The Human Condition with Faith XLVII

By Emma Regolini

May 1st, 2020

FaithXLVII, Johannesburg

Faith XLVII (47) is an internationally acclaimed visual artist from Cape Town, South Africa. As an interdisciplinary artist, Faith47’s work speaks to issues of human rights, social issues and spiritual endurance across different races and genders.

Faith XLVII, ‘SALUS POPULI SUPREMA LEX ESTO-SKID ROW’ 2018

Her career spanning across the last two decades has seen her work on the walls of abandoned factories to bustling marketplaces, Skid Row and gallery settings.

Faith XLVII, ‘Multum In Parvo’ 2013

In post-apartheid country, Faith47 found her work inspired by the social and political issues around her in South Africa. Even at first glance, her murals strike a deeper tone within the viewer, transcending their physical location.

Faith XLVII, ‘Unearth’ 2016

Imagery depicting political problems, environmental destruction, women’s rights and humanitarian subjects, Faith47 debunks these issues with a truthfulness and emotive nuance allowing the viewer to reflect on the human condition and the world around us.

Faith XLVII, ‘Who will Guard the Guards themselves?’ 2016

A recurring theme in Faith47’s work is the physical location in which she stages her murals. These spaces become somewhat of a sanctum or spiritual place where the work can breathe and speak for itself.

Faith XLVII, Johannesburg 2017

Faith explains that, “there’s a fragility in these [broken down, decaying] environments as it reflects life [or one that once was]. She has also mentioned that,

“These empty building feel like spiritual experiences, exploring holy chambers of neglected architecture.”

Faith XLVII
Faith XLVII, ‘Multum In Parvo’ 2013

Creating art in these spaces brings an air of intimacy between the viewer and the artwork. The feeling of spirituality, Faith has mastered across many diverse environments.

Faith XLVII, ‘ The Psychic Power of Animals’ 2015

Her work in Warwick Triangle, Durban, South Africa (2014) presents murals across six huge walls on four support columns of the N3 viaduct adjacent to the Early Morning Market in Warwick. Faith has said that the energy on the streets breathes life into the work.

Faith XLVII, ‘A STUDY OF WARWICK TRIANGLE AT RUSH HOUR’ 2014

An artist has the ability to learn so much and see different layers of culture and systems in these open environments, something that can’t be experienced in a studio.

Faith XLVII, ‘A STUDY OF WARWICK TRIANGLE AT RUSH HOUR’ 2014

The project at Warwick Triangle allowed Faith to explore the notion of an informal economy and celebrate traders from the market, highlighting the everyday man or woman on the street. The artworks also feature cultural tapestry patterns and poem excerpts from Durban locals.

Faith XLVII, ‘A STUDY OF WARWICK TRIANGLE AT RUSH HOUR’ 2014

More recently, Faith47 worked alongside fellow South African artist Inka Kendzia to create and stage a projection-mapping mural in Cincinnati during the Blink Light Festival.

Faith XLVII, ‘AD PACEM’ 2019

Faith’s artwork depicted Eirene the Greek goddess of peace, highlighting the importance of actively working towards societies which function on open communication and inclusion, core pillars of humanity.

Faith XLVII, ‘AD PACEM’ with Inka Kendzia 2019

The detailed and montage-like projections interacted with the work to communicate a narrative alluding to borders, immigration, freedom of movement, protesting and the strength of the human spirit above all.

Faith XLVII, ‘AD PACEM’ with Inka Kendzia 2019

The raw intimacy and vulnerability in Faith’s work carries a profound weight of human interconnectedness and the sanctity of human life and what we make of it.

Faith XLVII, ‘Estamos Todos Los Que Cabemos’ 2015

In 2011, Faith referred to the street art scene as a new art movement that many “had not yet got their head around.” It has now become a way to start conversations and connect individuals.

She explained [in year’s to come] “people will be reading about it in art history textbooks.” A visionary in her own right, Faith47 is one of the most revered female street artists in history.

