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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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Art

A 20,000-Square-Foot Tribute to Healthcare Workers Emerges at Queens Museum

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Somos La Luz” (2020). All images © Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, by Eduardo Amorim/Greenpoint Innovations

In the Queens Museum parking lot, Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada (previously) has painted a 20,000-square-foot mural as both an act of gratitude to Latinx healthcare workers, who have risked their own safety to care for others, and a nationwide call to action.

These are the people that make our city move, the people that care for us. These are the people that contribute socially, culturally, and economically to the nation… In the year 2020, where hindsight should not be clearer, it is amazing to me that we must continue to ask ourselves…how it is that minorities today still have to suffer the same injustices of the minorities of the past(?)

Somos La Luz,” or “We Are The Light,” is a large-scale rendering of Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo, a pediatrician who died when fighting the virus in New York City. Rodríguez-Gerada hopes to draw attention to the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among Latinx and Black populations across the United States, in addition to the alarming rates of infection in Queens, one of the city’s epicenters for the virus.

In an Instagram post about the project, Rodríguez-Gerada said presenting the masked figure on such a massive scale reflects the enormity of the issue. “This artwork ‘Somos La Luz’ strives to give deeper meaning to the loss of each life,” the artist writes. “It strives to make evident the importance of every life as well as to value the amazing contribution of migrant people.”

Best viewed aerially, the mural was commissioned by the immigrant healthcare organization SOMOS and Make the Road New York, an advocacy group. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art Design

A Massive Wave Crashes in a Seoul Aquarium as Part of the World's Largest Anamorphic Illusion

May 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

An enormous aquarium with perpetually crashing waves has popped up amidst an urban landscape in South Korea, but don’t expect to hear the water sloshing around if you walk by. Designed by District, the elevated tank is actually a massive anamorphic illusion. The digital media company created the public project utilizing an advertising screen that spans 80.1 x 20.1 meters. As shown in the video, the deceptive aquarium looms over the outdoor area and splashes repeatedly into the sides.

For more of District’s illusory works, check out Vimeo and Instagram. (via Design You Trust)

Update: This article has been updated to correct an error that stated that the advertising screen was the world’s largest.

 

 

 



Art

Chicago Potholes Are Filled with Pandemic Essentials in Humorous New Mosaics by Jim Bachor

April 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jim Bachor, shared with permission

One Chicago driver got a little too excited about Jim Bachor’s recent tribute to one of humanity’s preferred coping mechanisms. In a COVD-19 themed series, the Chicago-based artist (previously) installed four mosaic potholes on the city’s northeast side, except an anxious motorist drove over the can of Old Style before it was dry. Despite its partial damage, the rest of the cemented works feature the newly iconic roll of toilet paper and bottle of hand sanitizer. A red star from Chicago’s flag fills the fourth as a nod to the local community.

Bachor tells Colossal that since he began his public projects in 2013, he’s realized that the blacktop holes are quite unifying. “Everyone hates potholes—rich, poor, young, old, tall, young. (It) doesn’t matter.” Despite his proactive measures to fix the clunky holes in cities like New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles, Bachor calls them an “unsolvable problem…. I actually have empathy for (the) city government. It’s a no-win situation. Folks assume my work is a bit of a political statement about getting on the city to fix them but it really isn’t.” This is Bachor’s first installation completed on a single street.

The tiled pieces currently make up a small portion of the artist’s overall creative work, although he has plans for additional series and appreciates that their accessibility. “The pothole art campaign also keeps me connected with people that like my work but might not be able to afford an original or print. And like a billboard, they work 24/7,” he says. Bachor also notes that there’s a connection between affluent neighborhoods and well-kept roads. “I’ve had funny concepts for nicer parts of the city but found it impossible to find potholes to do them,” the artist writes.

You can find more of Bachor’s civically-minded work on Instagram, and check out the prints and wearables available in his shop. You might also like these humorous “Coronavirus Tourism” posters and a game of Pandemic Lotería. (via Block Club Chicago)

 

 

 



Art

A Graffiti-Covered Mural by PichiAvo Converts a Pipe into Cupid's Arrow

April 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Mural in Port Adelaide, 9 x 17 meters. Image © PichiAvo, shared with permission

French artist François-Joseph Bosio notably left his iconic marble sculpture Cupid with a Bow (1808) without the actual weapon. In a recent rendering by Valencia-based duo PichiAvo (previously), though, the Roman god is outfitted with a long arrow fashioned out of a preexisting horizontal duct. The graffiti-laden mural was PichiAvo’s contribution to the 2020 Wonderwalls Festival in Port Adelaide.

Known for Urbanmythology—a style that blends urban artwork and Greek and Roman mythology—PichiAvo seamlessly merges the two into vibrant, large-scale compositions. The street artists also depicted Cupid in a 2018 project in Italy, and they tell Colossal that their recent mural is an extension of their fascination with the deity of love and lust. Head to Instagram and YouTube for a deeper look into the duo’s processes, and pick up a print from their shop. (via Street Art News)

Image © PichiAvo

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects,

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects

Image © Luke Shirlaw – Artillery Projects

 

 



Art

Illusory Street Typography Pops Off the Wall in Bold Murals by Ben Johnston

April 20, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Ben Johnston

Toronto-based designer Ben Johnston plays with color, shadow, and perspective to create typography that appears three-dimensional in his site-specific murals. He’s a self-taught designer, spending time in the agency world of South Africa before moving back to his home country of Canada to pursue a freelance career focusing on branding and typography.

Johnston happened upon mural painting when a friend asked him to create a piece for the entranceway of a new office building. That opportunity completely shifted the course of his career, and he now spends 80% of his time creating murals for clients, charity, and fun.

A disciplined designer, Johnston told Scotty Russell of the Perspective Podcast that he spends no more than four days painting a mural, preferring to work longer days to get it done rather than stretch it out over a week. He balances outdoor mural painting with client work in his studio and always tries to get in a bike ride before the day begins to clear his mind. The designer pushes what’s possible with letter art by finding inspiration outside of the digital realm—by flipping through classic design books on Bauhaus and taking photos of peeling vinyl lettering. He even has entire mood boards dedicated to shadow references.

Follow Johnston on Instagram to keep up with his latest illusory murals, and get a glimpse into his painting process on Vimeo.