The structure is not intended to be just admired, but it invites people to come in, walk, sit and play on it.
The Turin-based illustrator Guerrilla Spam began in Firenz in 2010 and has since travelled to do large scale murals and posters and installations across Italy and into places like Bruxelles, Bristol and Berlin. They like to refer to their work as “a spontaneous, unauthorized form of resistance and protest in urban spaces” – which reminds you of the rebellious ethos of graffiti writers blended with the consciousness of designers and activists eager to evolve society forward. In this case, topics range from education, the penal system, and immigration, among others.
For this “usable monument” in Santa Croce di Magliano, Guerilla Spam is aiming to share people’s history, specifically the uprising of those here who fought to claim their land in 1955.
“The day laborers of Santa Croce di Magliano,” says Guerilla Spam, “supported by the women (who lined up in front of the police), by trade unionists and communist leaders, succeeded in obtaining the reallocation of the land. The memory of this event is imprinted in the writings, drawings, and colors of the monument (the colors remind of the ones of the countryside).”
Bright and optically entertaining, the game is welcoming and accessible, bringing with it the possibility of edification through education. Unusual for unsanctioned public art, normal for those who seize public space for free speech. “Even a passer-by can undertake this path,” says Guerilla Spam, “which looks like a game, but is actually a march towards the awareness of man’s rights”
It’s impossible to imagine the contemporary built environment without considering the impact of street art and graffiti has had on not only city dwellers but our city’s designers and architects. While previous generations may have dismissed incorporating painting techniques beyond traditional frescoes or murals, the new generation considers it their birthright to bring modern art movement influences, including Optical Art, Kinetic Art, and straight-up tape art often used on the street.
Rome-based architect/designers Lorenzo Pagliara and Gianmaria Zonfrillo consider themselves a street art duo as well – creating under the moniker Motorefisico. Working on city walls for them is simply an extension of their interior/exterior design interests along with video art and installation art as well. In their recent façade-painting project in Santa Croce di Magliano, Italy, Motoresfisico says they employed stencil techniques sometimes used by street artists to create exacting lines and illusionist effects to enhance the architectural feature of this building with two facades.
“We developed our geometric composition directly on the surface by creating a huge stencil with tape,” they say, “This allowed us to create shapes perfectly adapted.” Monochromatic and modernist, the composition pops with a kinetic three-dimensional effect. Suddenly a white box boasts a pedestrian-stopping display of intelligent design, something that is not always apparent on city streets and even less often has it been achieved with simple stencil technique.
Naming their architectural installation “The Slash”, the artistic duo completed it in conjunction with the 8th edition of the Antonio Giordano urban art award (Premio Antonio Giordano).
Saturday projects around the house or
apartment as the seasons change? Why not paint your steps?
Italian designer, muralist, and graffiti writer since the 1990s, Nico Lò (Skolp) shows us his style on the elevated art of painting a public stair in Santa Croce di Magliano (Italy). The color blocking is more intentional and scientific than you may think, however, and the artist tells us that he used a software tool to determine the composition in collaboration with a San Franciscan machine learning expert named Piero Molino.
“Much attention has been given to
the use and perception of colour,” says Nico. “The observer perceives two
coexisting paths on the staircase: the one with softer colours makes it easier
the upward path; the other one, with more saturated and bright colours, marks
the easier downward path.”
Since being a graffiti writer, Nico
has gone through many personal and professional stages in development of his
art – including starting a design firm with two friends in 2008 specializing in
visual communication and graphic design. Now he’s more attracted to something many
are calling “Post Graffiti”, a deconstruction of the letter-based vocabulary in
a way that tumbles into abstraction and geometric movements of many directions.
“For years he focused on the study
of the letter in all of its forms,” says a publicist. “Until overcoming the
concept of “tag” and taking the path of a new approach called
post-graffiti. His artistic language is characterized by geometric shapes,
grids and shades, an abacus of elements and compositional rules that refer to
the concept of generative design.”
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.”
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.”
The transition from graffiti to abstract painter invariably captures our attention. The two disciplines that would be so insulated from one another, yet many times we find a graffiti writer who fifteen years after spraying his first illegal tag is now parsing a very different visual language.
Then you think of the endless permutations of wildstyle and all the subgenres of the graffiti practice of deconstruction as applied to the letterform. It is only a short jump from there to complete abstraction.
In the case of Russian Street Artist Alexey Luka, the route was made smoother perhaps by his study of architecture, provided entrée to a less literal interpretation of shape and form. Here his two newest wall pieces in Santa Croce di Magliano (CB), Italy, remind us of his wooden wall sculptures, assemblages as well, the palette warm and the snug overlapping feeling of the forms is almost nested.
For this fifth edition of the Antonio Giordano Urban Art Award in October and November, we are told that Alexey has hidden organic forms and even faces in his work. We’ll leave it up to your sleuthing and imagination to identify them. See anything?