20 students took part in painting at the 2nd edition of Poli Urban Colors last month in Milan, which is appropriate since its mounted hand in hand with a university. The rich diversity of styles combined with a few big names illustrates the wisdom of involving local talents and the community in a street art festival.
Curated by Luca Mayr with the support of Politecnico of Milan, the self-described urban design festival invited 45 Urban Artists in all, each following their individual style and technique, whether formally or self-trained. As many students of Politecnico have gone on to pursue careers as designers, engineers, architects, and illustrators, you get a real sense of the level of appreciation here for the work of the artists on the street.
Among the works most talked about, perhaps, was the mural of the graffiti writer from Veneto named Peeta, who disobeyed laws of perception once again with the artist’s command of spray can and brushes; effectively removing the wall and creating a new sculptural construction entirely. At a university of two campuses dedicated separately to design and industrial engineering, it is easy to see how Peeta nailed the top spot with his intervention. Known for his brain-fooling paintings, the Italian wizard with a solid foundation in graffiti is able to play with dimensions and hold them on a leash.
Poli Urban Colors 21 organizers say they wanted to present viewers with a healthy survey of the Italian and worldwide Graffiti Writing movement – and they did. With the range of talents and styles on display, they gave the nod to the roots of modern graffiti history here as well as a strong representation of where it continues to take us in public space.