Berlin, Bülowstrasse 7 at the intersection with Zietenstrasse. A gigantic pin-up overlooks the passengers of the elevated railway with a languidly winking gaze. The weathpaste by Dutch Handiedan inaugurated last September as part of the initiatives organized by Urban nation. It covers the whole surface of the building and can be seen as an oversized version of Handiedan‘s astonishing art.
Category Archives: Street Art
Chilean INTI‘s murals own an outstanding visual power, due not only to their massive size but even more to their expressive qualities.
INTI sums up the many forces underpinning his inspiration with the words ‘syncretism, religion, colours, carnival and resistance’. Taking on board the unavoidable legacy of Muralism in Latin America, INTI interprets it from a new perspective. His visual universe is populated by theatrical and brightly coloured puppet-like characters. Continue reading
I can’t count how many times I was on the verge to write about David Shillinglaw‘s art and than I stopped myself. Or rather, the more I delved into his work the more I found myself ‘lost’ in an endless play of mental associations and enjoyable abstract wanderings.
It all started with The Dance of 1000 Faces, a book that ‘celebrates the artwork and adventures of David Shillinglaw‘ from 2010 to 2012. His journal drawings, wall murals and paintings look immediately joyful and funny.
The book also collects numerous journal drawings. Each of them represents a stylized face filled with either single words or full statements. Through a heap of marks and words the overall effect reminds of the medieval horror vacui, with its tendency to occupy every corner of an artwork for fear of emptiness. The word mind-map has never sounded more suitable than here. The features of the faces are filled with an explosion of words as if they were the many thoughts and feelings flowing in the artist’s mind. Sometimes the words describe a part of the face, but more often they contain personal references like dates, things to do, but also fast thoughts, creeping feelings and sharply original plays with words.
But do not try to interpret the character of David Shillinglaw from this. The flowing of words seems to correspond to his personal free-wheeling associative threads that no objective logics can cage. Shillinglaw is perfectly comfortable with the mental chaos that a trip in the subconscious can cause, and with his work we can try to reach the same state.
Instead of trying to enter into his personal universe, these drawings allow for a similar exercise of imagination but applied to ourselves, not to the artist that created them. And, while happily lost in these mind-maps, I found myself humming two different songs by Devendra Banhart (a songwriter that I personally adore) only because I singled out some words. Or smiling at my own personal associations triggered by something in the pieces. It does not matter what these imaginative connections were. You will find yours, and this is the best part of experiencing David Shillinglaw’s The Dance of 1000 Faces.
When you feel like expanding your own inner explorations, The Dance of 1000 Faces is a great travel companion.
Thanks to David Shillinglaw for the images.
‘Most toads can swim if they’re forced to, but unlike frogs, they rarely enter water. Since the world is two-thirds water, where would you say the limitations lie: with the frogs or the toads? Frogs are smooth and sleek and moist; toads are rough and dry and warty’ (Tom Robbins, Half asleep in Frog Pajamas)
(a street-art frog via Street Art Utopia) (an illustration by David McLimans via Animalarium) (sculpture made of metal scraps in Oakland, Ca. Via Vallejo Independent Bulletin) (Illustration by Charley Harper, 1961. Via Unruly) (From the series New World Transparent Specimens by Iori Tomita. Via Felkx) (recycled frog by Andrew Mockett. Via Kickan and Conkers) (My tiled street art insertion that someone stole for me…)
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish — you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
(There is a pair of us – don’t tell! Via Smashing core) (3D street painting, via 3D Street Art) (Illustration from Leaves by Mehdi Mo’eeni, via Animalarium) (Stencil street art frog, via Migraciòn Total)
(Kiss that Frog by Peter Gabriel)