Street art has long surpassed mere trend to become an integral part of cities' cultural identities. What was once considered vandalism is now not only accepted but encouraged. The works of once-prosecuted artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey are now collector's items; murals can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 or more. Through their works, artists may even have the power to save cities.
Street Art: The Latest Architecture and News
Among the contest categories, the Arte Laguna Prize includes Land Art and Urban Art.
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.
Okuda, the Spanish artist who has been converted into one of the biggest figures in pop surrealism, is continuing his artistic journey in France. After paying homage to the Mona Lisa in the façade of a 19 story building and designing a trampoline above the Seine River, the artist has now taken on the façade of the Valette Castle (1864) in Loiret, which has been abandoned since the 80’s.
The work is titled “Skull in Mirror” and reactivates the Valette Castle whose history links France and Spain. In 1936, during the time of the Spanish Civil War, Republicans purchased the castle, where initially it housed children evacuated from conflict and then later, political exiles. In the 50’s, Spain, under Franco’s rule reclaimed it and used it for holiday camps. Two decades later, the castle was converted into a Spanish school and by 1986 was left abandoned. In 2002, it was acquired by the Pressigny-les-Pins council and a private company.
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.
It happened in the middle of the night: the stealth whitewashing of 5Pointz, Long Island City's unofficial graffiti museum. In 2013 owner Jerry Wolkoff, of G&M Realty, wanted the building razed in order to erect new luxury condominiums, and the artists sued to preserve their work. A judge denied the artists' request and Wolkoff had the murals destroyed under cover of darkness, ostensibly to prevent them from attaining landmark status. Though graffiti was born as a subversive act, these artists had painted with Wolkoff's permission since 1993 and had turned the warehouse into “the world's premiere graffiti mecca” and the largest legal aerosol art space in the United States. This was a serious betrayal.
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.
From the 4-6 of November, the Mediterranean Real Estate Fair, URBE 2016, featured an installation by São Paulo architect and urban planner Guto Requena. The public artwork, entitled “Can you tell me a secret?” is a collection of temporary street furniture: a phone booth that records visitors’ stories and plays them back randomly into five wooden benches.
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.
Discarded planks, doors, floorboards and furniture become colorful geometric faces in Stefaan De Croock’s street murals in Belgium. De Croock (also known as Strook), preserves the color and texture of the scavenged wooden pieces, cutting them into geometric shapes and piecing them together to form colossal faces.
"The whole process of making such a recycled artwork is really interesting; the search for wood, cutting and making the pieces, placing and building it,” Strook said. “I really like working with the old patina of discarded wood. It’s like a footprint of time; every piece has it own story and comes together in a new composition and forms a new story.”
View photos and learn more about two of his recent projects – Elsewhere and Wood & paint – after the break.
A curved street grate becomes an umbrella for a shepherd and his sheep, and a construction site is transformed into a fortress for mop-wielding guards in the interactive street art of French artist Charles Leval, better known as Levalet. Seeking inspiration from the Parisian streets, Levalet is known for his site-specific, India ink drawings that playfully interact with their surrounding architecture. “Topography is very important for me, this is why I always check a place out before I work on it,” Levalet said in an interview with Underground Paris. “I try to mix the world of representation with the real world by playing on the physical cohesion of the situations I put up. Architecture supports my work. Then I work on staging the artwork with photographs.”
The Flamengo landfill in Rio de Janeiro was recently host the world's largest urban art GIF. Created by anonymous artist INSA, the work consisted of a huge floor painting that underwent minor changes recorded by the satellite 430 miles above the earth.
Sponsored by Scotch whiskey brand Ballantine, the painting - 619,000-square-feet of yellow and pink hearts - was produced by a 20-person team over the course of four days. With each new picture, the team altered the illustration so that, by the end of the process, the recorded images created an animated GIF (as seen above).