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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

 

 



Art

Trompe L’oeil Textiles Billow Across Murals by Rosie Woods in Iridescent Ripples

April 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese. All images © Rosie Woods, shared with permission

As if lifted by a breeze, oversized ribbons and bunches of fabric float across the trompe l’oeil murals by London-based artist Rosie Woods. The gleaming, prismatic textiles sway and subtly twist into folds and ripples in the spray-painted works. Through the flowing movements, Woods explores the fluid, ever-changing nature of the human experience by synthesizing abstraction and realism. She explains:

I often wonder what my soul would look like if it manifested itself as an object I could see and touch on this earth.  My artwork today looks to express the depth, growth, and complexity of the mind as well as its ability to encompass both light and dark spaces emotionally. I’d like to think you can “feel” my artwork with your eyes.

Woods translates her massive, lustrous textiles to smaller canvases, which she sells in her shop. Although she’s sold-out at the moment, you can watch for upcoming releases on Instagram, where she shares a variety of process shots and news on where she’s headed next.

 

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

Woods working at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

 

 



Art

Monumental Murals of Anatomical Creatures by ROA Celebrate Puerto Rico's Biodiversity

April 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Red Tail Hawk in Humacao, November 2018. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Belgian street artist ROA (previously) has been touring Puerto Rico painting his signature monochromatic menagerie around the island. Depicting both native creatures like parrots and seahorses and invasive species like lionfish, the massive pieces celebrate the region’s biodiversity and the biologists and conservationists working tirelessly to preserve it. Many of the murals are anatomical and juxtapose life and death, a recurring theme in ROA’s body of work and one that’s apparent in his most recent rendering in Isla de Cabras. Spanning 160 feet, the massive artwork positions a plump, wrinkled manatee alongside a lengthy skeleton.

The ongoing project has produced 15 murals so far and is a collaboration with Elegel Group. You can find out more about the impetus behind each animal on Instagram. (via Street Art News)

 

Manatee in Isla de Cabras, April 2021. Photog by Four Two Photography

Puerto Rican Parrot in Utuado, July 2019. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Octopus in Playa Escambron, July 2019. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Lionfish in Naguabo, June 2019. Photo by Pedro “Huck” Rosa, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Seahorse in Playa Escambron. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Snail in Aibonit, January 2019. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Monkey in Naguabo, November 2018. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Lizard in San Juan. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

Tortuga. Photo by Edgardo Santiago, image courtesy of Taller 2C1, shared with permission

 

 



Art Photography

Candid Moments Captured in Vintage Photos Are Magnified in Mohamed L’Ghacham's Murals

April 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Confinamiento” (2019), Cheste, Valencia, Spain. All images © Mohamed L’Ghacham, shared with permission

Whether depicting a birthday party or a child’s first steps, the expressive murals by Mohamed L’Ghacham (previously) enlarge sincere, unposed moments into monumental celebrations of everyday life. The Moroccan artist recreates vintage photographs as wall-sized artworks in locations across Europe that portray a woman readying for bed or the chaotic minutes before a family portrait at a massive scale.

L’Ghacham tells Colossal that his relationship to the original images has evolved in recent years from a simple juxtaposition of the site and the quiet, unassuming beauty of the domestic scenes to a more complex understanding. “Those first murals were done in abandoned, demolished places or simply on the outskirts of cities and public spaces. The impact of seeing an image of this type painted with a technique closer to classical painting than graffiti in such spaces created a concept by itself for me,” he says.

Today, the Barcelona-based artist sources reference photographs and home videos from neighbors and city archives to connect more directly with the local culture. While his style is unchanged—L’Ghacham continues to use loose brushstrokes and layers of muted tones to achieve the vintage aesthetic—the streetside works reflect those living nearby. “I think (the murals) can be very symbolic and that many people can feel represented even if they are not necessarily the protagonists portrayed,” he says. “Until now my intention was to pay tribute and give visibility to situations that we all live in and that maybe sometimes we find it hard to value.”

Starting next month, L’Ghacham will be traveling around Europe for a few projects and has a solo exhibition at PDP Gallery slated for this summer, which will be comprised of the smaller paintings he’s been sharing on Instagram.

 

“Pillando el globo” (2019), Mataró, Spain. Done in collaboration with Ivan Floro

“Matança do porco” (2019), Figueiró Dos Vinhos, Portugal

“Indoor II” (2019), Schiedam, Netherlands

“Dormitorio III” (2019), Mantova, Italy

“La Fondue” (2019), Crans-montana, Switzerland

“Family portrait” (2020), Wevelgem, Belgium

“El dormitorio de Aina” (2020), Torrellas, Spain

 

 



Art

The Wound: JR's New Anamorphic Artwork Appears to Carve Out the Facade of Florence's Palazzo Strozzi

March 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

“La Ferita” (2021), 28 x 33 meters, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Image courtesy of Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, shared with permission

French artist JR unveiled an imposing artwork at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence last week that mimics a massive gash in the institution’s Renaissance-era facade. Spanning 28 x 33 meters, “La Ferita,” or “The Wound,” is an anamorphic collage that appears to reveal the iconic artworks housed inside the building, in addition to a stately courtyard colonnade, exhibition hall, and library. Exposing different parts of the interior as the viewer shifts position, the artwork is in response to the lack of accessibility at cultural institutions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Completed alongside a team of 11 in two months, the site-specific piece was constructed 30 centimeters in front of the 15th Century ashlar facade with a metal structure and 80 panels of Dibond aluminum. It features JR’s signature photographic style—similar projects were installed at Williamsburg’s Domino Park, the Louvre, and the U.S./Mexico border—and includes a mix of real and imagined elements, including black-and-white renderings of Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus” and Giambologna’s “The Rape of the Sabine Women,” in addition to prominent spaces like the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento.

“The Wound” is layered further with references to art history, from its use of the trompe l’oeil technique that grew in popularity in the 1500s to its evocation of ruinism, an 18th Century style that portrayed ancient architecture “as testimonials to a glorious past in a dramatic reflection on the fate of mankind,” a release says, noting that Palazzo Strozzi will not be preserving the piece beyond its initial construction.

Follow JR’s monumental works on Instagram, and shop lithographs and books chronicling his projects on his site.

 

 



Art

A Flurry of Feathers and Leaves Surround Spirited Birds in Fio Silva's Vivid Murals

March 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

Castelar, Buenos Aires. All images @ Fio Silva, shared with permission

Fio Silva tucks clusters of oversized birds and botanicals into otherwise stark urban spaces, creating striking murals awash in puffs of feathers, petals, and leaves. The Buenos Aires-based artist focuses largely on movement, a thread that runs through both the vivid renderings of winged subjects as they appear to take flight or perch for just a moment. “It was that lack of stillness through work and searching for walls to paint that I found meaning in my time,” Silva tells Colossal.

When working in color, the artist starts with blues, yellows, and reds before expanding the palette based on the “moods and to intensify, in some way, what I want to convey, if it is something rather clear, bright, or something… more subdued or desolate,” Silva says. “When I paint, I try to convey a certain force, that by seeing it or sharing it I can move someone, in whatever way.”

Silva plans to complete a few murals in Argentina during the next few months and will travel to Europe during the summer, with an exhibition of smaller paintings slated for October in Paris. Keep up with the artist’s monumental public works on Instagram.

 

Olivos, Buenos Aires

General Roca, Rio Negro

Olivos, Buenos Aires

Left: Berlin, Germany. Right: Belsh, Albania

General Roca, Rio Negro

Patos, Albania

Patos, Albania

 

 

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