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Art

Lush Tropical Plants Sprout from Brightly Colored Murals by Thiago Mazza

July 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

Lisbon. All images © Thiago Mazza, shared with permission

In his brilliantly hued murals, Brazilian artist Thiago Mazza recreates the dense foliage and thick, fleshy petals he encounters in tropical forests and other verdant areas. Prickly thistles, striped leaves, and seemingly endless varieties of flowers spring up in wild masses that crawl down sidewalks and engulf entire buildings.

In a note to Colossal, Mazza shares that all of his large-scale projects start with a carefully arranged photograph of the flora he finds during his forest excursions. “When I photograph the compositions with real plants, I do under a strong natural light so I can capture the light and the shadow, the contrast that I search in my compositions,” he says. The resulting works bring the otherwise remote plants to urban areas, transforming stark facades into lush gardens celebrating nature’s diversity.

Based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Mazza is currently painting an installation in the middle of a field as part of a residency at Campidarte in Sardinia, which rounds out a months-long expedition around Europe where he completed murals in Sintra, Lisbon, and Civitacampomarano. Keep an eye on his Instagram for his upcoming works, which are slated for Foz do Iguaçu, Tbilsi, and Madrid this fall. (via Street Art News)

 

Lisbon

Bertioga, Brazil, with the help of Drin Cortes

Poços de Caldas, Brazil, with the help of Drin Cortes

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with the help of Drin Cortes

Vukovar, Croatia, with the help of David Arranhado

 

 



Art

A Mythical Stencil Mural by MonkeyBird Is a Monumental Homage to Burgos Cathedral

June 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © MonkeyBird, shared with permission

A guardian angel in the form of a grey heron watches over an allegorical mural at Burgos Cathedral in Spain. Painted by Louis Boidron and Edouard Egea, who work as MonkeyBird (previously), “Mymesis, beings and places” is an homage to the artworks and design of the church, which UNESCO designated a World Heritage site back in 1984 in part because it captures the evolution of gothic architecture: construction on the building began in 1221 and wasn’t complete until 1567, meaning it showcases the entire history of the style.

Translating many of the religious symbols and motifs found inside, the duo combines the cathedral’s profound history with its signature stenciled aesthetic and recurring monkey and bird creatures. The resulting mural is a dense display of ornate structural elements, airborne birds called papamoscas cerrojillo that typically nest in the building, and a gilded clock from the 18th Century. “Our intention was to offer an effect of complex depth and monumentalism, combining some of the most spectacular references of the temple, such as the main altarpiece, with its many details, the Golden Staircase, or the circular oculus in the center of Santa María façade,” MonkeyBird says.

Head to Instagram to see more of “Mymesis, begins and places” and to follow the duo’s projects and occasional print releases.

 

 

 



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)

 

 



Art Illustration

'Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn't Sorry' Is a Cleverly Illustrated Book Introducing Kids to the Elusive Artist

May 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Phaidon

Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry introduces the life and work of the anonymous street artist to some of the youngest readers. The 48-page book is cleverly written as a plainspoken autobiography, detailing both Banksy’s aesthetic sensibilities and surveying his decades-long career, including references to Dismaland, his “Better Out Than In” residency in New York, signature rats, and the subversive, overtly political messages of his pieces and antics. Illustrated in Fausto Gilberti’s whimsical style, the largely black-and-white drawings are playful and humorous and contextualize Banky’s profound impact and mysterious, unapologetic reputation in a manner fit for kids.

Published by Phaidon, Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry is Gilberti’s fourth in a series exploring the legacies of some of the most well-known artists, including Yayoi Kusama, Jackson Pollock, and Yves Klein. Shop the complete collection on Bookshop. (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 



Art

Ceramic Mosaics Mend Cracked Sidewalks, Potholes, and Buildings in Vibrant Interventions by Ememem

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ememem, shared with permission

Throughout his home city of Lyon, Ememem is known as “the pavement surgeon.” The artist repairs gouged sidewalks and splintered facades with colorful mosaics that he describes as “a poem that everybody can read.” Intricate geometric motifs laid with pristine tiles hug the cracks and create “a memory notebook of the city. It reveals what happened, the life in these public places,” he tells Colossal. “Here cobblestones have been picked up and thrown. There a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt…”

Ememem’s first mosaic dates back 10 years when he found himself in a damaged alley in Lyon. At that time, he already was working in ceramic and translated that practice to revitalizing the outdoor area. Since 2016, he’s been consistently filling potholes and other divots throughout France. “It’s a succession of a lot of places and reflections, experiments I did before. I had done similar things, with other techniques, other supports, and finally, when this one emerged, I knew I found something that I was going to keep doing for the rest of my life,” he says.

If you’re in Paris, you can see some of Ememem’s newest interventions around the Grand Paris Express in Saint-Maur-Créteil through August 31. His work also will be at Spraying Board in Lyon on June 2 and included in a group show at Florian Daguet-Bresson opening June 8. You can find an extensive archive of his patched projects on his site and Instagram. Check out these guerilla pothole mosaics by Chicago artist Jim Bachor for similar street mendings. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

For Société du Grand Paris

Left: Lyon (2021). Right: Paris (2020)

Grand Paris Express

Mycosis on the Môle de Sète

Right: Rue Bollier

 

 



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