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Art

A 3D Mural by Artist Leon Keer Wraps a French Housing Complex Like a Gift

July 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Safe House” (2020). All images © Leon Keer, shared with permission

Dutch artist Leon Keer is known for his large-scale anamorphic and Trompe-l’œil projects, transforming the sides of buildings and sidewalks into illusory public art. His latest mural, titled “Safe House,” turns the side of a housing complex in Morlaix, France, into a massive, wrapped gift. Despite its flat surface, the gold paper appears to crinkle and bulge under the bright, imperfectly cut tape. “It is not obvious for everybody to have a roof over their head. Your home is precious and gives you the comfort and protection, a gift for the necessary needs in life. In honor of the great Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” the artist writes in a statement.

“Safe House” was created as part of the MX29 Graffiti Tour, a festival organized by Les Ateliers du Graff. To follow Keer’s deceptive works, head to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

Interactive Event with Paint Kartel Teaches Seniors to Create Bold Graffiti in Belgrade

June 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Street Art Belgrad and Paint Kartel, by Nemanja Stojanović, shared with permission

A recent workshop hosted by Street Art Belgrade paired up members of the Serbian collective Paint Kartel with seniors interested in the public art form. Throughout the interactive event, participants learned about graffiti and its history, in addition to some practical tips for creating their own largely spray-painted works. “Although street art has been an indispensable part of the urban environment, the wider community is usually unfamiliar with the development and value of this visual expression,” organizers said. ‘The older generations connected with the younger ones in a unique way and challenged the stereotype that street art is only for ‘young people.'” See some of the works-in-progress below, and for more of Paint Kartel and Street Art Belgrade’s community-based initiatives, follow them on Instagram. (via I Support Street Art)

 

 

 



Art

As a Tribute, Vhils Carves Ten Masked Healthcare Workers into a Hospital Wall in Porto

June 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Vhils, by Expanding Roots, shared with permission

To honor essential workers, Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, who goes by Vhils (previously), recently completed an expansive public artwork at the São João University Hospital Centre in Porto. Vhils chiseled 10 masked figures into an outdoor wall at the facility, creating a permanent homage to nurses, doctors, cleaning staff, maintenance workers, and kitchen employees. “It is a commendation of the courage, dedication, and selflessness with which they place their lives at risk in the defense of our own,” the artist says. “The disposition of the people in the composition, side-by-side, aims to symbolize not only the concept of frontline but also cooperation and teamwork.”

Follow Vhils on Instagram to keep up with his upcoming carved artworks, and check out the book he recently released that collects his public projects. (via Street Art News)

 

 

 



Photography

An Aerial Timelapse Captures One Million Begonias as They’re Woven Into an Ephemeral Tapestry

June 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Every other August, dozens of volunteers gather near the Grand Place in Brussels to compose a 19,000-square-foot, floral rug that blankets the central square. The massive installation is woven with one million begonias—a hearty flower that Belgium is the largest producer of worldwide—that last just four days before wilting.

Although the 2020 edition of the “Flower Carpet” event has been postponed, Berlin-based Joerg Daiber, of Spoon Film, captured the 2018 iteration in a short timelapse that shows how the vibrant tapestry is fabricated. Daiber adds a bit of whimsy to his film, though, with a tilt-shift effect, which makes all the volunteers, spectators, and surrounding architecture appear as miniatures. “The film was shot from three buildings around the Grand Place in Brussels, but most of the shots were taken from the 90-meter-high tower of the Brussels Town Hall,” the filmmaker told PetaPixel.

If you’re hoping to satisfy more of your wanderlust, check out Daiber’s similarly tiny dives into Montenegro, Burma, and Mallorca, among dozens of other locales, on YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

Gripping a Plastic Bag, A Massive Fox by Artist Florentijn Hofman Towers Over Rotterdam

June 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Florentijn Hofman by Frank Hanswijk, shared with permission

Residents of Rotterdam’s Bospolder-Tussendijken frequently spot bushy-tailed foxes roaming their streets at night, but now, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has given the carnivorous animal a permanent home in the area. He recently installed a massive “Bospolder Fox” that peers over a busy intersection in the neighborhood. Spanning 16 meters, the fox holds a pink bag in its mouth, a gesture that anthropomorphizes the wild animal, as Hofman asks, “Has the Bospolder Fox stolen something? Is he clearing up litter? Or has he just returned from a shopping spree on the market?”

