Aerosol in pursuit of the “Masters” (Eurocentrically speaking) is a permutation of Street Art and the mural making tradition going back decades, including murals made directly by “Masters” (Latino-centrically speaking) like Rivera or, say, those of the Olmec civilization in the pre Hispanic period, for example. In the last decade Frenchman and Street Artist Julien de Casabianca has documented, printed, and wheatpasted large-scale reproductions from classical painting upon city walls as part of his “Outings Project” in multiple countries.
Today we see an Italian former graffiti writer who went to university to study fine arts in Milan take his aerosol spray technique to a wall in Corbeil-Essonnes, France (population 50,400). Painted as part of the ongoing “Wall Street Art Festival”, the new mural may inspire the next generation of artists here as well.
Andrea “RAVO” Mattoni sings praise to a slice of Mona Lisa on this school building as his reinterpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s original, which is much smaller, hanging in the Louvre Museum about an hour’s drive north of here. The 38 year old artist, who was born in Varese and comes from a family of artists, including his father and grandfather, decided to leave the painting as an in-process “unfinished” work that shows a grid pattern and da Vincis background color for educational purposes.
“It is a good teaching aid for the school’s teachers,” says the walls’ artistic director, the gallerist Gautier Jourdain, “which they now use to explain the process to their students.”
If Gautier had any doubts about Mattoni’s qualifications with the spraycan, he was likely persuaded by the artist’s Caravaggio reproduction on the side of the Gemelli Hospital in Rome two years ago. More recently, as part of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the artist created 5 large paintings at the Château d’Amboise. So this is number 5.5 perhaps.