with street art
The historic building of Taylor’s Eye Witness Works in Sheffield, England is currently hosting Mausoleum of the Giants, the newest sculptural installation by Phlegm (previously). The exhibition features a number of large-scale sculptures of the surreal pseudo-mythological characters he’s included in his murals worldwide. Placed inside the spacious interior of a former kitchen and pocket knife factory, these friendly giants welcome visitors to walk between and examine their appearance from every angle.
The largest piece of the show waits for the viewer just beyond the first door. This massive creature lies on the ground in an almost fetus-like position, with large arms and hands clenched as he stares through the space with wide open eyes. Visitors must walk around the monumental body to discover the rest of the exhibition and peek at what other giants rest beyond the first room.
The works are created on skeletons made of wood and wire, with papier-mâché finishing. Phlegm then paints on them in an illustrative style based on intricate patterns and using a shading effect. This technique makes them seem flat when photographed against the architectural elements of the building, yet in person, they seem bigger, heavier, and bolder. By producing the creates at a scale that barely fits inside the space, they imitate how the artist regularly uses every inch of a wall to paint his captivating murals.
Mausoleum of the Giants will be open to the public through April 6, 2019. Phlegm plans to continue his experimentations with scale by putting together a show with miniature etchings he’s been working on in the last couple of years, in addition to releasing a book of etchings. You can follow his worldwide murals and sculptures on Instagram.
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PichiAvo Pushes the Boundaries of their Urbanmythology Style with New Solo Exhibition and Graffiti-Covered Greek Statue
Art center Centro del Carmen in Valencia, Spain is currently hosting Evreka, a large solo exhibition by local artist duo PichiAvo (previously). Through this landmark showcase, the artists present their renowned Urbanmythology style that blends the dynamics, immediacy, and uncompromising attitude of graffiti along with the traditional quality and timeless appearance of ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Dominated by a massive sliced and tagged Greek pillar, the immersive installation features ten new paintings, nine sculptures, and an outdoor monument to the local graffiti scene.
Along with the explosion of colors and graffiti elements on top of traditional Greek iconography, one of the main parts of the show is the “Reflectory room” in which the works are experienced through a mirror. The artists wanted to recreate the accidental and often concealed discovery of graffiti or street art in real life. Eight out of ten paintings exhibited in the show are presented through this concept. Sculptural pieces are scattered around them, with their biggest studio piece, a 40-foot-long column inspired by the temple of Zeus in Athens, laying through the length of the room.
All of the works in the show, except for the column, have been created especially for the show and are related to the Falles monument that they are currently finishing. Fallas de València is a traditional celebration held every year in commemoration of Saint Joseph, and it includes the year-long building and eventual burning of large-scale public statues. The peak of the event takes place around midnight on March 19, when around 400 Falles are burnt as huge bonfires through the city of Valencia.
Following the success of their friend Okuda San Miguel, who was invited by the Falles Festival in 2018 to build the Falla Mayor (previously), the art duo started working on their own statue right after the burning of last year’s works. Pichi & Avo partnered with the local Falles artisan firm Latorre y Sanz to execute the incredibly large-scale piece. Unlike previous years when artisans used mostly foam as a building material, this year’s sculptures are made from wood and cardboard, making the work more flammable and less pollutant.
PichiAvo’s Falles statue is set to be finished on March 15, 2019, along with the others included in the Falles Festival, and will be burned in a big celebration on March 19, 2019. Evreka will be on view at the Centro del Carmen in Valencia until May 5, 2019 and a show dedicated to PichiAvo’s limited editions will be on view at Plastic Murs gallery between March 7 and April 19, 2019. You can see more of the artists’ previous works on their website and Instagram.
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Not everyone is lucky enough to travel the world to witness the evolution of street art. Luckily there are books like Mural Masters: A New Generation published by Gingko Press to close those gaps. Authored by Kiriakos Iosifidis, the new book is over 260 pages long and showcases walls painted by more than 90 established and emerging artists.
With the help of many talented photographers, Mural Masters takes viewers on a non-linear journey across the planet, hitting Arkansas and Zurich and all points in between to check in on Alexis Diaz, Hyuro, Nychos, ETAM, and several others. Individual artist bios reveal details about where the creators are from, how long they’ve been honing their craft, and where in the world their pieces can be found. The book also includes a handy index filled with contact information and social media handles (for those who have them), as well as the locations and photographer credits for each mural included in its pages.
