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    150,000 Hearts Representing Lives Lost to Coronavirus in the UK Line the COVID Memorial Wall in London

    
    Art
    History
    Photography

    #COVID-19
    #health
    #heart
    #memorial
    #public art

    April 12, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All photos © Henri Calderon for Colossal
    Nearly 500 meters of small, red hearts will soon cover an expanse of concrete facing the River Thames in London. Now dubbed the National COVID Memorial Wall, the poignant display publicly commemorates the 150,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom so far. Each heart represents one victim, with short messages of grief, love, and remembrance scribed by loved ones in their centers. It takes about ten minutes to walk by the entirety of the project, which serves as a staggering reminder of the virus’s devastation.
    Coordinated by COVID-19 Bereaved Families For Justice, the two-meter-high wall is situated between the Westminster and Lambeth bridges, opposite the Houses of Parliament. According to The Guardian, Matt Fowler helms the ongoing project, which he began a few weeks ago by painting 15,000 hearts on the facade. His father died from the virus last April. “When you see all the hearts and think what each one represents, it’s absolutely frightening,” Fowler says.
    Organizers still are raising money for supplies to complete all 150,000 hearts—although official government statistics currently reflect 149,000 deaths, which is the largest loss in Europe—that volunteers will continue to paint to account for all victims. Talks are also in the works about preserving the memorial to ensure that it’s a permanent fixture in London.
    This past weekend, photographer Henri Calderon captured images for Colossal that document the memorial’s progress, which you can see below.

    #COVID-19
    #health
    #heart
    #memorial
    #public art

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    The Wound: JR’s New Anamorphic Artwork Appears to Carve Out the Facade of Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi

    
    Art

    #anamorphosis
    #black and white
    #installation
    #public art
    #street art
    #trompe l’oeil

    March 23, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “La Ferita” (2021), 28 x 33 meters, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Image courtesy of Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, shared with permission
    French artist JR unveiled an imposing artwork at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence last week that mimics a massive gash in the institution’s Renaissance-era facade. Spanning 28 x 33 meters, “La Ferita,” or “The Wound,” is an anamorphic collage that appears to reveal the iconic artworks housed inside the building, in addition to a stately courtyard colonnade, exhibition hall, and library. Exposing different parts of the interior as the viewer shifts position, the artwork is in response to the lack of accessibility at cultural institutions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Completed alongside a team of 11 in two months, the site-specific piece was constructed 30 centimeters in front of the 15th Century ashlar facade with a metal structure and 80 panels of Dibond aluminum. It features JR’s signature photographic style—similar projects were installed at Williamsburg’s Domino Park, the Louvre, and the U.S./Mexico border—and includes a mix of real and imagined elements, including black-and-white renderings of Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus” and Giambologna’s “The Rape of the Sabine Women,” in addition to prominent spaces like the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento.
    “The Wound” is layered further with references to art history, from its use of the trompe l’oeil technique that grew in popularity in the 1500s to its evocation of ruinism, an 18th Century style that portrayed ancient architecture “as testimonials to a glorious past in a dramatic reflection on the fate of mankind,” a release says, noting that Palazzo Strozzi will not be preserving the piece beyond its initial construction.
    Follow JR’s monumental works on Instagram, and shop lithographs and books chronicling his projects on his site.

    #anamorphosis
    #black and white
    #installation
    #public art
    #street art
    #trompe l’oeil

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    A Flurry of Feathers and Leaves Surround Spirited Birds in Fio Silva’s Vivid Murals

    
    Art

    #birds
    #flowers
    #mural
    #public art
    #street art

    March 5, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Castelar, Buenos Aires. All images @ Fio Silva, shared with permission
    Fio Silva tucks clusters of oversized birds and botanicals into otherwise stark urban spaces, creating striking murals awash in puffs of feathers, petals, and leaves. The Buenos Aires-based artist focuses largely on movement, a thread that runs through both the vivid renderings of winged subjects as they appear to take flight or perch for just a moment. “It was that lack of stillness through work and searching for walls to paint that I found meaning in my time,” Silva tells Colossal.
    When working in color, the artist starts with blues, yellows, and reds before expanding the palette based on the “moods and to intensify, in some way, what I want to convey, if it is something rather clear, bright, or something… more subdued or desolate,” Silva says. “When I paint, I try to convey a certain force, that by seeing it or sharing it I can move someone, in whatever way.”
    Silva plans to complete a few murals in Argentina during the next few months and will travel to Europe during the summer, with an exhibition of smaller paintings slated for October in Paris. Keep up with the artist’s monumental public works on Instagram.

