use natural space without transforming it but they seek the space to meet their
needs. A cave will provide shelter for a bear. The bear will not paint it, wire
it for electricity or install air-conditioning.
Safely (somewhat) in Japan right now, the Italian land artist Gola Hundun is studying space again for his self-created ABITARE project.
my personal research on the border between human functional space and other
species’ use of space,” he tells us as we look at this ivy-covered hump of
industry that he regales with gold lame. We often imagine New York City’s
skyscrapers engulfed in ivy and wildflowers with enormous insects and birds
freely roaming about.
“I think I want to title it ‘Presence’,” he says, “Because this time I found a space where some dead trees were re-colonized by ivy and vitalba that generate really evocative imaginary shapes,” he says. “Like Readymade sculptures, like giants and strange horse-giraffes.” You can see his eyes alight, the dialogue inside his head full of calculation and intent that turns these ephemeral “sculptures” into abstract beings inhabiting space.
He talks about his relationship with gold, which has reoccurred throughout his multiple ABITARE installation. “Gold and green is the combo color for this project. I use gold because it is for me the color of the sun, the color of the soul, of the divine.”
And of our current crises of an infectious coronavirus circling the globe and threatening humanity, killing some of us, crippling our lives in many cases; what does this Earth-Star man observe?
“For me, it is a way to critique our modern human behaviors, post-capitalism, post-economic globalization, which is the main reason why we have arrived at this point, at the brink of ecological systemic disaster. I think this issue with Corona is a good opportunity to meditate about slow down the rhythm.”
Fresh from Torino, Italy, the Swiss artists Nevercrew did this commissioned piece for a coffee company with the theme of “responsible consumption” – which immediately reminds us that we were planning to switch from using K-cups to drip coffee. The image is abstract and realistic at the same time, a map of some sort folded into an airplane, a portion of it possible torched by a lighter. It looks fragile, yet full of possibility.
“We decided to work around the concept of carefreeness to evoke both the human responsibility on the production and consumption side,” says Christian Rebecchi, “and
the planetary emergency we’re already living.”
The image of a simple childs’ toy is meant to imply a story of two logics, says the other member of the duo, Pablo Togni. “The positive logic of the game and the negative one of the lack of conscience and the unnatural use of resources,” he says.
“There is a care-freeness that’s about acting unaware of the large-scale repercussions of the exploitation of resources, of what precedes and follows every small action and, at the same time, a reference to the lightness of the game, to all that is now put at risk for the generations that will hold the future of the planet.”
“I chose whales because despite of their size, so many are found on our beaches with the stomach full of plastic,” says Alessio Bolognesi about this new mural for the ST.ART festival in Italy. “It’s a symbol, in my mind, of how even the huge animals are so powerless.”
The image of large seafaring creatures washing up on shore starved of nutrition and bloated with plastic is becoming more common as we continue to poison ourselves and the world. Not surprisingly, similar images are also popping up in Street Art in other locations.
Originally from Ferrara in the north of Italy, the 3D
graphic designer also once belonged to a graffiti crew as a kid, and he now balances
professional design work with an increasing number of mural painting
opportunities. Here in Provincia di Vicenza (Veneto region), he says he chose a
whale drowning in plastic for this secondary school façade. But he didn’t want
to be completely didactic, preferring to let the viewer make the connections
“I like to paint murals with a ‘multi-layer’ reading approach,” he explains. “You can look to the mural and just see the obvious image or you can try to go deeper and capture some more meaningful detail.”
New from Genoa comes this circular system from Gola Hundun, called “The Ancient Way of the New Circle.”
It is reassuring to consider the systems of our lives and our world as we regard the passing seasons of the year; revisiting, reliving, remeasuring our progress and regress and aspirations.
of a 10 mural program here in the Certosa district, the artist tells us that
his painting is meant to “invite people to go back to a circular system.”
main character of the wall is Cernunnos,” Gola tells us, “- a mythological
creature belonging to the Celtic culture, a symbol of fertility, abundance,
manhood and wild nature – painted in the lower part of the wall, highly visible
Gazing upon the natural elements of the composition that include a balance of phytomorphic elements, a tree of life, and a mountain, you can believe that the artist also likes to write poetry when he is in the right mood.
The color scheme may also speak to you as a powerful representation of the natural world, with blue and green being predominant – here surrounded by the harsher city palette of reds, yellows, oranges. Perhaps what hits you the most is a sense of balance that this mural achieves, even if you don’t know why exactly.