Faith XLVII, ‘ The Psychic Power of Animals’ 2015

While We’re Inside…with Vadim Solovyov

By Emma Regolini

April 24th, 2020

As we remain locked inside whilst the pandemic sweeps through the world,  Vadim Solovyov is reimagining a new reality.

The artist’s digital manipulations of larger-than-life creatures give voice to a seemingly dystopian reality than the one we are currently experiencing.

Via Vadim Solovyov

Portraying everyday urban environments overthrown by pigeons, racoons or sea-life presents an eerily surreal parallel universe where human civilisation is no longer in power.

As we collectively settle into a ‘new normal’ in 2020 from raging natural disasters to a sweeping pandemic, Solovyov’s fantastical compositions remain a thought provoking concept.

Solovyov has shared with publications that he began this conceptually dystopian series as a way to explore strange events in his reality.

For example the colossal sized raccoon making it’s way to the embankment to perhaps rinse itself, references the need for washing and sanitising our hands to help present the spread of COVID-19.

The artist sites that his visual depictions each uniquely comment on an issue or problem in society facing the human race.

Despite it’s dystopian connotations, the visuals spark surprise and curiosity for viewers with a deeper call to action.

Instinct and Experimentation with PunkMeTender

By Emma Regolini

April 17th, 2020

Contemporary artist PunkMeTender is most recognised for his bold and instinctual artwork and installations adorning the walls of Miami Art Basel, the Kardashian’s and many LA streets.

Via PunkMeTender

Originally hailing from France, PunkMeTender came to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for art and experimentation. With creativity sewn into his family lineage, PunkMeTender says that he,

“Found painting as a form of therapy and a way to express his emotions.”

PunkMeTender
Via PunkMeTender

The artist’s style and work is constantly evolving, drawing nuances and elements from street art, graffiti, photography and the female form.

Via PunkMeTender

PunkMeTender’s instinctual approach to his work means he can break the rules as he pleases, reflected in his moniker. Adding to the mystique of his work, PunkMeTender stays anonymous to maintain his freedom and express himself creatively without restraint.

Via PunkMeTender at Content Art Fair Miami

His artworks range from large-scale 3D murals to smaller fine art objects and private celebrity commissions. Recurring motifs include his use of butterflies and plexiglass exploring evolution and an untouchable desire.

Via PunkMeTender for Kylie Cosmetics
Via PunkMeTender

PunkMeTender cites his artistic inspiration stemming from; Yves Klein for his minimalism, Damien Hirst for his ingenuity, Jean Paul Gaultier for his creativity and Alexander McQueen for his emotive creations and out of the box visions.

Via PunkMeTender

It’s evident that through his work, PunkMeTender explores the intersection of street art, fashion and female sensuality while honing in on the natural desires of human kind. His work has a passionate and enigmatic energy communicated through his use of bold colours and beautiful dimensions.

Via PunkMeTender

He states that, “the secret is to have the ability to find weaknesses in your own work and to dig those pain points out before anyone else.”

Jerkface
Via PunkMeTender

We asked PunkMeTender a few questions about his career trajectory and advice…

Who are you and what do you do? I am PunkMeTender, and I am an artist. 

Your work often features butterflies, representing transformation and new beginnings. How has your work evolved and changed over time? My work is constantly evolving; I compare it to a study. My artwork in an endless study, but the scale of the evolution becomes more and more refined. 

Has there been a defining moment or project in your career to date? The day I landed my feet in Los Angeles, I knew it was my city, a city of angels. 

Does the scale of a project ever intimidate you? Not at all, I’m usually the one to push projects to a bigger scale and to their limits.  

What is your dream project? My dream project is to curate and design a haute couture fashion show at Paris Fashion Week.

What are you currently working on? Currently, I am working on spinning paintings. I’m studying the connection between the feelings of layering the paint and the mécanique of spin that has no feelings. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? If you don’t go forward, then you stay still.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Keep fucking up.