While the sculptural installation juxtaposes the natural world and urban landscapes, it also serves as a reminder to residents to be welcoming, although many “have developed a certain fondness for the feral intruders,” the artist said in a statement.

The fox is an interloper, a colorful and gracious nocturnal animal that imparts a romantic twist to this story; and romanticism is a longing familiar to newcomers in the city. The inhabitants of Rotterdam come mostly from elsewhere, and they, like the fox, seek a better life in the city. Rotterdam must, therefore, keep its gates open to nature, to newcomers, and to new perspectives.

Similar to the artist’s previous projects, “Bospolder Fox” was designed to allow children to play in between its paws and serve as a sort of shelter. The animal’s vibrant fur stands out against the gray concrete underneath and nondescript building nearby, further magnifying the disparate qualities of the organic and human-made. “The nocturnal creature on velvet paws does not belong in a neat little park but sneaks through the shadowy crevices of the city,” Hofman said.

This public project is part of the artist’s series of sculptural essays, or artworks that should be read as three-dimensional narratives. Keep an eye out for upcoming installations, like this massive panda, on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art

A Bold Black Lives Matter Statement Transforms a Street Leading to the White House in Washington D.C.

June 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

Photograph © Nadia Aziz

In a show of solidarity, a massive tribute to Black Lives Matter has been painted on the street leading to the White House in Washington, D.C. Completed in permanent street paint, the message features bold, yellow letters that span more than a block of 16th Street and marks a historic moment in the United States after weeks of protests.

Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned the banner-style piece, which city workers and volunteers began at 3 a.m. Friday morning ahead of weekend demonstrations. The new message is just two blocks north of Lafayette Square, where police charged peaceful protestors and released tear gas and flash-bang shells to clear the crowd for a photo-op for President Trump earlier this week. It sits at the foot of St. John’s Church.

Update: Black Lives Matter D.C. has denounced the public display, saying, “This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community. Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.”

Update 2: An earlier version of this article erroneously attributed the mural to a single artist.

 

 



Art

From Minneapolis to Syria, Artists Are Honoring George Floyd Through Murals and Public Artworks

June 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

A mural in Minneapolis by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez

In honor of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a White police officer in May, artists have been painting murals and sharing messages in what now is a global movement supporting the victim. From Minneapolis to Los Angeles to Syria, the public artworks are drawing attention to the horrific killing, in addition to the larger issue of police perpetrating state-sanctioned violence.

A collaborative project by artists Xena GoldmanCadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez, the Minneapolis mural centers Floyd within a sunflower. Herrera told Hyperallergic that the “idea was to depict Floyd not as a martyr but as a social justice hero.” He’s surrounded by the names of others killed by police, in addition to protestors. The 20-by-6.5-foot project is located near the Cup Foods where Floyd died.

Louisiana-born artist Jammie Holmes created typographic banners with Floyd’s last words that emblazoned the skies of U.S. cities. Bold statements reading, “Please I can’t breathe,” “My neck hurts,” and “They’re going to kill me,” flew over Detroit, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York.

We’ve gathered some of the most recent projects below, including work from Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun, Fayetville-based Octavio Logo, and Barcelona-based Tvboy. (via Artnet News)

 

Fayetteville mural by Octavio Logo. via Clarissa Bustamante

 

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A message that was flown over Detroit by Jammie Holmes

A mural by Jesus Cruz Artile, also known as Eme Freethinker, in Berlin

 

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A mural of George Floyd in Dublin, painted by street artist Emmalene Blake. | Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

Posted by RTÉ News on Monday, June 1, 2020

 

 

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