As part of the offerings on the street this year in Madrid, the Urvanity fair featured four artists creating new murals in the nearby environs to the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid (COAM) campus.
Today we have some shots of the new works by Artez, Marat Morik, Poni, and Pro176, who each were working on their pieces while the Madrid crowds milled by in what really felt like the first sunny days of spring. Here are some process shots and final shots of the walls.
Serbian Artez brings his realistic illustration style says he is talking “About
this Town” with this mural placed in the central shopping district. “Instead of
carrying shopping bags,” he says on his FB page, “the girl is depicted as
holding a pile of books important for the history and culture of the city along
with a plant with a small birdhouse that is inviting all the ‘birds’ to come
and feel like home!”
Parisian graff writer Pro176 busted out a tall slim slice of back-alley
wall with his collaged pop comic style that may trigger memories of
childhood adventures with superheroes and comedic capers. You may have
to hunt for it but it feels like a reward once you discover this hidden
powerhouse by an aerosol painting pro.
The Mexican artist Poni brings this balance of feminine and
statuesque alive on this tall slab of wall that rises high above the street.
With a nod to sisterhood and Matisse cutouts, her solid shapes buttress the
history of womens work and liberates as well.
Former graffiti writer Marat Morik from Russia now uses his illustration style work to evoke the dramatic, darker elements of the street and fiction novels perhaps. Here his portrait of poet Anna Akhmatova, who looks like she’s been caught unaware amidst a deepening plotline shrouded in collaged symbolism, text and textural elements.
A large installation in the center of Urvanity by Street Artist Isaac Cordal went up and came down while we were in Madrid this past week, and we were fortunate to see how such a vision is realized in the midst of a modern school of architecture campus. We also witnessed the responses of guests who circled the ex-urban tale of with cocktails in hand, or in the case of sunny afternoons, reclining alongside it on the artificial green turf.
At a commercial art fair of this caliber it was thrilling, chilling, to see this large scale courtyard installation depicting absurd and psychologically dire scenarios playing out in the wake of crises. This is the kind of discourse that gives a place gravitas, and may provide a route to go forward.
But Cordal doesn’t regale us with color and vividly drawn character studies that some how charm us into a Dantean vision of circles and layers of hell. His dimly illuminated and apocalyptic tale is heavy and grey and in such slow motion you may not realize it is moving.
Here finally are the Business Class, climbing as ever, now also sinking into the toxic soil they created, the world translated as one continuous privatized prison complex.
“And yes, it is that red in the room,” scholar Susan Hansen says to narrate her photos of the BSA Talks. “Like Dexter kill zone plastic red.”
It was an unusual three days living inside the conference that was blowing minds inside an art piece. We often forgot that we were bathing in, drenched in, glowing within a steady crimson glow while listening to astute historians, lawyers, hackers, artists, academics, and urban arts pros who were sitting on a big plastic couch or leaning on cherry plastic lectern.
We were lucky to be there to see the process by Penique from
the beginning, a transformational project that looks like a lot of fun, if a
lot of work.
The Yap crew from Berlin described it to friends the same way we’re seeing it, BSA Talks was “bringing the most creative heads from all the world to chat in the red living room.”
We simply surmised that we were working with others inside of a beating heart.
“Urvanity seeks to explore and thus imagine possible future scenarios for this New Contemporary Art,” they say boldly in the manifesto for this art fair/cultural platform in Madrid. A thrilling nexus is created here in this college campus of architecture where art from the streets is evolving in such ways that it is invited to come in from the street.
Whatever your perspective is on this evolution, we encourage the conversation – which usually contains elements of tribalism (various), resistance, acceptance, even euphoria. During breaks from hosting the BSA Talks this weekend we are also skipping and swerving through the crowds to look at the art that galleries have on offer.
Here we offer a very quick sample of some items that have caught our eye, looked fresh, or were indicative of larger movements in the so-called “scene”. And we use the word “scene” very loosely, because there is really not such thing as a homogeneous scene, only a constellation of them which are intersecting, coalescing, and redefining themselves. Some pieces are remarkable.
Here is the past, existing side by side with the future.