I find the culture of street art so compelling. Take a decaying building, unused wall or sidewalk, paint it or chalk it with provocative and inspiring art, and the transformation is immediate and dramatic. In an instant, an artist replaces this found decay with beauty, joy, intrigue and even controversy – all of which provoke a reaction and emotion, whereas before there was nothing. Nothing but crumbling blankness. It’s happening all over the world, and spreading fast. Look for it in your neighborhood and don’t walk past it this time. Ponder whether or not it stirs an emotion inside of you. Now imagine nothing on that same wall or sidewalk. Blank. My regular pleasure for wall murals is here in San Francisco and “mural spotting” while traveling.
Did you know that chalk art and street painting goes way back to the Madonna. The 16th-century Italian artists paid tribute to her in chalk and pastel, drawn directly on the streets. They were called the Madonnari, and they made a living traveling from town to town, accepting coins from those who admired their work. So let me introduce you to a few of today’s worldwide Madonnari inspired by a variety of muses!
Meet our first street artist, a Parisian by the name of Seth Malland “the globe-painter” here and view more of his art here. Seth takes his time in making sure to learn about the communities in which he paints his public art, often including portraits of local residents in a painting.
If you prefer a more classical style, let me introduce you to Borondo the Spaniard, in live action here accompanied by Vivaldi. Brilliant!! And the final result in this photo below.
How about street art activism in Yekaterinburg, Russia? Free speech at work in the guise of clever portraits: “Pothole caricatures of politicians spur action to fix the streets in Russia.” Read the full article here. After the news of these pothole paintings became a viral media sensation released in 300+ media venues, the politicians took action and finally repaired the roadways.
Maybe you look for the quirky in your art? Another Russian artist by the name of Nikita Nomerz transforms derelict buildings and towers into these humorous and whimsical faces in locations around Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Click here and prepare to laugh out loud with pleasure!
And to complete your Modern Madonnari tour, let’s really freak you out — this 3D chalk art by Edgar Müller is insane! You can see this piece shown below in progress here. 3D chalk art is really a two dimensional painting that gains its 3D perspective only when viewed from one specific vantage point, and that’s enough to give me vertigo. If you dare to see more mind benders, look here.