When urban spaces become the medium for expression, protest, criticism, and defiance, the audience is limitless. Pedestrians and bystanders of all ages and ideologies become spectators of demonstrations that walk the line between art and activism and transform the city's streets, walls, and sidewalks into canvases for diffusing ideas on a massive scale. Banksy once said that "a wall is a very big weapon. It's one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with." This call to arms has rung true for many as they take to the streets in a bid to make themselves heard.
Mural: The Latest Architecture and News
Artist David Louf, aka Mr. June, has earned a reputation for creating striking urban art, most recently using three-dimensional murals that play off architectural elements. As Colossal reports, within the last year Mr. June's geometric abstractions have become increasingly architectural as they aim to challenge viewer’s perceptions. Producing work since 1985, Mr. June recently completed a 130-foot diameter dome in North Carolina and a 3D mural for Urban Nation in Berlin.
When you tap an Instagram geolocation, the nine most popular posts in that location float to the top. Sometimes, there's an uncanny similarity to these posts: near-identical pictures of smoothie bowls, tiled floors, or neon signs. In part, a place’s popularity on Instagram is a domino effect—one person posts a picture of a mural (Wynwood Walls, anyone?), and then everyone does. But a new Instagram Design Guide from Valé Architects suggests that some design features might be inherently more Instagrammable than others. Valé’s guide is interesting for its quasi-scientific analysis of Instagram aesthetic, but it also has real implications in the architecture world; a building’s popularity on social media (in this case, its Instagramability) can influence its perception in the non-digital world. Here are some of the traits that Valé says make a space successful on Instagram:
Established by Hyundai Group, Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing was opened in the 798 Art Zone in Beijing on November 1, 2017. The large-scale panoramic mural 798 commissioned by Hyundai and created by Drawing Architecture Studio was officially released at the same time.
Around 14.5 meters in width and 12.7 meters in height, the mural takes the 798 Art Zone as the representative to depict the status of today’s city in the context of information overload. The drawing is a narrative map: most architectural renderings in the panorama are based on actual prototypes at 798. The assemblages are shattered, fragmented and free-floating. Enormous power comes from the inherent vitality and energy of the city. Its shell is cracked and broken to reveal the exciting maze of life inside. 798 is an imaginary representation of the real world, a reconstruction of countless fragments of physical space and time, that constantly collide, align and rearrange.
The Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros is an outstanding example of extraordinary artistry crafted by Mexican muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros, together with Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. The building was constructed in 1971, taking the shape of a diamond and housing “The March of Humanity,” what is recognized as the world's largest mural. It blankets both the interior and exterior surfaces, covering a total of 8,000 square meters. In 1981, the Polyforum was declared a monument of Mexico’s National Patrimony.
London-based artist, illustrator, and animator Patrick Vale, known for his panoramic drawings of cities, completed another complex mural at design company IDEO’s studio in San Francisco, California. Vale’s time-lapse videos such as “Empire State of Pen” and his drawing of Manhattan, show the process of creating his detailed illustrations that take from several hours to months to complete. Vale spent 13 days at the downtown San Francisco office to complete the drawing.
Ready for a mind trip? Take a look at the work of German street artist 1010. For more than a decade, 1010 has been painting colorful cave-like illusions that make flat surfaces appear as if they have been breached by holes go on forever. To create his works, the artist first makes papercut models by layering stacks of paper in specific color palettes, then translates the depth into paint. He has used this technique in surprising places across the globe including both interior and exterior walls and even on an abandoned highway in Paris.
Check out some of 1010’s latest work below.
Last month, ArchDaily had an opportunity to speak with Akshat Nauriyal, Content Director at Delhi-based non-profit St+Art India Foundation which aims to do exactly what its name suggests—to embed art in streets. The organization’s recent work in the Indian metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru, has resulted in a popular reclamation of the cities’ civic spaces and a simultaneous transformation of their urban fabric. Primarily working within residential neighborhoods—they are touted with the creation of the country’s first public art district in Lodhi Colony, Delhi—the foundation has also collaborated with metro-rail corporations to enliven transit-spaces. While St+Art India’s experiments are evidently rooted in social activism and urban design, they mark a significant moment in the historic timeline of the application of street art in cities: the initiative involves what it believes to be a first-of-its-kind engagement between street artists and the government.
Street Artist Misha Most have finished a gargantuan project – a 10,800 square meter mural set to be the world's largest in Vyska, Russia. The giant mural, titled “Evolution-2” covers the facade of the "Stan-5000" industrial complex from the oldest Russian manufacturer, Vyksa Steel Works. The mural project was chosen in the course of the "Vyksa 10000" open competition and is part of the ArtOvrag urban art festival curated by Sabina Changina and Russian creative studio Artmossphere. Artmossphere is known for curating various art projects, exhibitions, and festivals connected with street art with both established and upcoming street artists.
Vyksa-10000 invites international artists to take a part in a contest for the largest mural in the world.
The Vyksa-10000 international contest is organized by the Art-Ovrag festival in Vyksa, Russia. The mural painting contest celebrates the 25th anniversary of the United Metallurgical Company (OMK) and the 260th anniversary of the metallurgical plant in Vyksa.
Urban artist DAKU has created a dynamic solar mural, “Time Changes Everything,” on a building in the Lodhi Colony area of Delhi as part of India’s first ever public arts district. Words associated with human emotion and the passage of time have been mounted perpendicularly on the building facade, casting shadows that shift as the sun moves across the sky, eventually extinguishing as the sun completes its journey.
About an hour outside Mexico City lies the small town of Palmitas in the Pachuca district, an area that, a few months ago, began a massive street art project to unite the community. Beginning as an idea from local government leaders, the project was executed by self-taught street artists Germen Crew.
Using the existing architecture set on the town’s predominant hill, Germen Crew created a multi-perspective piece of art that takes one of Mexico’s most recognized art forms—the mural—and adds a new sense of perspective and community to the historic tradition.