Breakin’ the Wall
Wrocław city space
This is the fourth stage of the project. The artists invited to participate in “Breakin’ the Wall” are prominent representatives world urban art: Mudwig (Bristol), Dem (Milan), Fefe Telavera (San Paulo/Madrid), Vova Vorotniov (Kiev), Escif (Valencia), Erica Il Cane (Bologna), Jiem (Lille), SickBoy (London) and Zosen (Barcelona). Their murals will reflect on the identity and existence of the post-1989 generation, as well as the celebrated anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Even though there was no concrete structure to pull down in Wrocław’s history, it is clear that there will be lots of walls to get rid of in the future. Just as the Berliners struggle with the demons of their history, the residents of Wrocław, marked with their own tempestuous past, will have to face problems to solve as well. World War Two and the post-war times had a powerful impact on the mentality of its citizens. What was – and still is – the city we live in? For young people, Wrocław is a blank sheet – they see the burden of its history as a challenge rather than a liability. If our life is conditioned by the past of the place we live in, then it’s the capital of Lower Silesia that appears to be a perfect place for such a confrontation.
“Breakin’ the Wall” is a voice of the generation of sensitive, tolerant people who are not afraid of change. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, “you must be the change you wish to see”. We show, we bare our contemporary walls, not necessarily those made of bricks and concrete, because the ones in our heads are much worse. The efficiency of our efforts to pull them down will be proof of how cosmopolitan Wrocław is. Or – to go a step further – a true test of our European identity.
Curators: Joanna Stembalska and Sławek ZBK Czajkowski
The mural scene “Breakin’ the Wall” will be developed utill June. On various walls in Wrocław, in Nadodrze and in the surroundings – there will be several large murals created
as part of the project.
ON THE MAP ARE MARKED LOCATIONS OF ALREADY EXISTING BREAKIN’ THE WALL MURALS
IN ALL BWA WROCLAW GALLERIES, INFO POINTS, TRAIN STATIONS AND HOSTELS IN WROCLAW YOU WILL FIND COPIES OF ALTERNATIVE CITY-MAP INCLUDING ALL THE LOCALISATIONS OF MURALS CREATED IN THE COURSE OF BOTH OUT OF STH EVENTS
Murals [photos by JUST / JUST.EKOSYSTEM.ORG]:
Video [by ZBIOK]:
Dem / Milan
Like a modern alchemist, DEM creates weird charachters, surreal creatures, inhabitants of invisible layers in the world of humans. Eclectic and funny, through wall-paintings, illustrations and installations rich in allegorical language, he lets the viewer find the key to that enigmatic and arcane world.
Mysticism, surrealism and juggling with meanings derive from the way of life the artist chose and from the fact that he treats painting, art, as a tool with which he can devastate, build, kill and revive.
Besides painting in condemned buildings and factories, ideal background for his works, DEM has also been guest artist at Goteborg’s Oro Gallery, and taken part in exhibitions such as Street Art, Sweet Art (PAC, Milano), Nomadaz (Scion Gallery, Los Angeles) and CCTV (Aposthrofe Gallery, Hong Kong).
Erica Il Cane / Bologna
Italian illustrator, graphic designer, author of foolscap paintings.
Erica Il Cane is a very sensitive artist. He is an active promoter of vegetarianism and animal rights, which is visible in his works. He paints and draws animals – these are people and their emotions wearing animal masks.
Fragile and simple but not banal content concentrates on our emotions and makes people reflect on the tragic nature of our existence.
Escif / Valencia
(XLF) works as a freelance designer and illustrator and is a Public Art Specialist at the University of Valencia. He started to paint on the street in 1997. In recent years he has been able to travel to Morocco, South America, much of Europe and Cuba, and says he has left a part of himself in all of these places through his murals, paintings and drawings, while they in turn have influenced his creations. A small book and graphic pen are used for simple reference drawings. Quoting Picasso, he says: ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.’ Escifs sketches are not his final works but an intermediary between his head and the street, and he believes that improvisation is essential to be able to contextualize your work. Street painting still has a lot of things to say, he believes; and as its less appreciated than other types of painting, it has yet to reach its full potential.
