with street art
British graffiti artist Pref (previously) transforms words and sayings into visual interpretations of their meanings or messages—forming the word “undo” into a knot, or layering the phrase “all over the place” on top of itself to take up as much surface area as possible. With added shading and perspective the words appear as if they are 3D, like his piece “It Is,” which forms a a narrow grey cube when the letters are stacked. Some of his monochromatic works on paper (which you can see below) will be included in the upcoming group exhibition Control and Disorder with Gary Stranger, Elliott Routledge (Funskull), Georgia Hill, and William LaChance at Galerie 42b in Paris. The exhibition opens this Friday, December 14, and runs through January 19, 2019. You can see more of Pref’s recent work on his Instagram, and buy prints through his Big Cartel.
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New York-based British artist Shantell Martin is known for her black and white doodles which combine patch-worked faces with straightforward messages. Martin’s multi-dimensional works address complex issues such as identity, intersectionality, and other topics relating to the modern human condition. Her public murals and immersive gallery presentations are made intuitively, building fields of loose drawings with a meditative style. Martin teaches as an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch in the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she combines visual art with personal storytelling and technology. You can follow her global drawings on Instagram and take a short peek into her process in the video below.
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Tamara Djurovic, who goes by the artist name Hyuro (previously), is wrapping up 2018 as arguably her most prolific year. With striking, diverse, and monumental murals painted everywhere from Brazil, Italy, and Spain to Belgium and The Netherlands, her output never looked more impressive and her aesthetics more distinctive.
Growing up in Argentina, Hyuro was attracted to murals at a young age. Buenos Aires has a long tradition of culture surrounding public space, and murals have always been an essential element. “[I’m] not sure in which moment I started to love it, or if it was always there,” she tells Colossal, “I think I could have never imagined the strong impact that working on public spaces had on me.”
What started with flat, often black and white imagery of simplified feminine figures evolved into intricate, highly painterly images that cleverly play with their surroundings and architecture. Without a particular theme to work within, Hyuro’s work is regularly focused on commenting and portraying the more complex side of human beings. She explores how our inner lives affect the relationships with have with ourselves, and how they are reflected in society.
The personal aspect of her work starts with her observations and concerns, continues through reference photos she creates for each piece, and then transfers onto passersby who observe the murals and create different interpretations of them. “I’m not interested in these subjects only from a representation perspective, but as well as a way to keep understanding and knowing myself and somehow try to understand, or digest better the world where we live in,” she explains.
Spending long stretches alone on a cherry picker or scaffold, it’s the challenge of completing the work that is the most important drive for her, along with the satisfying tiredness that comes after the completion of the work. “This last year I hardly spent time in the studio,” Hyuro shares about her 2018 schedule, which was wrapped up with the piece she recently finished in Brazil. Feeling torn about being constantly “on the road” and knowing that some time off is healthy and much needed, she continues her work as it’s a way for her to deal with her most inner feelings. By painting larger than life images depicting everyday moments and nuanced emotions, Djurovic expresses the human experience in a way that both honors and explores the complexities of humanity.
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Designer and artist April Soetarman has been producing and anonymously hanging custom street signs around her hometown of Seattle since 2016. The practice started as a way for her to diversify her art-making, which had previously been more architecture-based, in addition to working through some feelings she was processing at the time. After her original “NOTICE: I Never Stopped Loving You. Hope You’re Well” sign became viral, she began producing other rewrites of classic street and warning signs and adding them to her website Weird Side Projects.
After several requests for her most popular sign “ATTENTION: You Are Wonderful And Deserve Every Happiness,” Soetarman decided to go public with the design and recently started a Kickstarter to fund a larger run. You can see more of her aluminum signs, and further art projects, on her website and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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The French creative company La Machine recently premiered their latest creation, a nearly 50-foot-tall robotic Minotaur, in Toulouse, France. The beast marched through the labyrinthine streets of the city’s old town accompanied by a 42-foot spider for the group’s latest production The Guardian of the Temple. The pair of machines performed an operatic interpretation of the myth of Ariadne, a Cretan princess who helped Theseus overcome the Minotaur, to live music. These impressive kinetic sculptures are La Machine’s latest project from their oeuvre of mechanical bestiary which has operating worldwide since 1999.
