It’s not every day that you have an 800th anniversary.
Bringing monumental aesthetics, theologic references, and the language of classical architecture to this massive wall at Calle Fernán González, 52, the French duo MonkeyBird celebrates the Burgos Cathedral in grand style. Louis Boidron and Edouard Egea say they worked painstakingly to prepare their tribute to the original workers and artisans who first built the Gothic and Baroque-styled Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.
With gradually larger and complex works in the years since they first met in Bordeaux, the street art duo have here shown their academic understanding matches their technical wizardry, and rich appreciation for the interiors crafted over many years. By bringing this cultural wealth into the public sphere, Monkeybird once again shares with everyone who walks by an overwhelming sense of the history and the creative spirit alive. They call the new mural work “L’ouvreur de chemins” (or The Opener of Pathways).
“Our intention was to offer an effect of complex depth and monumentalism,” they say, “combining some of the most spectacular references of the temple, such as the main altarpiece, with its many details, the Golden Staircase, or the circular oculus in the center of Santa María façade.”
You’ll agree they have succeeded in accomplishing their intention. Gazing upward at the soaring work in the presence of the feted cathedral, the sense of the devotion to higher ideals and the potential of humankind may even be evoked; a tall order not easily accomplished.
The Bordeaux-based Street Art duo Monkey Bird Crew were in the northern French capital Lille in November to create their largest mural ever and today we have some exclusive shots of the enormous piece from the natural stencilists as they scaled the bricked wall and sprayed the new work.
Phototographer Aline Mairet tells us “This collaborative work was realized as part of the major cultural event called “Renaissance” (by Lille3000) and was built with the contribution and participation of the neighborhoods residents.”
It’s standard practice for Edouard and David to portray their chosen avatars of monkey and a bird – of many varieties – in a composition that shows their reliance on one another. Aline says that she sees the their inspiration as being derived “principally from sacred or lyrical works such as illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, and architectural ornamentation – as well as Japanese prints and fantastic illustrations from the ‘Arts and Crafts’ period.”