Visionary Fam, a team of local artists from Gainesville, Florida, have completed a new mural by street artist Shepard Fairey, thanks to an initiative by local street art curator Irina Kanishcheva. The native of Lviv, Ukraine, has been looking for an opportunity to express solidarity with Ukrainians during the current war with Russia. With Fairey’s imprimatur, the team recreated one of his recent classic designs, now interpreted with the yellow and blue Ukrainian national colors.
It’s a straight-forward project; create art that shows solidarity on a wall donated by local business owner Scott Shillington of The Top, and keep the conversation going. They even raised three thousand dollars to send to folks there, thanks to Irina’s homemade borscht and vodka drinks. It’s good to see small groups come together to make a change – that’s the best way to circumvent the powerful interests who sometimes are making a profit off the fire, in fact who may be the arsonists.
During the cold winter months, many of us Northerners in the US flock to Florida if we can – to relax in the sun, run on the beach, commune with the ever-present heron.
Emblematic of the “Sunshine State” and of Fort Lauderdale in particular, this pretty bird looks like it standing on one skinny leg most of the time, a clumpy cloud of white feathers hovering about the ground as it roosts. Some call it majestic, this commonplace unassuming neighbor will happily land on top of of bush near you as you present yourself on a chaise lounge to the sun god.
Here in Port Everglades the Italian street artist Peeta creates his ode to this down to earth yet soaring symbol, selecting “representative colors, shapes and subjects in order to create a harmonious relationship with the surrounding environment,” says Iryna Kanishcheva, who produced the project with the Broward County Cultural Division. In the composition you see echoes of the ocean, ground, sky, the sun… and you notice that the artist has engulfed the corner of the building, effectively hiding it if you stand at the right vantage point.
“Through the use of anamorphism, he creates a surreal space where selected symbolic elements live side by side,” says the organizer, and you can see that the sophistication of the presentation supercedes the typical fare offered by a municipally funded public mural. Undoubtedly it is largely due to the precise eye and cunning mind of Peeta, who has constructed exquisite optical illusions on walls all around the world.