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April 18, 2017

Travel To These 9 Locations With Exceptional Mural Art

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

These fascinating masterpieces transform decrepit walls and buildings into works of art

Who: Blu
Real name: Concealed
Where:
Molise, Italy

Why we love it: If you’ve watched Oscar-nominated movie Arrival, you will find yourself drawing an immediate parallel to Blu’s version of the UFO that brought otherworldly beings to our planet. The mural, located in a derelict Italian neighborhood with several social issues, shows a huge floating rock with a kaleidoscopic interior suspended in the sky. It serves as an emphatic reminder that though at first glance, the crater formed by the UFO landing must seem menacing, there is hope if you cared to look further into the verdant fields.

Who: DALeast
Real name: Concealed
Where: Warsaw, Poland

Why we love it: Artist DALeast’s  modus operandi is to capture the raw allure of animals with his breathtaking signature art. He uses paint to mimic thousands of metal shards coming together to form beautiful shapes, making it look lifelike in the process. The use of fractured imagery against contrasting backgrounds lends a darkness to his murals which make it seem like his subjects are in a magical state of motion.

Who: Bordalo II
Real name: Artur Bordalo
Where: Lisbon, Portugal

Why we love it: Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo has an unusual technique for creating art. He first envisions the artwork in his mind before setting out to procure the appropriate paraphernalia. This takes him to junkyards and abandoned factories where he picks up car bumpers, tyres, door panels, malleable plastic bumpers, even entire vehicles. Melding them to form the silhouette of his muse, he packs in the rest of his material which creates a 3D effect. Through his art, Bordalo hopes to present a realistic picture of how much waste humans generate and the subsequent effect it has on our ecosystem.

Who: ROA
Real name: Concealed
Where: Atlanta, USA

Why we love it: As one of the most prolific artists of his time, ROA has infiltrated almost every continent with his refreshing body of work. Although his work on animals is considered ghoulish by a lot of people since it is completely devoid of colour, it adds an element of surrealism to a location. Mostly inspired by local fauna, this alligator in Atlanta is a fan-favourite mainly because of its sheer size and the creative genius of the fire escape doubling up as a formidable tail.

Who: InkBrushNMe
Real name: Harshvardhan Kadam
Where: Bangalore, India

Why we love it: Until a few years ago, wall art in India was considered as vandalism because of its crude nature and a dearth of authentic artists. However, recent years have scene a host of impressive players pop up on the scene with artworks that warrant recognition. One of them is Harshvardhan Kadam’s three-storey mural for the MG Road Metro Station in Bangalore. This artwork of children indulging in innocuous activities along with something that looks like a space bunny is guaranteed to infuse passersby with optimism and playfulness.

Who: Phlegm
Real name: Concealed
Where: Sheffield, United Kingdom

Why we love it: The self-published cartoonist and illustrator’s murals are usually an extension of his comics where he paints his characters onto walls, making them instantly recognisable to fans. His monochromatic artworks usually have a dreamlike quality and are reminiscent of fairytales waiting to jump off the pages of a book into the real world. His work has also appeared on a variety of objects such as airplanes, boats, buildings and vehicles.

Who: Etam Cru
Real names: Bezt and Sainer
Where: Virginia, USA

Why we love it: This duo creates massive street art murals that are often several stories tall and boast a vibrant colour palette. Their work is replete with mysticism and folklore, but they also play with humour, sarcasm and surrealism. This particular mural, dubbed Moonshine Girl, shows a beautiful woman soaking in a jar of strawberries which doubles up as a bathtub.

Who: A’shop
Real name: Artists’ collective comprising of Fluke Art, Doryan ‘DoDo’ Ose, Antonin Lambert, Bruno Rathbone and Guillaume Lapointe
Where: Montreal, Canada

Why we love it: A  contemporary take on ‘Our Lady of Grace’ inspired by Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha, this mural consumed 500 cans of spray paint in over 50 different colours. The five-storey artwork is A’shop’s biggest project till date and also happens to be the first one for which all five artists came together. What was commendable was the involvement of the public and the government in this initiative, right from sponsoring the paint to providing them with food and coffee. The artists believe that this mural has succeeded in adding some character to the otherwise dull city of Montreal.

Who: DMC
Real name: Dermot McConaghy
Where: Dublin, Ireland

Why we love it: DMC’s signature series dubbed ‘Missed Call Girls’ depicts women with tears streaming down their cheeks. It serves to convey the emotions of lost hope and helplessness and is quite popular all over Ireland. The idea for this artwork stemmed from Dermot’s realisation that nobody gets through life without pain and heartbreak. It came about when he was working on a mural and saw a missed call followed by a voicemail from his brother. Instinctively, he had a premonition that the voicemail bore unpleasant news — a feeling he has been trying to breathe life into through his melancholic murals.

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