Public Art in Ireland

Dublin 

We spent only one day in Dublin and the weather was more suitable for drinking whiskey than walking so we did not come across many art objects. We saw some sculptures here and there, but I left the city under impression that there are not many art decorations in the city.

 

Killarney

Killarney is a luxury tourist area and there are many sculptures and decorations in the area. Different size sculptures, wall sculptures, nice shops and pubs with decorations.

I came across great photography gallery with Irish landscapes, I loved the pictures and the how the canvases are without frames and the images continue on the sides.

Reykjavik Public Art

During winter holidays I had the most amazing winter trip to Iceland. We started off with Reykjavik and then travelled abound – visited The Golden Circle tourist spots, explored Southern Iceland around Vik, visited the biggest glacier in Iceland, the second biggest glacier in Icelands, the third.. You got it, layers of ice, I mean, it is in the name. And finally we returned back to the capital with a stop Borgarnes. The nature was nothing like I have ever seen before. In some parts surrounding were so unusual, as I  am imagining walking on Mars would be. It was very tricky to see Northern Lights due to constantly changing weather: sunshine, rain, hail and snow in random order changing every 5-10 minutes.

Art-wise, Reykjavik is filled with sculptures and street art. It is a small city but you have a great variety of art decorating the streets. From classical sculptures to avant-garde , in variety of sizes.

Street art:

Even the airport has small decorative touches which made it very cosy.

Outside Reykjavik sculptures appear randomly. Some small villages so not have anything at all, but in the middle of nowhere you bump into sculpture. For example at the oldest lighthouse in Iceland, on the west from Reykjavik we unexpectedly saw this penguin sculpture. There was nothing in miles from that lighthouse and that penguin.

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This sculpture of two men is placed by Geysir park, which is a part of Golden Circle.

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Art is not the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about Iceland, but it definitely adds to the environment and culture!

No commission

Southwark Arches transformed into a gallery space during 3 days in December (8/12/16-10/12/16) to accommodate “No Commission” art exhibition. Its title speaks for itself – there is no commission for artists and they get full amount written on the label and they also get to exhibit for free.

This Exhibition was a mixture of art, party and music. One of the artists said that “This is where street culture meets high culture”.

Variety of artworks pop culture inspired represented many international artists. No Commission exhibition in London was the third collaboration of Dean Collection and Bacardi. I visited it in the last day and almost all the artworks were sold!

The atmosphere was relaxed and people were clearly enjoying themselves. The entrance was free, you only had to register. This event was nothing like I have been to before, I think it was a success. Would definitely go again if it pops up.

 

Street Art in Moscow – level up

I love Street Art!

Street Art in Moscow is taken to a whole different level. It might be a debate in some countries if it is legal or not but in Moscow authorities have taken this matter in their own hands. Street Art in Moscow is created with cultural and educational purpose.

Aeroflot, the most successful Russian airline and a member of Skyteam Alliance, carried out a series of large scale artworks. Graffiti shows beautiful portraits of flight attendants with elements of famous Russian cities such as Kazan, Kaliningrad, St Petersburg and others. The images are beautiful, colourful and pleasant to look at but they also promote a number of cultures across Russia and promote tourism. Sure thing it is a marketing tool for the airline but it makes streets look better and more enjoyable place to walk.

Another thing that caught my eye was a development with tall buildings with animal paintings on the side – zebra, elephant and giraffe. Apparently it was there for 3 years already but I never saw it. It is very impressive – twenty-something-storey paintings especially when they are beautifully executed. It was idea of a construction company responsible for the project. But its not only to decorate streets but also to educate, each animal has a short description written on the eye level as well as a small map of natural habitat for these wild creatures.

There are also many ongoing competitions for best graffiti among young artists as the government is promoting culture and talents through creating a challenge for artist to create a themed graffiti, some are devoted to historic figures, some to going to space. It is lovely to see how the city is changing  and getting more and more colourful but it is also good to realise that pretty pictures have meaning. These collaboration of street artists and municipal authorities is a brilliant way to enhance creativity and decorate a city. Well done!

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Brazil – home to street art

Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba are the top three cities for quantity and quality of street art. The relationship between society and art outdoors differs from one in Europe. Not only does the government encourage street artists (under the law murals are not illegal as long as the owner of the building authorises a painting), but also different organisations collaborate with street artists. For example, GOL Airlines commissioned the famous Pandolfo brothers (“The Twins” as they are called) to decorate an airplane, which carries the country’s soccer team.

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo

There is a difference between graffiti and street art: graffiti is the way to communicate between graffiti artists and street artists communicate to society. Graffiti looks usually like text: phrases, words and letters; whereas street art is a painting done on the wall instead of canvas.

Street Art is a part of Brazilian culture and a significant part of the urban art movement across the globe. The variety of sizes and styles is fascinating. You can find anything from figurative to abstract art and find paintings in unusual places like banks. You don’t have to search hard for murals; you discover them everywhere.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo both have amazing wall paintings. However the scale of the works is bigger in Rio: some paintings are created on 2-3 storey buildings. Whereas in Sao Paulo there are more murals, but they are smaller: usually on the side of one-storey buildings. One neighbourhood in Sao Paulo – Vila Madalena is particularly famous for street art. Travessa Alonso, Rua Goncalo Afonso and Rua Medeiros de Albuquerque streets considered to be an open air gallery.

The pallet is vibrant: artists use very bright striking combinations of colours, which are not typical for European artists. You can also see a mixture of black and white and bright colours in the same painting. Some paintings are extremely detailed and realistic. Street art is the decoration of outdoor space in Brazil and a pleasure to look at.

Moment of Impact

The exhibition “Moment of Impact” (16th of January – 7th of February) at The Lazarides Gallery next to Oxford Street featurqes the first-ever solo Mark Jenkins’s (b. Virginia, USA, 1970) show in the UK. The artist mostly known for street sculptures and installations has created mixed media statues and three-dimensional canvases, 11 of which are represented in the gallery. His sculptures are deliberately hyper-realistic and have different impacts on the viewer depending on whether they are placed in the formal gallery or on the street. The philosophy of Spanish figurative sculptor Juan Munoz, who was described as the “storyteller”, influences Jenkins’s art. Indeed, each Mark Jenkins’s sculpture has a story and meaning behind it.

The artist wants to highlight the importance of street art as part of the image of a city. The concept goes perfectly with the spirit of the gallery and artworks look natural in the gallery environment. The choice of drinks – beer instead of champagne or wine – on the preview night also contributes to the overall provocative and this cutting edge art.

Spice signs up a little

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Road signs are not that boring any more. Street artists play with “No entry” road sigh by adding elements to the white rectangle and twisting the meaning completely. The first artist who has been “adjusting” the signs across Europe was Clet Abraham, born in France, but lived in Italy for over 20 years.

I found these signs across Europe in London, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam. I keep discovering them in narrow streets, large roads, in the centre of the city and in suburbs. Some graffiti became more common, so I was lucky to hunt some rare ones.

Different interpretations keep popping up here and there and it might be Abraham’s followers of the artist himself, I guess we will never know. Graffiti are after all created under the dome of night..