Painting with a holistic approach to life, the earth, the physical-psycho-social balance of humans in daily life – why not?
talian painter Nicola Alessandrini has produced a somewhat surreal body of drawings and paintings during his relatively short career that appears to be turning the body, the animal world, and the plant world inside out to better understand the core systems that create balance and imbalance. In this new mural he just finished in Santa Croce di Magliano, you can see that again he is creating relationships between our corporeal systems and those of the earth.
“The artwork represents a human body connecting two different forms of life,
soil and lymphatic systems,” he says. He tells us that the two plants are
embraced by the body and that the woman’s floral dress is a fertile soil that
connects the two plants and gives energy and nutrition to the body.
Completed as a the sixth edition of Premio Antonio Giordano, the artist consulted with public health initiative called AVIS (Association of Voluntary Italian Blood Donors) and hoped to develop a metaphorical way to represent their conversations.
“I like the idea that giving blood is not just something physical,” says
Allissandrini, “but it is also a mental
predisposition, a practice of giving and sharing.”
A basketball court in summertime is a proving ground for skill, a place to kill time with friends, and sometimes a launchpad for dreams of going “professional”. Here in Fermo City in Northern Italy, it’s a place for Street Artist Giulio Vesprini to expand his abstract practice to the field of sport.
“The shapes, colors and unique elements of botany characterize my work,” he says, and you can see that his palette is carefully chosen, and sophisticated. His new work is in concert with the Fermo Urban Museum (FUM) and took an organic route to completion, with the help of a handful of assistance. It’s many steps away from the inner city work you might normally associate with innercity graffiti; the sound and fury transmuted. Primitive, graphic, and crisply illustrative, this freshly painted court provides a new field of art and nature for players he’ll never meet.
He calls it “Struttura G041”.
Giulio Vesprini. Struttura G041. FUM Festival. Fermo, Italy. 2019. (Video Andrea Amurri-New Media Solution )
The Turin-based illustrator Guerrilla Spam has interpreted the “Quarantana” as a stylized toy extended from the arm of an elegant, almost Egyptian figure in a tall fez. Alessandria-born Street Artist 108 depicts the traditional doll as a unique abstraction merged within a form, not specifically figurative, rather primitive perhaps.
are interpreting a pagan/Christian traditional ritual next to each other here
in Santa Croce di Magliano.
“ ‘Quarantana‘ is a doll made of fabric and straw, having the appearance of an old woman; the doll, usually hanged to a rope between the balconies or in front of the windows, stands on a potato with seven feathers attached,” say organizers at the Antonio Giordano Street Art festival. “The ritual, fusing Christian and pagan cultures, expresses the importance of living a life of sobriety and peace.”
“Do it with passion or not at all!,” says Giulio Vesprini on this acid red cloud of paint that engulfs a portion of his new mural. The fog effect has become popular in public performance of late, adding a mystery of murk to photoshoots and videos, but not so many Street Artists have found a uniquely intrinsic way to make it work with their painting.
So, fresh from the Pennelli Rebelli Festival in Bologna, here’s his new wall in hot cherry flames.
It’s the fourth edition of “Without Frontiers”, a festival of urban art in Mantova Italy, organized by Simona Gavioli and Giulia Giliberti. This is the first mural we’ve seen from the 2019 edition, a hail of man-made products falling from the sky called “Plastic Rain” by Street Artist Mr. Fijodor. Here Mr. Fijodor is helping to continue a recently begun public painting tradition in this city with his illustrative scene of humans repairing a robot amid destruction, a storm of plastic bottles falling all around them.
Since 2016 the festival has tried to balance the new muralism of the moment with the history of Mantova (or Mantua in Emilian dialect) sometimes referred to as “the cradle of Renaissance culture”. Truthfully it’s a city known perhaps more for its Gonzaga tapestries than it’s Street Art culture but since 2016 “Without Frontiers” has hosted artists including Bianco-Valente, Boogie Ead, Corn79, Elbi Elem, Ericailcane and Bastardilla, Etnik, Fabio Petani, Mach505, Made514, Molis, Panem and Circenses, Perino and Vele, Peeta, Sebas Velasco, Vesod, Zedz, Joan Aguilò and Joys.
When the plants and
animals take over again there will still be remnants of you, as they transform
your achievements and failures organically en route to natural balance.
