with street art
This past July and August, the Creença Art Residency hosted an ambitious, multi-artist project an hour outside of Barcelona. Initiated and curated by Void Projects, a new platform created by artist Axel Void, and organized in collaboration with Elsa Guerra, Jofre Oliveras and Charlotte Pyatt, the project hosted some 50 multidisciplinary artists from across the globe to create in situ work associated with the theme of Creença, or “belief.”
Artists were invited to present their interpretation of the subject from a personal, religious, or epistemological perspective inside Konvent, a former 19th-century convent in the town of Cal Rosal. Although once home to a bustling textile industry, the location is now practically abandoned. Despite its lack of resources, the location turns out to be the perfect setting for what organizers had in mind—a creative community living and working together under one roof.
The building’s faded hallways and bare rooms were transformed into studios and sleeping dorms for guests during the summer event. The close proximity of daily life and creation made the entire setting feel particularly motivating and inspiring, and pushed all the participants to create exceptional examples of their diverse practices. The location also provided a perfect opportunity for spontaneous collaboration, which occurred both on-site with paintings, sculptures, and drawings, and with installations within the ruins of a crumbling textile factory next door.
After hosting local and national artists for two months, Konvent opened its doors to the public for a three-day exhibition. The show was a mix between a massive group exhibition and an open studio event, which provided guests insight into the process behind the varied works. To celebrate the collaborative spirit nurtured during the residency, a sister exhibition opened at Montana Gallery in Barcelona early last month. You can learn more about Konvent and its recent collaborative projects on their website and Instagram. All photos by Vinny Cornelli unless otherwise noted.
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It was 2003 when Banksy (previously), following a record-breaking auction result for one of his canvases, created a harsh critique of the art market widely known as the Morons image. The photograph was taken from the legendary 1987 Christie’s auction where Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (originally titled Tournesols) broke the record for the most expensive painting at auction when it sold for $39.9 million. In Banksy’s interpretation, the elusive artist replaced the painting by the Dutch master with a text saying “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this s***.” A few years later the image was released as an unsigned edition at the Banksy’s 2006 Barely Legal show in LA, and it resurfaced every time a copy of the Morons print sold at auction.
Banksy has now become a household name, and that his work achieves strong prices at major auctions is no longer a curiosity or exception. When Sotheby’s announced that a final lot of their Contemporary Art Evening Auction on the Friday night of 2018 Frieze week in London would be a previously unseen version of Banksy’s arguably most iconic image, Girl With Balloon, the art world was ready for another exceptional result. The painting on canvas was presented in an exceptionally thick and ornate frame, and sold for 1,042,000 GBP (1,357,726 USD including premiums) which matched the artist’s previous auction record from 2008. The real sensation, however, came moments after.
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As the auctioneer was rounding up the evening and saying thank you and goodbye, an alarm went off and the canvas began to slide out of the bottom of the frame in strips. It seems that the artist built a shredder inside the thick frame that would allow the painting to self-destruct when triggered. At this point, it is unclear how the auction house could have allowed such a stunt, or what legal repercussions this act might have. Once again Banksy has managed to deliver quite the statement to the art market, and all inside the heart of one of it’s strongest and most established bastions. To quote his Instagram post on the surprising incident, “Going, going, gone…”
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Since 2007, Berlin-based artist Jan Vormann has used tens of thousands of LEGO bricks to patch crumbling holes in architectural structures around the world. His colorful bricks imitate the brick or cobblestone-constructed buildings he often “repairs,” however at a miniature scale. Some pieces have just a few dozen LEGOs incorporated into an installation, while others cover zig-zagging expanses that reach across entire walls.
Recently the artist took his Dispatchwork project to Stavanger, Norway where he participated in the 17th iteration of Nuart Festival. Vormann placed LEGOs into structures with missing grout, filled in bricks that have fallen out of walls, and built around cornerstones which have eroded over time. Vormann encourages others to join him in his playful additions to cities across the globe, and as built an interactive website to track new additions from Cape Town to Seoul. You can follow his miniature constructions, including a new installation at the Venice Architecture Biennal, by following him on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)
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Striking Three-Dimensional Interventions by Mr. June Layer Geometric Paintings Onto Architectural Elements
Since 1985 David Louf, aka Mr. June, has been creating striking urban interventions, recently producing murals that layer three-dimensional effects onto architectural elements. Within the last year his vibrant geometric abstractions have challenged viewer’s perceptions in projects across the world, including a piece in Little Havana, Miami, an over 130-foot diameter dome in North Carolina, a mind-bending 3D mural for RAW project in Denver, and most recently, a grandiose piece for Urban Nation in Berlin.
Whether he is painting a graffiti piece, working in his multi-disciplinary graphic design studio, or creating a large mural project, Louf continuously aims to blend his love for typography, fascination with abstraction, and free spirit of graffiti culture. These results are regularly applied to the most unusual and unexpected urban structures.
