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small wheel, big wheel

  • Italian street art
  • Italian street art
  • Italian street art
  • Italian street art
  • Italian street art
February 9, 2014
Asja Nastasijevic is an Art Historian with the major in Modern Art, involved in art writing and criticism for several years now. Art is her passion and writing about it is both work and pleasure.

Last fall Italian artist Agostino Iacurci has captured our attention with the “Zero Infinito” mural on the facade of a school near the Wunderkammern Gallery in Rome. It was actually a preview to the solo show “small wheel, big wheel” at Wunderkammern. Two anonymous protagonists climb a ladder that loops indefinitely evoking the central theme of Iacurci’s exhibition which is, according to the artist, the act of playing.  “small wheel, big wheel” is part of the larger project called Public & Confidential, which involves five of the most influential street artists on the international scene. After Dan Witz (NY) and Rero (Paris), it’s now Agostino Iacurci’s turn (Rome/Nuremberg), followed by Aakash Nihalani (NY), and Jef Aérosol (Paris). New works by the artist will be showcased: drawings, paintings, objects and installations in public space that compete to outline the portrait of a “tenderly stiff” humanity in its rediscovery of uncertainty.

Italian street art
Agostino Iacuraci

Dimension of the Playground

Iacurci focuses his attention on the dimension of the playground without relation to time. He examines the subject of play as a moment of suspension in everyday life. If on one hand play is, in fact, the space for freedom of imagination, on the other it is based on any given community’s adherence to a set of rigid rules, even if temporary. Countering this severity, though, is an enormous fragility, due in part to its inherent transience, and to the looming possibility that an unexpected event might break its spell. Play is simultaneously both a timeless “magical space” (Huizinga, 2002) and an “uncertain island”, characterized, according to Caillois, “by randomness, by the ambiguity of the costume, and by the disconcerting effects of vertigo” (Rovatti, 2013, 9).

Italian street art
Agostino Iacuraci
Italian street art
Agostino Iacuraci

In Iacurci’s distinctive style and imagery we can see the influence of his training as an illustrator. This becomes visible in polychromatic characters that occupy large parts of the buildings.  His style is characterized by bright colors and flat shapes, often multi-layered. He places his geometric forms of enormous size, at the same time taking into account the limits of a building’s surface, creating larger-than-life works outdoors. Iacurci contextualizes his characters and their actions with respect to the location of its operations, in order to understand what are the limits as well as the potential. Let us remember his giant mural on the glass façade of the Fubon Art Foundation building in Taipei. Windows are rarely used for murals.  This fruitful artist affixed a giant image of a bicyclist, a bird and a potted plant to the side of a 22-story high skyscraper in Taipei. Iacurci obviously never ceases to surprise us with his works in unusual places around the globe.

Italian street art
Agostino Iacuraci

Agostino Iacurci

Agostino Iacurci born in Foggia in 1986 is one of the most promising street artists today. Since 2008 he has made several huge murals in the public spaces. He has created installations for Living Walls in Atlanta, the 2011 Outdoor Urban Art Festival in Rome, the 55th Venice Biennial for the project B2B, the Oberkampf M.U.R. and the Tour 13 in Paris. In 2012 he has been invited by the Fine Art Academy of Rome to paint a huge mural for the launch of the new headquarters. In the same year he took part at Bien Urbain Festival to paint a mural for the University Campus of Besançon, France. He also created a mural of over 300 meters for Saba School in Algeria and, together with the inmates, two huge murals in the yard of the “maximum security” zone of Rebibbia prison, and a spectacular mural on the glass façade of the Fubon Art Foundation building in Taipei, Taiwan.

Italian street art
Agostino Iacuraci

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