In 2002 Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada moved to Barcelona where he began his ‘Identity Series’. Gerada was drawn to the beauty of old surfaces and wanted to blend photo realistic images of anonymous locals to question the controls imposed in public space, and the use and abuse of iconic faces to sell us products and ideas. He decided to apply the same approaches used by advertising, such as strategic positioning and size, but with the intention of creating a poetic counter commentary that fades away with beauty. The Identity Series is about initiating a dialogue with a local community through art. These portraits transformed local, anonymous residents into social icons, giving relevance to an individual’s contribution to the community and touching upon the legacy that each life has to offer.
Gerada chose charcoal for its transparency and ephemeral quality. He involves the visual narrative of the textured wall instead of covering it. These time-based portraits gradually deteriorate. They become a metaphor of the fading of life, of fame and of the things we first thought were so important. The creation of the “Identity Series” is also an act that is environmentally sound and at the mercy of the natural world. The pieces fade away like the warmth after an embrace. The photo realistic drawing is only an aspect of the piece. The importance of the piece is the whole process of creation, destruction and memory. Watch a video of Gerada in action after the jump.
Spanish street artist Escif paints short vignettes of bizarre happenings, surreal situations, and humorous moments. Drawn in a flat graphic style that would lend itself well to story book illustrations, Escif’s narratives embrace the unpredictable, free, dark, wild, and nebulous passerby’s on the street and transplants their stories on city walls.
Carlos Donjuan’s paintings combine his years of painting graffiti with the knowledge that he has gained in academia. By interweaving art history references with graffiti art’s history, Carlos creates a hybrid way of thinking made from art jargon and slang from the streets. His paintings work as narratives that are greatly influenced by everyone from Michelangelo to Alice Neel to Twist to Revok. There are elements in these works that deal with personal influences such as Catholicism, Mexico, Oak Cliff, illegal immigration, politics and family. The portraits not only tell stories, but also document several cultures and movements that these individuals are a part of. Movements and cultures such as skateboarding, fixies, turntablelism, street wear, sneaker heads, graffiti and Hip Hop.
Swiss born graffiti artist TIKA’s website states that he is based in Zürich, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro, raised in Cairo, Bruxelles, and Cologne, with longer stays in Cape Town, Vienna, New York and Mexico D.F. . With a full passport like that It’s no surprise that his work employs a wide mix of cultural and international references. Like an globalized set of hieroglyphics TIKA’s graphic imagery opens a discourse of today’s global society and the nearly forgotten traditions and sagas of the past right on your cities streets and walls.
The BMD collective from New Zealand paint massive chopped up characters across walls that look like giant 3D animal puzzle pieces.
Italian street artist Paopao views the world in a different way than you and me. When we see an electric box he see’s Sponge Bob. When we see circular cement blocks in the streets he see’s an eight ball, and when we see a plain old bush he see’s an ostrich. See these and more street alterations after the jump.
When you think of graffiti you don’t usually think of cute imagery but you got to admit that these super cute characters by Bue The Warrior are pretty engaging. Bue has circled the globe painting his joyous figures in all sorts of places adding a bit of joyous fun to the tough guy world of graffiti art. So we ask you do you think there is room in the world for cute graffiti? (via iheartmyart)
At first glance I thought these clever byomorphic and hybrid characters by Overunder were painted directly on the wall but upon closer inspection I realized that these pieces were painted in the artists studio with spray paint on paper and then cut out as giant posters. Although this isn’t a completely unique idea Overunder does a great job of creating a Trompe-l’œil effect with this technique giving his pieces a spontaneous feel while still being labored over and well planned in the comfort of his studio. I’ve posted some images of his work in a gallery setting after the jump so you can see how they are cut.