How would you describe your work in three words? Real, Aesthetic, dimensional

Via PunkMeTender

THE CULTURALLY ENCHANTING WORK OF GLEO

By Emma Regolini

April 3rd, 2020

Gleo ‘The Other’ São Paulo, Brazil 2017

Colombian artist Gleo has made a name for herself outside of her hometown of Cali (Colombia) on the street art scene globally.

Growing up in a small tropical city of the Colombian Pacific, Gleo also known as Natalia Gallego, has found freedom in painting walls since she was fifteen as a form of self expression and political participation.

Gleo, 2017 image by Jadi Ilias

Gleo often recites her purpose for painting walls, streets or public spaces as a reflection of their accessibility and universal ownership. Gleo explains that the “word ‘public’ is very complex, this space belongs to everyone and no one.”

Gleo, 2019

In recent years Gleo’s work has featured masked mystical beings and creatures often symbolising Latin American mythologies or cosmology. Her work captures these creatures in dream-like state through colour and the objects adorning them.

Gleo, 2017

She cites that we often “dress up and put on a mask, trying to transcend a higher self.” It is true, that Gleo perfectly captures the perceived demigod state of mind in her work on a large scale.

Gleo, 2019

A common thread between her past work includes historical objects or talismans as she draws inspiration from periods of antiquity and ancestral cultures. Her characters appearing transcendent in nature exude a sense of knowledge and spiritual power.

Gleo, 2019

When commenting on the lifespan of each murals, Gleo goes back to the public ownership of each space and therefore it’s preservation is dependent on the inhabitants. With some murals lasting days, months or years, many street artists can agree that the fate of each piece is out of their individual control.

Gleo’s enchanting, captivating and colourful murals have taken over walls worldwide from Colombia to Peru and across Europe. As a prominent female Latin American artist, the world has fallen in love with Gleo’s blended composition of cross-cultural iconography and warm theatrical renderings.

Gleo, 2016

Remixed Nostalgia with Jerkface

By Emma Regolini

March 27th, 2020

You may recognise Jerkface’s nostalgia-driven, potently optimistic reimaginations of yours and my favourite cartoon icons. His remix of colourful pop-iconography makes his work not only stands out but will also make you stand still and appreciate his flawless attention to detail and nuance.

Jerkface in Brooklyn, 2016

Jerkface’s daring dissections and use of ubiquitous characters including The Simpsons, Spongebob, Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes and many more make him a key player in the art scene.

Jerkface’s first wall as a teen in Queens 2013

Breaking away from widely used stencil, wildstyle or realism forms of street art, Jerkface’s pieces evoke a sense of familiarity, naivety and innocence.

Jerkface in Manhattan, NY 2016

The artist often reflects on the happiness he sought from cartoon programs during his childhood years. His work bridges the gap between youthful memories and the weight adulthood.

Jerkface in New York, NY 2017

From geometric abstractions to repetition and transparent layers, Jerkface purposefully creates provocative scenes that are rich with emotion, energy and an unbridled enthusiasm. In a time like this, Jerkface’s work seems indispensable now more than ever.

Jerkface Grand in Manhattan, NY 2014
Jerkface, 2018

The artist’s creative process however is far from simple. Relying and trusting on his intuition and experience over time, Jerkface explains that his design process starts with the idea and then a sketch which he builds on to refine the design. He says that, “over time, you learn to look at your work better and differently.”

Jerkface in Asheville, NC 2017

Over the years, you can see his designs become more refined and enriched with movement while staying true to the innocence and joy of his youth. True to form, with constant revision and improvement, his pieces today are flawless.

Jerkface in Manhattan, NY 2017

He states that, “the secret is to have the ability to find weaknesses in your own work and to dig those pain points out before anyone else.”

Jerkface
Jerkface in LES NYC, 2016

By manipulating and refining his playful characters, Jerkface has been about to create new compelling visual narratives for characters including Pink Panther, Sesame Street and many more.