    Olivos, Buenos Aires
    General Roca, Rio Negro
    Olivos, Buenos Aires
    Left: Berlin, Germany. Right: Belsh, Albania
    General Roca, Rio Negro
    Patos, Albania
    Patos, Albania

    #birds
    #flowers
    #mural
    #public art
    #street art

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    Art and Activism Collide Throughout Montréal in Playful Street Interventions by Roadsworth

    
    Art

    #activism
    #animals
    #Montréal
    #public art
    #site-specific
    #street art

    February 9, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Roadsworth, shared with permission
    Crosswalks become perches and bike lanes morph into a monkey’s ropes in Roadsworth’s lively street interventions. For decades, the Montréal-based artist (previously) has been altering sidewalks, alleyways, and other public spots with largely nature-based projects that are informed by social issues and environmental crises. Whether a trippy koi pond or a simple yellow spider, the additions transform otherwise drab streets into unexpected commentary.
    In recent years, Roadsworth has created large-scale projects for a variety of organizations, including revitalizing a basketball court for a social housing complex and another for Amnesty International that comments on the horrors of the refugee crisis. Beyond commissions, he continues guerilla street art tactics, installing oversized birds, insects, and other animals that often are overlooked.
    The artist tells Colossal that these works reflect his “philosophy in regards to public art/street art which implies a questioning of urban space in general and an entreaty to rethink a city that is more conducive to walking/cycling and less dominated by cars, etc. The depiction of various animals is a playful way of reinventing the notion of urban space.”
    Follow Roadsworth on Instagram to keep up with his site-specific works that merge art and activism.

    “Refugee Crisis” (2016)

    “Darling Foundry Koi Pond” (2020)
    Right: “Tree Lace” (2019)
    Detail of “Refugee Crisis” (2016)

    “Nurture vs Nature” (2018)

    #activism
    #animals
    #Montréal
    #public art
    #site-specific
    #street art

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    A Short Film Chronicles Mural Fest Kosovo, Void Projects’ Initiative to Infuse a War-Torn City with Public Art

    
    Art

    #Kosovo
    #mural
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

    January 20, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    
    “At that time it wasn’t easy for me to be in the public with my camera because the country was very sensitive to reporters like me,” photojournalist Hazir Reka tells a group of muralists. “Being in the public with a camera was no different to being in public with a weapon because of how much it could affect reality.” Reka’s referring to a tumultuous time in Kosovo’s history when the region was in the midst of war, an experience he shares with the artists who traveled to the region in September 2020 for Mural Fest Kosovo.
    Organized by the art collective Void Projects (previously), which is helmed by Axel Void, the initiative sought to revitalize the public spaces within Ferizaj, a small city desolated by war. Fifteen international muralists—the list includesAruallan, Emilio Cerezo, Doa Oa, Alba Fabre, Maria Jose Gallardo, and Zane Prater—gathered for the project that U.K.-based filmmaker Doug Gillen documents in a new short film.
    Throughout “Change,” Gillen follows ten of the artists as they immerse themselves in local life and engage with the city’s youngest residents through workshops and school initiatives that directly involved the children and teens in the creative process. Their resulting artworks are a reflection of these interactions and large-scale depictions of the area’s ecology, citizens, and cultural milieu. While each is distinct in aesthetic—Aruallan and Void produced a photorealistic rendering of an 11-year-old boy they met on the street, while Fabre’s ethereal mural depicts an unknown woman lying in the water in traditional clothing, for example—they’re all infused with themes surrounding the city’s unique environment and more universal understandings of shared humanity.
    “The greater this connection, the more effective the work. Exploring the human stories of Ferizaj in this way, at this very unique moment in time, felt like an important opportunity to document meaningfully,” Gillen said.
    Watch the full film above to dive further into Kosovo’s history, and see all of the murals and glimpses into the artists’ experiences collaborating with Ferizaj residents on Void Projects’ Instagram.