Fefe Talavera / Madrid
Fefe Talavera – painter, performer, she was brought up in Sao Paulo, now she lives and works in Madrid. Demonic monsters which personify subconscious human emotions – fear, anger and desire are the main subject of her works which are deeply rooted in traditional, visual language of aboriginal population of Brazil and enriched with her experience of living in huge and harsh metropolis of Sao Paulo. Her raw creative energy thus found much more correspondence in the angled, tribal-like style she developed while working in the streets, than in her studies in fine arts which she finished with a Bachelor at the FAAP in Sao Paulo. For that young artist public space is a kind of medium of communication and a platform for her own expression.
Jiem / Lille
As a teenager, he discovers graffiti and devotes himself to it. Gradually he starts to paint on canvas and paper. Fond of popular painting and art brut, he develops an illustrative and naive style that is now recognizable in his murals.
Apart from classical graffiti, those murals are more accessible and open to inhabitants, so they can play their part in the democratization of art. Yet Jiem didn’t quit graffiti and goes on painting his name on any kind of surface. To him, traditional “vandal” or legal popular paintings answer the same basic needs and are complementary. After Rennes and Paris, Jiem settled in Lille, North of France, and opened an independent gallerybookstore with some friends.“Le Cagibi” holds art exhibitions and welcomes artists from the graffiti scene, among others. Today he leaves to Canada to explore another continent and fulfil an old dream: to walk around the north-american boxcars yards”.
Mudwig / Bristol
Mudwig Dans is a perverse artist who loves playing with context.
He is a visual manipulator with a perfect intuition of a material he works with. The artist who comes from Bristol uses the symbols of pop culture, mainly the ones which are the least interesting from the artistic point of view, and then complete them with figurative and abstract drawings. Violent mixture of ironic and surprising graphic forms with completely new meaning is a final result.
Sickboy / London
Partly influenced by psychedelia and Sixties and seventies architecture, such as the projects of avant – garde architectural group Archigram, Sickboy is always experimenting with different materials such as colored vinyl, which he uses for window installations and to create illustrated light boxes. He lives in Bristol and is a member and founder of the UK – wide AAGH graffiti crew. ‘I never paint from a sketch’, he says. ‘I just use it to develop a visual vocabulary. I tend to go through phases and definitely sketch more in the winter, as the weather stifles your creativity in terms of painting exteriors, so its nice to focus on sketches.’ His sketches become ideas which he enriches at a later stage, maybe on a computer or using elements in a painting.
Vova Vorotniov / Kiev
Vova Vorotinov, also known as Lodek, is a typical example of a direction the contemporary Ukrainian art goes to. His aggressive and sometimes radical style is a litmus paper of tendencies prevailing in a society.
Uncertain times and longing for old order, so much emphasized by older generation, are visible in the artist’s visual influences and inspirations. Vova Vorotniov mentally is a citizen of Europe. He obstinately uses defined visual codes and builds ironic landscape of surrounding world.
Zosen / Barcelona
Zosen’s shamanic enthusiasm delves into ritual, folklore, and symbolism to develop his own iconography and art practice that critiques the current social and political climate. His work builds a playful narrative with abstract characters and symbols that dance across cityscapes boldly breaking rules and expanding the dialogue with the city.
Born in Buenos Aires, Zosen developed his art practice on the streets since he was 11 and in 2001 became a long time member of Barcelona’s infamous ONG (Ovejas NeGras or ‘Black Sheep’) crew. Zosen continues to expand his creative practice with performance, illustration, video and collaborations with artists across the globe and he is co-founder of the street-wear label, “Animal Bandido” with designer Claudia Font.