Celebrating its fourth year, the Richmond Mural Project recently brought a new crop of international artists to Virginia. The project has a goal to create 100 murals in five years, making this year especially ambitious with many artists creating multiple pieces. We’ve covered previous installments here on the blog, where the project has featured murals by Chazme 718, Meggs, Onur, Ron English, Sepe, Smitheone, Ekundayo, Proch, David Flores and Wes21. On July 14th, they were joined by Caratoes, Clog two, D*Face, Evoca1, Inkten, James Bullough, Jason Woodside, Jerkface, Moya, Nils Westergard, and Taylor White.
While graffiti was once considered a sign of urban blight, many artists who got their start as taggers are now becoming embraced by progressive-minded art institutions and civic organizations alike. Enter, the Richmond Mural Project, a yearly street art festival created with the intention of making Richmond, Virginia a unique contemporary art destination by fostering the creation of dozens of permanent murals. Now in its third year, the project brought international artists Chazme 718, Meggs, Onur, Ron English, Sepe, Smitheone, Ekundayo, Proch, David Flores and Wes21 to the Southern metropolis for almost two weeks of painting (June 16 – June 26). Last week, we highlighted the murals of Smithe, Proch and Ekundayo, who seemed to have gotten a quick start (see the coverage here), and today, we show more in-depth photo coverage of Meggs, Onur and Wes21, Ron English and yet another Ekundayo piece.
Situated in Richmond, VA, the street art festival Richmond Mural Project was founded with the goal of creating over 100 murals by the world’s leading contemporary artists in its first five years. Such an eclectic array of permanent public artworks, according to the project’s founders at Art Whino, would propel Richmond as an international street art destination. Now in its third year, this rendition of the event gave 10 contemporary artists two weeks to complete over 20 murals. Chazme 718, Meggs, Onur, Ron English, Sepe, Smitheone, Ekundayo, Proch, David Flores and Wes21 began painting on June 16 and are finishing their works as we speak. Today, we bring you some photos of the works in progress as well as some finished pieces from Ekundayo and Smithe, the latter of whom was working double time on two pieces. Take a look at the progress photos below and stay tuned for coverage of all the finished murals.
Berlin-based American artist James Bullough splinters and fractures hyper-realistic paintings of women to open spaces through which complex and unfinished stories are revealed. The vibrancy of skin tone and naturalistic musculature in Bullough’s technique were learned through an intensive study of Old Master paintings. Bullough’s interest in Old Masters is also evident in the way in which several of his nude subjects stare at the viewer, while taking care to keep their faces at least partially concealed.
In a 200 year old building in Mexico City’s central historic district, illustrator, graphic designer and street artist Smithe brings to life scenes from another world. Downstairs from his studio, there is a cantina that still houses a bullet fired from Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa’s gun. The street outside is on the route of the city’s largest civic demonstrations, which regularly block traffic to the area. Some 20 million people live their lives in the near vicinity. When Hi-Fructose visited his studio and showroom for the Tony Delfino clothing line, for which Smithe serves as creative director, the 26-year-old artist said his work is meant as an antidote, albeit temporary, to this urban madness.
Polish graffiti duo Etam Cru (composed of artists Sainer and Bezt) create murals of epic proportions. Spanning entire high-rise buildings, their works are heavily dosed with fantasy, even fairytale elements. Hints of Eastern European folklore (mushrooms and forest creatures make frequent appearances) make their way into the action-packed scenes reminiscent of graphic novels. Every aspect of the color-saturated murals seems to be in motion: animals and houses alike come to life, human characters gain abilities that defy the laws of physics. Take a look at some of Etam Cru’s latest murals after the jump.