The streets of Padua Italy are filled with playful silhouettes by local street artist Kenny Random. Kenny, whose real name is Andrea Coppo has been practicing the art form since the eighties, and over the years his style has ranged from anthropomorphic figures, stenciled silhouettes and a myriad of cartoon characters which interact with each other.
Most of his work is displayed in the historical parts of Padua and has been well preserved, even when buildings were being reconstructed.
In 2007 and 2012, his paintings were exhibited and warmly received at the Cultural Centre Altinate in San Gaetano.
He continues to “gift” his art of murals to the people of Padua and the travelers that come through the city.
Check out more of his work at his site and facebook.
Recently, the B-Town Beat had the opportunity to host the French artist, ‘Mantra.’
Mantra is a self-educated artist who hails from Metz, France. Sam Sneke, one of the organizers of the Beat, and the curator for the Art Alley, was contacted by Mantra prior to a visit to the States to see if there were any art opportunities here for him while he was in town.
We were very excited to add international flair to the dynamic walls in the Alley! Mantra collaborated with Sneke on the southeast portion of the main art wall. In addition, Mantra created his own piece on the wall behind Burien Press.
I told John White about the new alley art and he was quick check out what was happening. He had recently had a conversation with Guy Harper, another Burien arts supporter, about putting a mural on the West wall of the building in Olde Burien occupying the Northwest corner of 152nd at Ambaum.
The wall was seriously dilapidated and a sore subject for local businesses, particularly Phoenix Tea.
John shares: “I was stunned at the talent of this spray-can-man from France”
After seeing Mantra’s work, John knew that this was an amazing opportunity for the Olde Burien wall.
Because Mantra had a limited time here in the States organizing the event had to happen quickly. John created what he calls a “decision stakeholder’s wheel” which included business owners situated close to the mural site.
He divided the stakeholders into two categories, primary and secondary, and visited each about the impending project, including them in the decision- making process.
The main stakeholders were contacted including the Burien Arts Commission and the building owner.
Approval was given by both. John built the 16’ x 12’ plywood canvas at his home and hauled it up to the wall.
A UNIVERSITY academic has brought the colourful world of Spanish graffiti art to North Staffordshire as part of his latest research.
Sociologist Andy Zieleniec spent 10 months studying the vibrant paintings which adorn walls, shop shutters and other public spaces.
He traveled to Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid for the project, talking to artists themselves and chronicling the different ways they turned streets into public art galleries.
Now Andy has launched an exhibition at Keele University, which shows around 120 photographs of the artwork he found on his travels.
The 50-year-old Keele lecturer said: “There are some stunning images. Graffiti artists see their work as a way of reclaiming a community or urban space from commerce. Most of the artists paint in their own neighbourhoods”.
“In Spain, there is a history of using the walls as message boards.”
Graffiti is often seen as a form of ‘tagging’ buildings, with artists sometimes even signing their names or using distinctive styles, just like Britain’s Banksy.
It can often cover political themes, ranging from anti-racism and sexual politics through to people protesting against Spain’s austerity measures.
But many images are just drawn for the enjoyment of the art itself.
I already talked about the street art creations of Nychos back in 2012, who reveals the anatomy of his characters into explosive and colorful compositions.
This talented artist has since come a long way, and enjoys a growing and deserved reputation, and his work can now be found throughout the world in many street art festivals, galleries and exhibitions.
I propose you today a selection of his latest creations.
Described as “the happiest house on earth,” the Happy Rizzi House (Rizzihaus) in Brunswick is a day-glo masterpiece of cartoon-inspired architecture set smack in the heart of a staid German historic neighborhood.
Standing in stark contrast to its old world surroundings, the Happy Rizzi House is the vision of New York pop artist James Rizzi (perhaps best known for designing the cover for Tom Tom Club’s 1981 debut album) and architect Konrad Kloster.
Representative of Rizzi’s style, the structures are decorated in wild shapes and faces colored in bright pinks, yellows, and greens reminiscent of an 80’s music video.
The psychedelic cluster of buildings was not an instant hit with the surrounding city since the tall buildings’ cacophony of color is in direct visual opposition to both the business district on one side of it and the old world European architecture on the other.
However the goofy faces with unevenly spherical eyes (which are also windows) have come to be accepted as a unique and important part of the landscape, acting as the unofficial border between the two portions of the city the site straddles.
Unfortunately Rizzi passed away in 2011, but the Happy Rizzi House, as easily his largest piece of work, assures that his off the wall vision of the world will live on for years to come.