The evidence of this eventuality lies not only in our predilection for self-destruction but on the current existence of the 7,000 tower-fortress structures that still dot this island of Sardinia. Time and elements have not destroyed these structures built over a period of 16 centuries – long before the event of Christ’s birth. Today they are remnants, monuments of that Nuragic civilization, but are also home to birds, four legged creatures, insects, grasses, bushes, and trees.
Italian Street Artist, muralist and land artist Gola Hundun thinks of communications towers and overlays them with references of totemic massings, historical human rituals, geographical coordinates, shamanic journeys, and patterns of aviary flight. For this installation called “Torre di volo” (Flight Tower) he also is thinking about guiding birds through controlled space.
“The central element of the installation is inspired by the forms of the flight control towers of the airports,” he says, “a type of architecture that has always fascinated me and had a strong influence on my imagination both aesthetically and poetically.”
Participating in an art residency on the property of the Campidate artists residency (near Monastir), the Italian born millennial finds the support he needs to pursue his natural art-making cycle in an environment that is closest to his personal ethos.
He says that he spotted a bird of prey called a Kestrel inside the Campidarte base buildings and became inspired to imagine himself directing the flight of birds, one further degree of interaction with nature he has pursued for most of his life.
stands today on a ridge of that land, in an elevated and strategic position,
generally loved by birds of prey,” he tells us.
A continuation of a personal artists’ campaign he calls ABITARE that more than contemplates his work as potential habitat, “Torre di volo” will be complete when Gola sees a winged friend entering the doorway of his central tower. He says the entire creation is based on his “desire to create a form capable of hybridizing my fascination for the ancestral totemic verticality and the desire to create a living space easily accessible to certain species and biological niches.”
“From the tower that I
interpreted, I hope that in the near future the flight of a bird of prey will
begin, allowing us to observe in reality the idea of flying, going and coming
back and making the structure itself come alive,” he says. “The occupation of
the tower by a bird is part of the idea of the installation and is
indispensable for its completion.”
Favara is a town located in south central Sicily, in Italy. Known for its Medival castle, Favara’s main trade is in agricultural products and mining. Until recently, Favara was in danger of suffering the same fate that has afflicted many of the small towns and villages throughout Italy; The exodus of its young population to larger, metropolitan areas, due to unemployment where they are able to find better opportunities and entertainment. With this exodus comes the lack in tax revenue and the subsequent abandonment of priceless architecture and the neglect of the old part of the town to decay and the ravages of time and weather.
Then came Andrea Bartoli and his wife Florinda Saieva. In 2010 they purchased several buildings that were neglected in the old city center and renovated them completely. Once the renovations were done they set up to create a cultural center that involved outdoor art exhibitions, shops, cultural events, screenings and the hosting of international artists to come and create art outdoors. They call it Farm Cultural Park. With this initiative Andrea and Florinda have created the renaissance of their historic city center and have put Favara back on the map. Favara as they happily exclaim is “A Place That Makes You Happy”.
Polish Artist, NeSpoon was invited to participate in this year’s edition of Farm Cultural Park and what an apt visual reference her contribution is to the concept of revival and the before & after.
NeSpoon is known for her exquisite, lattice-like paintings and sculptures that take inspiration from old crocheted patterns. Here, visitors will be able to have a “sight for sore eyes” moment as they turn the corner and are regaled by the vision of a wall transformed from decay into a monochrome pattern very familiar with all of us.
Her use of monochrome helps the building retain its ancient character while at the same time it elevates it to a piece of art.
The Italian textual conceptualist and urban/suburban public space instigator
ELFO has lodged his complaint on a wall against the misinformation that forms
our perceptions. The humorous one-off screed caught our attention so we asked
him about this low-fi textwork that seems decidedly Duchampian, with a nod to
BSA:Duchamp challenged conceptions of the art world with his “readymade” pieces and many a critic called him a fake. Your commentary references the “fake news” meme favored by the right wing news and politicians. How did you make the connection?
ELFO: Currently my work is returning to this message. I want to speak of the world and the history of art in ironic and contemporary way using contemporary terms. I chose Duchamp because his artwork changed the world of art. Duchamp is perfect because he played with fake identity and the critic system rendered him as a fake. He changed the rules of art, for me and many artists.
BSA:What role should art play in this world of “fake news”?
ELFO: In this world of fake news, art probably is a big fake – if it does not reflect society as a mirror.
BSA: Do you think art should always reflect our society like a mirror?
ELFO: The problem is not fake news in this world – it’s the human brain. Art must speak about serious issues like pollution for example. This is the next subject I’ll address since I have been looking at it for a long time.