Bringing together artists, technicians, and show decorators, this unique group of enthusiasts and experts construct atypical show objects, and movement is the key factor for their awe-inspiring performances and creations. La Machine’s animal-like works turn the cities into dream worlds. “We always work on movement,” La Machine’s head of marketing, Frédette Lampre tells Colossal. “It’s our artistic line and we always use the fine material such as wood, leather, copper, or glass, and never use plastics.”
The mechanical spider was constructed over the course of two years by a team of around 60 people. The mythical Minotaur machine is half electric and half combustion, and moves around the city with the help of 17 operators. Although this technical beast weighs over 10,000 pounds, it still has the capacity to move smoothly and realistically between the city’s large buildings and blast steam out of its large nostrils.
The performance was organized as an introduction of the newly repurposed Toulouse Aerospace district. After presenting their creations and projects throughout Germany, Belgium, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Japan, China, and Canada, their upcoming shows are scheduled for Nantes and Calais in France. You can see a portion of the Toulouse-based performance in the video below and view past productions on La Machine’s website, Instagram, and Youtube. (via Dioniso Punk)
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Malaga-based artist Julio Anaya Cabanding paints well-known masterpieces in unsuspecting public places to create captivating trompe l’oeil interventions. The classic scenes and their ornate frames are hand-painted on unlikely backdrops such as graffiti-filled walls, crumbling buildings, and slabs of stones by the sea. These decrepit locations are chosen on purpose, as Anaya Cabanding seeks a distinct contrast to the pristine halls of traditional art museums. “These places are inhospitable, decadent, and inappropriate to receive such a valuable object,” he explains to Colossal. “Opposite of what a museum is.”
Anaya Cabanding symbolically “steals” the works of art, presenting them in locations that are abandoned, peripheral, or difficult to access. To create each work he first outlines his replica in spray paint, and then meticulously fills in the details in acrylic paint. The practice evolved from his art education at the University of Fine Arts in Malaga where he developed an interest in site-specific works and traditional trompe l’oeil. It was at the encouragement of his graffiti-writing friend Imon Boy that he first moved his work from the studio to the street. “I really liked the result and the relationship between the trompe l’oeil painting and the environment, so I decided to continue doing that,” he recounts of his initial experience.
His interventions are so meticulously rendered that people often think they are Photoshopped, or mistake them for the original paintings. “A year ago I painted two paintings by Lucian Freud… in an exhibition with colleagues from the university,” he says. “When talking to one of their mothers one week later, a colleague realized she still thought she had seen two real paintings.” Recently Anaya Cabanding participated in the Jornadas Z de Montalbán contemporary art project organized by Rafael Jiménez and Demetrio Salces, in Córdoba, Spain. You can follow the Spanish artist’s uncanny interventions on Instagram.
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After almost three months of working on-site at the Mattress Factory, OSGEMEOS (previously) revealed Lyrical, one of their most intimate and complex presentations to date. The exhibition includes a vast array of the Brazilian twins’ work, including paintings, sculptures, murals, in situ interventions, audio elements, found objects, and an impressive zoetrope sculpture originally created for their 2014 Ópera da Lua exhibition in São Paulo. An entire section of the show is built with pieces from their private collection, which includes folk art they’ve acquired during their travels. These collected works are displayed alongside small-scale pieces created especially for the exhibition.
Growing up in the bustling and multicultural Cambuci neighborhood of São Paulo, the brothers were exposed to hip hop at an early age. The pair started off as breakdancers, and have also dabbled as DJs and MCs before eventually becoming graffiti writers. Through street art, OSGEMEOS discovered their city’s rich culture, which helped develop their unique universe which they continue to expand upon today. Their installations, murals, and paintings are filled with colorful characters that imitate everyday people and friends, brought together to express the rich culture of the hip hop and graffiti world. You can visit Lyrical at the Mattress Factory through August 4, 2019.
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Editor's Picks: Street Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.