Jerkface in Brooklyn, 2018

In addition to his success in the street art world, Jerkface’s 2016 exhibition “Saturday Morning” (a nod to Saturday morning cartoons) at Under the Influence gallery in Hong Kong garnered international recognition leading to several murals around Hong Kong and the US.

Jerkface in Manhattan, 2014

When asked about his view on street art today, Jerkface says, “everything happening around street art is inspiring.” Heavily influenced by his surroundings in New York, the artist explains that he is most inspired by “the regularity of artists painting massive buildings.”

Jerkface in Manhattan, 2015

As the circuit of street art festivals worldwide expands and street art becomes more widely respected, it is exciting to see artists like Jerkface and others share their work on a big scale.

Jerkface in Brooklyn, NY 2017

“Art on such a big stage is so overwhelming, so grand. It becomes larger than life.”

Jerkface
Jerkface Manhattan, 2015

MAGNIFYING THE ARTIST MADC

By Emma Regolini

March 20th, 2020

You may recognise her multi-coloured abstract murals from around the world. MadC is the unstoppable female artist dominating the traditionally male oriented arena of graffiti and street art today.

MadC villa mural for Pullman Hotels Maldives

MadC, also known as Claudia Walde is a German born graffiti writer and muralist. Carrying a degree in graphic design with a Master’s stamp, MadC began her career in graffiti long before her adult years.

MadC Germany 2020

Completing her first graffiti piece at 16 years of age, MadC went on to reach early international acclaim in 2010 with her piece, known as the ‘700 Wall.’ The wall covered 700 square metres along the train line between Berlin and Halle and took 4 months to complete. According to most sources, the painting is still the large graffiti mural created by a single person.

MadC ‘700 Wall’ Berlin-Halle 2010

Following her success from the ‘700 Wall,’ MadC’s style and approach slowly began to change direction. Departing from detailed and thematic storytelling, her work and artistic path diversified into gallery shows, larger scale murals and a deeper analysis of the pillars of traditional graffiti.

MadC London, UK 2013
MadC 1000 square foot wall, Chicago 2018

What has been acknowledged as a shift in ‘artistic strategy,’ saw MadC take a closer look at wild-style graffiti, dynamic lines and bold motion and colours. Her murals could now be described as having placed a magnifying lens over aggressive lettering, angles and shapes to give clarity to a different world of expression, beauty and art.

MadC Philadelphia, USA 2016 for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

MadC’s focus on magnified brush strokes and layered transparencies give way to a liquid form. Her murals spread across the world wash the faces of multi-storey walls in an effortless way.

MadC 12-storey mural in Berlin 2019, for Berlin Mural Festival

Bridging the divide between street art and the gallery world, MadC presented her first show in 2015 named, ‘Night and Day.’ The series explored the relationship between night and day and the role it plays in the life and activities of a graffiti artist.

MadC Marrakech, Morroco 2016

More recently, MadC presented a series of works, ‘Dialogue’ throughout the gardens of the Brenners Park Hotel in Germany Each sculptural painting has a direct link to the hotel and their placement in the garden. The painting, ‘Indigo Coelin’ (centre below), represents the fresh breeze, which floats through the restaurant. Elements of pink add sweetness while the gold lines draw meaning from the gold elements inside the hotel.

Depending on the light, the gold changes throughout the day, similar to the light, which reflects and moves through the restaurant.

MadC ‘Dialogue’ 2019, Brenners Park Hotel, Germany

MadC’s magnified, abstract style brings a fresh and vibrant energy to the world of traditional graffiti. Claudia’s roots in graphic design and teenage years honing her craft has enabled her to build, develop and refine a recognisable style which she is renowned for today.  

MadC Germany 2015

Urvanity Art 2020

By Emma Regolini

February 21st , 2020

Urvanity Art Fair is back for 2020! Living up to its incredible legacy, this year’s has an impressive line up of artists from around the world!

