Spanish street artist Gonzalo Borondo, who typically goes by his last name alone, paints expressionistic portraits on unusual surfaces. The street artist creates his work with the surrounding environment in mind, his paintings responding to the architecture on which they are rendered. Borondo’s solo show “Animal” opens at RexRomae Gallery in London on February 5 and features new paintings as well as installation and hand-painted animations. For the exhibition, Borondo said he investigated man’s tendency to control his environment so as to distract himself from his animalistic nature and, ultimately, his mortality.
Argentinian artist Francisco Diaz (aka Pastel) uses a distinct visual language in his murals. He fills his walls with patterns based on the local flora of the area he’s painting in — an effective way to connect with the communities he encounters in his travels. His botanical references often address history, geography, society, and politics. Along with these nature-based elements, Pastel often paints ancient, Stone Age tools to glorify humanity’s strength without referencing a specific culture. His distinct yet decorative style lends itself well to collaborations with other street artists, such as Pixel Pancho and Agostino Iacurci, who both worked with Pastel recently.
Australian artist Beastman’s murals flow like freeform doodles across building facades. Tessellating triangle patterns, organic, leaf-like shapes, and radiating beams of color morph into one another to create symmetrical, mandala-like designs. Beastman’s latest work was spotted in the Re.Discover festival in Bunbury, Australia, which took place this past weekend. The new piece drapes a woven-looking pattern over a hexagonal building like a psychedelic koozie or quilt. Check out Beastman’s latest murals and studio works below.
In 2014, Italian artist Millo won a competition that enabled him paint 13 multi-story murals in Turin. His work now fills the walls of the small, northern Italian city, inviting playful scenarios into the mundane humdrum of urban life. Millo’s murals center around vague, childlike characters, whom he renders in the form of line drawings without many distinguishing features. The lack of detail allows viewers to imagine themselves as these quirky figures, who tower over buildings and seem to use the city as their playground. It’s as if the kids got a chance to run things while the adults were away.
Peruvian artist Jade Rivera pays homage to the locals of his native Lima and other cities he visits in his travels with large-scale murals, watercolors, and oil paintings. His work typically starts with a realistically rendered human figure. Rivera adds surreal details by smudging the colors and adding ghostly silhouettes. He is particularly interested in the connection between humans and animals. Depicted in masks or as apparitions, the creatures in his work seem to function as spirit guides for the people he paints.
Though Jetsonorama was inspired by graffiti and hip-hop culture in the 1980s, he didn’t begin his street art career until he was in his 50s working as a doctor on a Navajo reservation in the Southwestern desert. The artist shoots portraits of people in his community and blows them up to fill the walls of abandoned buildings. In addition to adding his own work to the desert landscape, he curates the Painted Desert Project, an annual festival that invites street artists, many of whom are Native American, to create large-scale outdoor work in the Navajo Nation.