Urban Legends in Rome
Street art has been spreading across the world since 2000 at the speed of light, ever since Banksy, the modern visual Robin Hood, sprayed his first satirical stencils. Taken over by the French crews, the movement continued to grow, as they developed its massive potential. In fact, French artists were the ones to gain planetary fame first launching figures such as JR, C215, Invader or Seth. There is a heavy influence of pop art in their work, combined with a certain irony, rendering their imagery collectively accessible.
In Italy, northern cities were the first to react to street art. Absorbing English and French influences, Italian talent developed a particular street art language, with strong references to historic art periods of their region. We can recognise elements of renaissance precision or references to Italian modernism, while the Italian artists went on a completely separate course from the rest of the European street creatives. French artists enjoy explosive coloring, while Italians often turn to reduced chromatism or black and white, to the figurative expression, they respond with abstraction, while the best pieces emerge in urban areas, but they really mature outside of the city, in direct contact with nature. Both ‘schools’ allowed for diverse techniques and styles to evolve, confirming the theory that street art is more defined by practice than one unified concept. French and Italian street art movements represent the finest expressions in the subversive contemporary culture, a contemporary art outside of the system.
Urban Legends Exhibition
Urban Legends is the exhibition currently on view at the Roman MACRO Pelanda museum, realized in collaboration with 999 Contemporary and curated by Stefano S. Antonelli. The show presents work by a fantastic lineup of Italian and French street artists including C215, ALEXONE, PHILIPPE BEAUDELOCQUE, EPSILONPOINT, POPAY, SETH, ERON, MONEYLESS, LUCAMALEONTE, TELLAS, 108, and ANDRECO.
Urban Legends will remain on view through August 10, 2014.
Organized by several Italian and French institutions, including the city of Rome and Paris, and the French Embassy in Rome, Urban Legends exhibition is a project of cultural exchange. The same cultural exchange which launched the new contemporary art movement into the orbit, and now is taking over the world by storm, growing out of the creative foundation upon which are based a couple of generations, at least.
Story of the Two Street Art Worlds
Urban Legends exhibition tells the story of twelve artists, six from Italy and six from France, all international stars of the trade. Many of them are already considered legends, others are promising to become it. It is an exhibition that brings the decade long experience of Urban Art in confrontation with the museum, and brings back the movement that was banished onto the streets, into the official art space, among the grand painting and other legends of contemporary art.
Roster of participating artists is impressive, starting with C215, Alexone, and Seth, it includes Philippe Beaudelocque, Epsilonpoint, Popay, Eron, Moneyless, Lucamaleonte, Tellas 108 and Andreco, who will exhibit in the 2000 square meter space stretching in- and outdoor. The external area of the complex once belonged to a slaughterhouse, and is now ready for artists to transform it. The show will have many satellite events, from workshops for the young graffiti writers, to conferences, music concerts and food. The interesting section of the show will extend far outside the museum space into the city, where mostly French artists will intervene in Spagna metro station, and on the Roma – Lido train.
All contemporary art and street art lovers will find a real treat visiting MACRO Pelanda in Rome this summer.
Photos by Francesco Fioramonti.