    by Aruallan and Axel Void
    by Emilio Cerezo
    by Zane Prater
    by Alba Fabre
    by Doa Oa
    by Maria Jose Gallardo

    #Kosovo
    #mural
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

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    Rael San Fratello’s Pink Teeter-Totters at the U.S.-Mexico Border Win Beazley Design of the Year

    
    Art
    Design

    #border
    #interactive
    #Mexico
    #playgrounds
    #public art

    January 19, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    The three neon pink seesaws that slotted through the U.S.-Mexico border were just named the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year. Conceived by Oakland-based artists Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello (previously), the playful, subversive project was installed in July 2019 between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez and physically connected the two communities despite the 20-foot barrier. The prestigious, annual award comes from London’s Design Museum.
    Rael and San Fratello spent a decade working on “Teeter-Totter Wall” before its installation at the border during a particularly divisive time under the Trump administration. Although it was in use for less than an hour, the interactive work intended to foster and display unity between children and adults from both countries as they physically lifted each other up. In response to the administration separating families at the border, Rael wrote about the project:
    The teeter-totters represented the kind of balance necessary for any two people, two nations, to achieve equality, with the understanding that the actions on one side have direct consequences on the other. The teeter-totter is the physical manifestation of the Golden Rule—treat others as you would like others to treat you—a maxim that is shared by all cultures and religions. To experience joy on a teeter-totter, you must allow the other person to experience joy as well.
    Among the other winners are a 3D rendering of SARS-CoV-2 by Alissa Eckert and Dan Higgins for the CDC and Social Design Collaborative’s “ModSkool,” a moveable building that can be easily assembled and taken down in response to evictions of farming communities in India. Check out all the top designs through the museum’s virtual exhibition that runs until March 28, and head to Rael San Fratello’s site and Instagram to see more of the duo’s socially minded projects.

    #border
    #interactive
    #Mexico
    #playgrounds
    #public art

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    A Tiled Wave Ripples Across Olafur Eliasson’s New Installation in Downtown Chicago

    
    Art

    #Chicago
    #installation
    #pattern
    #public art
    #street art
    #waves

    January 19, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Atmospheric wave wall” (2021), 30 x 60 feet. All images courtesy of CNL Projects, shared with permission
    Last week, artist Olafur Eliasson (previously) unveiled a massive, wave-like artwork that mimics the rippled surfaces of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Comprised of 1,963 curved tiles, “Atmospheric wave wall” sits between the two bodies of water at Willis Tower and shifts in appearance based on the sunlight, time of year, and position of the viewer. It’s the Danish-Icelandic artist’s first public project, which was curated by CNL Projects and commissioned by EQ Office, in Chicago.
    Speckled with orange pieces, the blue-and-green motif is constructed with powder-coated steel and based on Penrose tiling, a design with fivefold symmetry, which fills the undulating border. At night, a light shines through the street-side work, emitting a glow through the tile seams and further altering the appearance of the textured facade. Eliasson says about the work:
    Inspired by the unpredictable weather that I witnessed stirring up the surface of Lake Michigan, ‘Atmospheric wave wall’ appears to change according to your position and to the time of day and year. What we see depends on our point of view: understanding this is an important step toward realizing that we can change reality.
    Follow Eliasson’s latest projects on his studio’s site and Instagram.

    

    #Chicago
    #installation
    #pattern
    #public art
    #street art
    #waves

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    Around the Block: David Zinn’s Quirky Chalk Cartoons Spring to Life in a New Short Film

    
    Animation
    Art
    Illustration

    #chalk
    #drawing
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

    January 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    
    If you’ve walked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the last few decades, you’ve probably spotted the wide-eyed monsters and mischievous dragons of David Zinn (previously). Since 1987, the artist has been drawing chalk-and-charcoal creatures in site-specific works that wash away with the rain. Drain pipes become robotic dogs, a pillar morphs into a giant pencil, and a green monster pops out of a brick walkway.
    A new short film directed by Jonnie Lewis dives into Zinn’s practice by animating his signature cartoon cast that greets the artist as he walks around the city. Watch “Around the Block” on Lewis’s Vimeo, and check out more of Zinn’s eccentric creatures on Instagram.  (via Laughing Squid)

    #chalk
    #drawing
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

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