Consider the Old and the New
For the 19th consecutive year, the quaint Norwegian town of Stavanger hosted another edition of the internationally known NuArt Festival. What started in 2001 as side programming at an electronic music festival has evolved into one of the most influential street art festivals worldwide. In addition to the production of public artworks, Nuart also includes a series of academic talks, debates, and movie premieres/screenings, all working towards greater definition and recognition of the street art movement. Its concurrent indoor exhibition also provides the artists an opportunity to create indoor works and installations without limitations or censoring, providing a unique blend of street art attitude showcased inside a gallery-like setting.
One of the works painted last week in Stavanger was the image of a girl taking a photo of a painting in a thick ornate frame. What seemed like an eye candy composition that creates a simple interaction of the character with an object on the wall is actually a harsh critique of the way the general public and the art world are dealing with the global refugee crisis. “On one side there is the passive position of the observer, on the other side, there is the position of the artist. Both acts as beholders of the critical situation,” the artist Jofre Oliveras (previously) stated about his poignant piece, titled Beholders. The artist further extended his critique of the art world with an indoor installation and live performance work presented in collaboration with the members of the 1UP CREW. As a way of protesting against the speculation of the art dealers based on the artist’s name, Oliveras painted a series of large works on canvas, which were then crossed over and destroyed by the notorious international graffiti crew.
Not far from this mural Argentine muralist Hyuro (previously) created her vision of the crisis and the way it is affecting the lives of individuals. Using hands as the universal symbol of individuality and closeness, Valencia-based artist depicted two hands interacting with a straight line between them. Symbolizing arbitrary manmade borders, the hands are both crossing over or being crossed over by the strict mark. Also talking about important social issues, Paul Harfleet introduced the concept of the ongoing Pansy Project, planting a single pansy flower on the location of homophobic abuse. Not being able to find the actual plants due to their seasonal nature, for the first time Harfleet painted these fragile flowers on multiple locations through the city and inside exhibition spaces.
Working around the festival’s theme “Brand new, you’re retro,” Julio Anaya Cabanding (previously) painted a series of smaller interventions which free a classic artwork by Norway’s Lars Hertervig in unexpected places. On the side of a staircase, at the end of a dark hallway, and finally, as part of the exhibition, his work is successfully merging the worlds of art history museums with street art.
This sensitive merging of two similar movements is an ongoing subject of the work by the Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas who painted a large mural showing a head masked with a shirt. Portraying the classic image of vandal graffiti writers with their makeshift disguise costume, the artist wanted to pay tribute to his graffiti past. “I see graffiti as the retro and street art the brand new,” the artist explained to Colossal. “But it is important that people realize the difference between both and don’t get them mixed up. Let’s respect graffiti and not try to appropriate it, let’s be proud of the “new” movement we are part of. We are writing history and it is important that we write it right and make sure we respect and do not distort what has been done before we got it to the game.”
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Graffiti artist Vile leaves his mark on the walls of occupied and abandoned buildings around Europe, using masterful techniques to create the illusion of depth in his painted interventions. The Portuguese artist has simulated letter-shaped gaps in crumbling bricks, galaxies pulsating behind concrete walls, and even entire imagined buildings. Vile, who lives in his hometown of Vila Franca de Xira, started writing graffiti at the age of 14, and studied cartooning and animation for films as well as drawing and illustration. Follow Vile’s illusory exploits on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)
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French artists Ella & Pitr (previously) paint large murals of sleeping characters whose bodies are contoured into the confines of rooftops, geometrical lots, and building facades. Best viewed from above, the murals often feature stripes and the limited color palette of the French flag: red, white, and blue.
The artists often tackle politics and social issues with their murals with their murals—such as the global refugee crisis—but they also paint lighthearted, fun pieces. The recently completed mural atop the Paris Parc Expo features a sleeping grandmother next to six lanes of traffic. Wearing a red coat with blue and white stripes, the woman measures almost 270,000 square feet and took 8 days and several volunteers to complete. The artists have also spent 2019 adding giants to walls and roofs in Bulgaria, Croatia, Colombia, Norway, and in other countries around the world.
To see more of their travels and the large pieces they have left behind, follow Ella & Pitr on Instagram.
