While the collective mindset at some street art festivals seems to be “go big or go home,” at NuArt Festival in Stavanger, Norway, the line-up of artists seemed more concerned with creating deliberately-placed works with an underlying political punch. That’s not to say that a few mammoth pieces weren’t painted. Polish duo Etam Cru (who are featured in our current issue, Hi-Fructose Vol. 32), true to their form, left behind a storybook-like mural that added color to the overcast landscape. The piece pictured a sleeping boy tucked into his bed with a can of spray paint sticking out from under the covers — a young artist in the making.
Uninspired by the lack of public art in their home town of Aalborg, a mid-sized Danish city, Lars Bonde and Mads Mulvad curated We AArt, the first art festival focused exclusively on murals in Denmark. The fest brought out many diverse talents from different corners of Europe. In our first update, you’ll find a large-scale mural by Aryz, who is known for expressing his illustrative style on monumental walls. Also hailing from Spain, Kenor created an abstract wall alive with neon colors and Escif painted a mural with neatly compartmentalized depictions of people and objects that evoke’s a traveler’s sketchbook. Stay tuned for more murals from Interesni Kazki, Alexis Diaz, Don John and Jaz, whose walls are still in progress as we speak.
Dutch artist duo Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann join forces as Telmo Miel, the moniker under which they’ve painted large-scale, surreal murals all over Europe. While well-versed in traditional figure painting, the artists distort and overlap their realistic renderings to create something dreamlike and surreal. They layer iterations of the same subject over one another in a way that evokes double-exposure photography. Telmo Miel’s work, whether it contains something as morbid as an animal skull or pleasant as a beautiful human face, retains a quality of softness. The images drape over one another like sheer, silky fabrics, enveloping buildings in their dreamy haze.
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.
Madrid-based artists Remed and Okuda teamed up recently for the Streets of Colour mural series, which took them as far south as Miami and as far north as Toronto and Oslo. Okuda’s work is much more figurative, presenting forms in geometric arrangements akin to Cubist portraits with splashes of neon. Meanwhile, Remed’s work is decidedly abstract, layering flat, simplified shapes and playing with arrangements of vivid colors. For Streets of Colour, the two artists seemed to fuse their styles seamlessly. The final stop of the tour was the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art where they collaborated on a wall with Norwegian artist Tune Emblemsvag. Check out some highlights from their mural tour after the jump.
Chilean artist Dasic Fernandez’s approach to portraiture is fairly realistic, but his murals become fantastical when he swathes his sitters in fabrics that ooze with bright colors and patterns. Sometimes the fabrics are hijabs, like in his homage to the Yemeni community of Hamtramck, Michigan in 2013. Other times, they’re bandanas intended to obscure the face — a nod to the coverings graffiti writers don to protect themselves from spray paint and to the idea of revolution, which Fernandez flirts with in much of his work. The fabrics open like windows into other worlds, revealing clouds and landscapes that invite the imagination to explore.