Mural Masters: A New Generation is available on shelves now, but you can save a trip and grab a copy here.
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Artist Adele Renault (previously here and here) creates large-scale paintings of pigeons, highlighting the spectacular feather patterns and hues that might otherwise go unnoticed at the birds’ small scale. Recently the Belgian artist completed a mural of two grey and blue-toned pigeons for St+art India’s Lodhi Street Art Festival in Delhi. The bird on the right has its mouth agape, squawking at the one on the left from the other side of a window that peers into a courtyard. Programming for the festival runs through the end of March, 2019. You can view more of Renault’s large-scale paintings on her website and Instagram, and take a look at her Amsterdam-based space Unruly Gallery which she runs with collaborator Niels Shoe Meulman. (via Street Art News)
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Finding Hope: A Balloon Mural by Mehdi Ghadyanloo Brings Levity to the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
Iranian muralist and fine artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo is the creator of the poetic mural recently installed in the lobby of the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland, where the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is currently taking place. After participating in the forum last year as one of the speakers, Ghadyanloo contributed a large-scale commissioned painting titled Finding Hope, designed specifically for this event.
The work is comprised of three separate panels installed in the main entry hall of the Congress Centre, and depicts a young girl with a floating red balloon. Although Ghadyanloo was initially challenged by the unusual structure of the inward facing walls, he decided to create a triptych whose parts correlate with each other in both a hopeful and tense narrative. The balloon suggests innocence when paired with the little girl, while noting possible destruction when placed opposite of a sharp needle.
“The audience here has more power to create real change than the rest of the world,” Ghadyanloo tells Colossal, “so this is a good place to touch their hearts and ask them to do something. Not in a direct way as they are used to be asked, but in a kind of a visual, poetic way I would say.”
Last year, joined by a small team of muralists from his hometown, the artist completed Rebuilding the Sky in Almetyevsk, Russia, in similar style to his perspective-challenging and illusion-based works in Tehran. Ghadyanloo wanted to add joyfulness and color to the concrete look of the city. Around the same time, he also painted a piece titled The Fraud and Hope on the rooftop of the OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, which depicts a huge water swirl and a gaping black hole. The piece was created as commentary on the issue of the global warming, melting ice, and the role of water, but also references migration crises and the artist’s personal phobias.
Although Ghadyanloo is known worldwide for the 100 large murals he painted in Tehran between 2004 and 2011, the Iranian artist has taken a little break from public works in the recent years. “I was doing more personal things in my studio and enjoyed to be away from this responsibility that I feel on my shoulder when I work in public,” he explains. “I think now is the time for action, to do more public art projects besides my gallery paintings.” You can view more of Ghadyanloo’s reality-bending murals and paintings on his website and Instagram.
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Polish artist NeSpoon (previously) creates spray-painted murals and textile installations based on traditional lace motifs. Her public paintings often stretch the height of multi-story urban structures, while her yarn works cling to passageways and trees like enlarged spiderwebs. Recent public pieces include a mural for the Museum of Fine Art and Lace (Musée des Beaux-arts et de la Dentelle) in Alençon, France based on the designs of French lace makers Brigitte Lefebvre and Thérèse Lemoine, a piece for the Emergence Festival in Valverde, Sicily, and textile installations across Finland, Armenia, Germany, and Poland. You can follow her upcoming travels and view new installations on Instagram and Behance. (via Colossal Submissions)
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Pseudonymous Indian street artist DAKU recently installed an immersive text-based work in Panjim, Goa. Placed along 31st January Road, a fishnet structure suspends letters above pedestrians. The region’s abundant sunlight pours through to cast shadows on the street, spelling out tropes about the passage of time. Some of the phrases include, “Time works wonders. Time moves. Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind. Time fades. Time is an illusion.” The temporary installation, titled Theory of Time, was supported by the public art nonprofit St+art India, as part of the Start Goa festival. DAKU often integrates language into his urban interventions. You can see more from the artist on Instagram.
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Editor's Picks: Street Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.