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Street Update #184

  • Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada in Madrid
February 1, 2020
A philosophy graduate interested in critical theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović.

As we begin the year 2020, it is time to take a look back and see what the street artists have been up to in the last month of the previous year and the first one of this year. A range of street art festivals, curated works and individual initiatives continue to take place, and so be sure to follow us on Instagram to always be up to date with murals springing all around the world. In the meantime, find the most popular pieces of the months of December and January below, painted around the world!

Brad Downey, Jazoo Yang, Ampparito, Clet and Diego Sologuren in Oslo

Combining street art, architecture and horticulture, a new project in Oslo sought to challenge the predominance of large-scale muralism. Devised and curated by Desire Lines, this week-long residency brought together Brad Downey, Jazoo Yang, Ampparito, Clet and Diego Sologuren – five international artists who specialize in producing site-specific and ephemeral outdoor artworks. Taking inspiration from the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the project explored how human-scale, intervention-based street art can offer an alternative to large-scale muralism. Over the course of this week, there were more than 120 works created – all touching upon the paradigms of degrowth, sharing economy, gig economy, rights to the city and intangible heritage.

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Banksy in Birmingham

The elusive street artist Banksy has created new artwork in Birmingham, a festive-themed piece highlighting homelessness. Painted in Jewellery Quarter, the artwork features in a film on Instagram that shows a homeless man named Ryan on a bench being “pulled” by two reindeer painted on a brick wall. The artist added a comment:

God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.

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Rustam QBic in Izmir

An amazing street artist from Kazan, Russia, Rustam QBic is celebrated for his wildly surreal imagination, resulting in impressive murals, paintings, and drawings saturated with lush storybook colors and interesting characters. The artist created a new piece for the Muralİzmir Festival in Izmir, Turkey. Titled New World, it depicts a girl set against a surreal scenery.

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Fintan Magee in Primm

A prominent Australian street and fine artist, Fintan Magee creates socially and environmentally engaged works, often drawing from his own experiences. His unique style combines the surreal with a good sense of humor and disturbing circumstances. Taking part in Mural Oasis in Primm, Nevada, the artist created a new extraordinary work titled Free Fall. Based on the Western paintings of William Robinson Leigh created during the first half of the 20th century, the work explores how the idolized images of the American west influenced the countries outlook towards capitalism.

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Toctoc in Amsterdam

A young French street artist, Toctoc is known for his pastes ups depicting caricatures in different situations. He draws inspiration from the films of Tim Burton, the Pop Art works of Keith Haring and Basquiat, as well as the art of Shepard Fairey. Painted in Amsterdam, his new witty piece is titled Wish you were ear…, referring to Vincent Van Gogh.

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Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada in Madrid

A Cuban-American contemporary artist, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada predominantly creates his work in urban spaces on a large scale. As part of the project curated by Stephen Donofrio for Greenpoint Earth Madrid 2019, the artist created two murals in Madrid that focus on the climate crisis and the fight of indigenous people to save their lands. The one titled Forest Focus features an eye with Planet Eart in its center, with the Amazon as the pupil and Chile clearly visible as a homage to the official COP25 host country. Titled Past, Present, Future, the other one is a portrait of Hilda Pérez, a leader of the Indigenous Ashaninka Community located in Peru.

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RUN and BASIK in Florence

A London-based Italian artist, RUN is interested in street art as a language of communication, creating playful characters that speak to diverse audiences on multiple levels. On the other hand, BASIK mixes elements of his writer’s background with inspirations from Medieval art and Renaissance onward, as well as from modern and contemporary art movements and avantgardes. Tw0 artists joined forces to create a new stunning piece in Florence, Italy. Located on the façade of a building in the district of Rovezzano, the mural deals with the subject of boxing, since, right next it, a popular box gym for locals will be inaugurated shortly. The piece explores the theme of the “Challenge” and the “confrontation/clash” that links two entities and pushes them to face each other in the ring, as on many other battlefields.

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Icy and Sot in Lisbon

A contemporary art duo from Tabriz, Iran, Icy and Sot have developed a unique visual language through which they deliver powerful, moving statements on the present-day human condition. Responding to issues of border control and the refugee crisis, the duo created a variety of fence and border interventions. Their most recent one is located in Lisbon and titled EU FLAG. It presents a European flag made out of steel fence and barbed wire – the materials that evoke the physical barriers that migrants face while trying to enter Europe and while they await with hope in refugee camps in inhuman conditions.

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Paola Delfín in Miami

A Mexican street artist, Paola Delfín creates imaginative works mainly influenced by illustrations, organic forms and a mixture of unusual materials. Focusing on the topics of beauty and feminine sensibility, she is able to depict a vast range of incredible changes and contrasts where she attempts to give her work a life of its own. Created in Wynwood, Miami for The RAW Project, her latest piece is titled Conexion 3. Located at the building of the Eneida Hartner Elementary School, it has been described as one of the most meaningful projects during Miami Art Week.

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Sabotaje al Montaje in Los Palmas

An artist coming from Los Palmas, Tenerife, Sabotaje al Montaje is best known for his stunning portraits executed on large scale. The artist recently created a new piece in his hometown for the Urban Art festival, Seisdedoce. Titled Digital Isolation, the work is a portrait of a lady looking at her cell phone, speaking of the isolation that technology brings us.

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Featured image: Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada in Madrid. Photo by Fer Alcalá.