The Church of Santa Maria Novella, The Opera del Duomo Museum, the Uffizi Gallery. Florence is forever tied to Renaissance art history and shares its cultural riches with the world daily, including an endless stream of graphic design and art history students who study in this Italian city every year. The only drawback is, there is often a complaint by people creating art today that there is only proper reverence and space given to those dead artists in this city – not the ones whose hearts beat today.
Which may be why RUN and Basik had to run to a suburban area of the city to paint this new large scale mural. “Not much renaissance around,” RUN tells us. “Nothing like the center of the city with all the untouchable art from the past.” The Italian graffiti artist has matured into a fully realized modernist interpreter of form and sophisticated master of color on the street. Here he joins with Basik to depict a rumble between two wrestlers.
The style of these wrestlers may not be evocative of the style of “Hercules and Antaeus” by Antonio del Pollaiuolo at Ufizzi, but it definitely commands modern Florencians’ attention on the street today – a spectacular example of art on the street for everyone, not just a privileged few. In fact, RUN tells us that these wrestlers are more of an allegory for the people and the struggles people are having right now.
“We feel that people here are put in a constant challenge to combat conditions of poverty and ignorance.” Seeing this work here we are reminded of something BSA has been saying for some time; It is evident with the work of Street Artists globally over the last decade and a half that we have entered into a New Renaissance, but this time it is happening around the world. It is exciting to see this latest example present in the outskirts of Florence to help us put it into context.