Challenged by the existing architectural elements and obstacles, Louf likes to construct creations that will interact with their environment. He uses a laser liner to sketch up the main directional lines. Then he paints his abstract designs in an almost organic way, typically filling the entire side of whatever structure he is working on. “I always hope I can create a moment of awareness,” Louf tells Colossal. “Awareness of the viewer at that spot at that moment.”
Colossal ran into him fresh off the cherrypicker in Berlin where he had just finished painting a whole building opposite of Urban Nation. Now he is headed to future projects in Amsterdam, Aruba, and China, and prepping several studio pieces for an upcoming solo show in Miami during Art Basel week. You can see more of his geometric interventions on his website and Instagram, and the water tank roof he painted in Greensboro, North Carolina in the video below.
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Artist Adele Renault (previously) paints realistic portraits of the common pigeon, often highlighting real examples of pigeons whose stories are anything but ordinary. This year she painted a mural of “Baby Girl,” a New Jersey pigeon who won a 366 mile race 19 minutes ahead of the other feathered contestants. A few years ago she dedicated a series of smaller paintings to “Camp,” a pigeon adopted by a Chicago couple after finding his egg left on their kitchen table.
By focusing on these inspiring stories, Renault highlights the often overlooked bird as a magnificent creature rather than an urban nuisance. Her brightly hued public murals and paintings on canvas bring purples and blues into the bird’s feathers, and accentuate the iridescent tones one might not notice at first glance. Recently she published a book combining her avian works titled Feathers and Faces. You can view more of her large-scale paintings on her website and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
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Michael Pederson, a.k.a. Miguel Marquez Outside (previously), installs miniature signs, work sites, and queues in unassuming locations, transforming ordinary plants and objects into moments of intrigue for unsuspecting passersby. In one recent work he tracks the lifespan of a solitary weed poking through a sidewalk crack. A tiny wooden ladder leans against a sign that marks the number of days the plant has been growing. In another work he installed two small stanchions in front of a hole in a stone wall. A small sign reads “Please wait here until called,” presenting the illusion that a mouse-sized club or popular eatery exists on the other side. You can see more of Pederson’s small-scale interventions and humorous additions to commonplace landscapes on Instagram and tumblr.
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French artist Julien Malland aka Seth Globepainter (previously) continues to create childhood-inspired interventions around Paris and the world. Earlier this year he had a major museum solo show at MoCA Shanghai which included elaborate sculptures and site-specific installations. He also painted one of his largest pieces to date on the banks of the Seine in Paris, and took part in a creation associated with the upcoming museum of street art at the Mausa Vauban. Malland’s poetic murals resonate with audiences of all ages.
“Sweetness and innocence from childhood regularly contrasts with the chaotic environments I choose to put them in,” the artist tells Colossal. He often places the children in environments with books as a reference to their imagination and creativity. After intensively traveling to over fifty countries during the last two decades, Malland is very much aware of the way globalization and modernization are influencing local traditions. “We read less and less with the proliferation of screen habits,” he explains. “While reading we create our own images suggested by words. The screen makes us lazy and spoils our imagination.”
Eight years after his first visit to Shanghai, Malland went back to the city this March to introduce a large project which took place both inside MoCA Shanghai and in its old alleys. Focused on the idea of childhood memories, the outdoor interventions were cleverly created on crumbling buildings and in deserted side streets. The works depicted children playing emblematic games of the ’70s and ’80s, and evoked the atmosphere of the once lively neighborhood. “The vanishing traditional way of life is being replaced by a more common consumer society,” he explains. “This kind of transformation is worldwide, but it’s faster and more sudden in China. Painting those emptied neighborhoods gives me the opportunity to highlight this metamorphosis and continue to explore the traditional Chinese habits that still intrigue me.”
A few months later he took part in a project initiated by Itinerrance Gallery and the Paris City Hall, painting the banks of Seine along with 1010, Momies, and Nebay. The four artists created a long stream of colorful artwork that following the riverbed for a little bit over a mile. Along with 1010’s trompe l’oeil abstraction of an abyss, Momies’ graphic composition in the colors of the French flag, and Nebay’s calligraphy, Malland painted an anamorphic piece visible exclusively from the Pont de la Concorde. The work depicted a child sailing on a paper boat through a rainbow vortex—another incarnation of his imagery that speaks about the purity and boundlessness of children’s imagination and spirit.
Finally, back in June this year he created two pieces inside of Mausa Vauban, an upcoming museum of street art in Neuf-Brisach, France. Once again he explored the idea of children at play. One work is a compelling installation of a little boy breaking a wall and leaving a pile of colorful bricks stacked around the room and an open passageway. Malland is currently preparing for solo shows in London (November 2018), and Shaghai (January 2019), as well as an outdoor project in a pediatric hospital in the US, and is also working on several new books. You can follow his travels throughout the globe on Instagram.
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