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Australian artist Anthony Lister paints illustrative murals that blur the line between street art and fine art. The subjects on his walls range from figurative paintings of dancing ballerinas, to large scale portraits with rosy cheeks and red noses. Lister’s unique style is a result of his early influences and experience with graffiti, as well as his formal art education at Queensland College of Art and mentorship with New Zealand artist Max Gimblett.
For Lister, blending styles and exploring aesthetic ideas through what he calls “adventure painting” is something that came with time. “I used to try and keep all of my disciplines quite separate from each other, or at least I thought that was what I was doing,” he told Lost At E Minor. “Over time, I slowly let go of keeping one style and approach isolated from the other and so they quite organically and slowly merged to be what it is today.”
Explaining the difference in emotion between his studio work and his street faces (and why he use his full name for the former and his surname for the latter), Lister told LiveFastMag that “a face on the street represents freedom. When I’m painting on the street I don’t want to sweat over problems that I don’t feel comfortable solving in the public world or in front of an audience, because that’s often what painting in public turns into. [In the studio] I’m thinking conceptually and aesthetically, reflecting about anti-beauty, adventure painting and problem solving; whereas on the street I try to keep it simpler for myself.”
Anthony Lister has an upcoming solo exhibition titled “Modern Masters” opening at Mirus Gallery in Denver, Colorado on September 6. For updates on the show and to see more of his studio work and street art, follow Lister on Instagram.
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Nearly a decade after completing the “Alphabet Street” project in East London, English artist Ben Eine has again painted all 26 letters from A to Z on over 40 shop shutters. “Alphabet City 2.0” uses 26 bespoke fonts and a wide range of spray paint colors to transform the area into a vibrant street art destination.
Made in association with Global Street Art and the Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), the “Alphabet Street” shows the evolution of Eine’s style over the past 30 years. Bold letters emerge from the metal shutters with deep drop shadows and layered graphic elements. Each glyph has its own personality and dimensionality that allows it to stand alone while also being a part of the larger set.
It’s that exploration of type that Eine and his team are bringing to clients with their new creative agency; “Alphabet Street” also marks the launch of Eine’s new creative design studio, Our Types. “Our minds are always busy, even when sleeping, it refuses to rest,” he said in a statement. “It is the only true tool for manipulating the world about us. Our Types is going to be the visual drug your brain has been looking for.”
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Hayley Welsh’s playful murals pair imaginative creatures with universal messages of uplift and encouragement. Often featuring furry, plump critters that seem to be hybrids of dogs, rabbits, and teddy bears, Welsh’s subjects peer through periscopes atop mechanical fish or aboard paper boats, tug clouds from penny farthing bicycles, and sprout trees as antlers. Occasionally, Basquiat-esque crown motifs appear as well.
In a statement on her website, Welsh’s “ominously soft” work “explores inner voices of self doubt and fear, weaving a poignant narrative into every piece—a message for each person to reflect on in the moment.” The British-born artist lives and works between Perth, Australia and Blackburn, U.K. Explore more of her outdoor and gallery-based artwork on her website and Instagram.
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Portuguese artist AkaCorleone recently repainted a public basketball court in Lisbon, Portugal to emphasize the unification of differing points of view. The mural, located in Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, covers a public 46 x 82 foot wide court in pink, yellow, and blue. Its figures—a woman holding the Earth and a bespectacled man—sit at opposing sides of the court much like the flipped profiles of Jack, Queen, or King playing cards. According to the artist’s statement the piece, titled “BALANCE,” is intended to demonstrate the coming together of separate forces, especially in the neighborhood and on the court.
“The search for a true balance, a perfect duality between two people, two teams, two sides, two realities, is hard to achieve, but it’s possible,” AkaCorleone explained. “The concept behind the art for this project was to play with the notion of duality, of two different points of view, two different sides that complement each other like to opposite versions of the same reality that can only be understood as one.”
If you are interested in sports-oriented murals, you might also like this technicolor basketball court created in collaboration between fashion brand Pigalle and design agency Ill-Studio, or the beautiful works produced in public parks by Project Backboard. You can find more of AkaCorleone’s outdoor murals and paintings on his website and Instagram. (via Street Art News)
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