German street artist 1010 uses tromp l’oeil technique in murals that occupy the sides of buildings and gallery spaces. The abstract shapes have rings of color and have just enough shading to give them the illusion that they’re different layers. It gives them the appearance of paper cutouts, with multiple colorful “sheets” highlight the incredible depth that’s on flat surfaces.
1010’s illusion makes the entire side of a building feel like something that’s as light as paper. Their scale is large enough to create a cavernous feel, like you could venture inside of these paintings. In this way, he creates a fantasy within the ordinary urban environment. You start to ponder: what if these structures really were made of something as delicate as paper? Where would this dark abyss lead, and what would be there? Considering the oddly-shaped holes, it could be anything.
Street artist INSA paints graffiti murals that he then turns into gifs – called “gif-itis” – by photographing multiple frames of a mural he paints several times, then combining the successive images to create animated gifs. Animating these street murals allows for a viewer to engage with the street artist’s work without leaving their home. The murals exist in the real world as a static image, but when combined with technology, they become a moving image only accessible in the virtual world.
In 2013, INSA traveled to Kubuneh Village in Gambia to paint murals on local structures for the Wide Open Walls Project. He completed his most recent piece (the revolving skulls and hearts at the beginning of this post) a few weeks ago after spending 2 days painting 8 layers of the mural.
You can watch a video of the making of one of his gif murals here. (via don’t panic)
Italian street artist Agostino Iacurci is one prolific muralist. His signature style has popped up around the globe in unique locations. The first image, one of the largest murals I’ve ever seen, dominates the side of a skyscraper in Taiwan. Consider the second set of photographs which can be found inside the walls of a maximum security prison near Rome. The third set is over 985 feet long and on a school in the Western Sahara. Iacurci’s singular narrative-like style has seen exhibitions and walls both small and large is a story told globally.
The Argentinian street artist known simply as Elian works with a clean and seemingly effortless style rare in street art. While his large abstract murals would be at home on a magazine page, they work to a powerful effect inhabiting entire sides of buildings. Often using colors reminiscent of a graphic designers CMYK color palette, Elian maximizes the simplicity of each mural. A buildings bland blank wall becomes a space for an exercise in composition and color.
Since 2003 Judith Ann Braun has been experimenting with a new artistic medium and a set of rules: Symmetry, abstraction, and a carbon medium (usually charcoal or graphite). Braun’s work, Fingerings, entails the use of her fingers in lieu of more traditional tools in order to create intricate and bilaterally symmetrical designs, sometimes covering an entire wall. The details of her sweeping landscapes are also all perfectly symmetrical. For some of these works, Braun will use both hands simultaneously to help create the symmetrical effect she wishes to execute. Braun lives in New York City and was a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Work of Art” in 2010.
Street artist Sy creates cleanly crafted murals. Rather than a hurriedly executed work, Sy’s pieces appear to be carefully planned to the extent of nearly seeming more at home in Adobe Illustrator than on an alley wall. Sy clearly references and draws inspiration from 8-bit graphics and the block y polygons of early computer animation. However, the simplistic graphics style really betray an expert use of light and perspective. Subtle color shifts and familiar imagery in a surprising context add depth to the murals of Sy.
Dutch artist Daan Botlek creates commissioned murals and work for the street. His art makes use of simply conveyed bodies often contrasting the inside with the outside. Many of Botlek’s pieces illustrate a sort of literal introspection, looking inside each character. The characters peel off, crawl out of, and smash off outer layers to expose the inner person. Botlek works both in the gallery and on the street, his figures populating walls through out the city inside and out. [via]
On the heels of his current solo show at Joshua Liner Gallery, Steve “ESPO” Powers came through the Tribeca Grand Hotel with Joey Garfield for a screening of A Love Letter for You, their documentary/narrative film about the much-celebrated Love Letter mural project that went down in Philly about two years ago. The film brings ESPO and the Love Letter squad into a semi-fictional narrative surrounding a young writer’s quest to reach a special someone, and is a huge treat for any graffiti/mural/underdog fan. Put together with some archive ESPO footage, an original script co-written by Powers, and a killer shoegazey soundtrack, LL4U will hit you right in the heartstrings. No use even trying to fight it.
Until the film finds a much-deserved wider release, you can catch the trailer after the jump.