Martyn Reed is sitting in his office overlooking the harbour in the Norwegian city of Stavanger.
He’s a long way from his Yorkshire roots and his home city of Leeds, but he has never felt more at home in this oil-rich rainy city of some 120,000 souls in the country’s third largest conurbation.
It’s not the likeliest location for someone who is art mad, but for the past 14 years Reed has been involved in, and has run, what is now known as the Nuart festival where the city is opened up to one of the biggest street art and music festivals in the world.
It seems no wall is off limits.
In the past the control tower at the airport has been hit and this year an oil tanker supply boat was painted by Polish artist M-City.
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.
Between her colorful street art creations and her graphite on paper illustrations, the talented French artist Amandine Urruty reveals an incredible dreamlike universe, populated by fantastical creatures, hidden meanings, symbols and references to pop culture or mythology.
Some beautiful and very detailed artworks that will tickle your imagination as much as your analytical skills!