The event brings together creatives from urban, street art, graffiti spheres. In its fourth rotation, Urvanity has become a meeting point for collectors, artists and likeminded individuals to collectively celebrate contemporary art.

Artist: D*Face

Sergio Sancho, the founder of the Madrid based festival says that ‘Urvanity’ began with his passion for art and his mission to increase visibility for artists from non-traditional backgrounds who are breaking boundaries, literally and figuratively. 

Artist: Artez

Known for being Spain’s birthplace for artistic movements, Madrid has a rich artistic history to celebrate, from graffiti to lowbrow, neo-pop and urban contemporary influences. This year Urvanity will spread across 30 galleries showcasing more than 90 artists from around the world.

Artist: Martin Gordopelota

This year the art event will place an emphasis on the presence of international galleries partaking including Le Feuvre & Roze (France), MAGMA (Italy), PADRE Gallery (United States), Pantocrator Gallery (China) and Artrust (Switzerland), which will present works by the inimitable, Banksy.

Artist: Cranio

The event program will not only include an incredible showcase of artworks from a range of disciplines but also a series of panel discussions debating topics surrounding the concept of new contemporary art.

Artist: Cayetena H. Cuyás

With an impressive line-up of galleries and artists, Urvanity, for it’s fourth consecutive year continues to establish itself as a key player in the art fair circuit and a gathering place for some of the best and up-and-coming creative minds.

Artist: Sergio Mora

Urvanity 2020 will present an exciting program filled with activities, talks and round table discussions. Global Street Art has been invited present an insightful talk about ‘Walls and words.’  The talk will explore the power of social media and communication tools in expanding the world of urban and contemporary art! We are excited to support Urvanity in 2020 and beyond! Let the art fair begin!

Artist: PECA

Adapting street art in the digital age with INSA

By Emma Regolini

February 14th , 2020

Bristol born artist INSA has a rich history of creative projects before hitting the sweet spot with his iconic Gif-iti style of work, which he is best known for today. Before focusing on his labour-intensive animated murals, INSA has designed signature collections with Kangol and Kid Robot as well as private commissions for clients including Nike and Sony.

Today, INSA’s work is accessible around the world thanks to the internet. Upon reflecting about how his work is consumed online, including reduced pixels and low quality image resolutions, INSA decided to convert his murals into gif animations, best enjoyed online.

The process behind his hypnotising motion graphics involves re-working, re-painting and re-photographing layers of a mural and then converting them into a looped animation. The layers build colours, shapes, geometrics and dimension compositions, which allows a full story to unfold when the final animation is completed.

INSA’s murals align perfectly with the tumblr, tik-tok and instagram generations of the current digital age.

While his work is carried out in the physical world, his art can only be enjoyed through digital means. Through his augmented-reality ‘Gif-iti-‘ app, INSA makes it accessible to “experience the work firsthand through different viewing platforms.” Unlike other detailed and large scale murals that are best viewed IRL, INSA flips the coin, allowing anyone around the world to enjoy his work at any time.

What could be considered, one of his most impressive pieces to date is his collaboration with Ballantine on a satellite scale floor mural covering 57,515 square metres. With a team of 20 and a satellite 431 miles above the earth, INSA wanted to create the world’s largest GIF. Inspired by his trademark ‘Looking For Love’ design, the team worked to get the floor piece completed over four days in Rio de Janeiro in 2015.

The ethereal work of Polish muralist Natalia Rak

By Emma Regolini

January 31, 2020

You may recognise the work of Natalia Rak from her gradient blending, ethereal murals spread across the world and Instagram. The Polish born muralist studied graphic, screen-printing and poster design but later on began to focus on painting and larger scale projects.

Growing up in a small Polish village, Natalia often recounts the absence of street art in her physical surroundings. Today she draws inspiration from mythology, religious symbols and fables.

Today it is widely agreed that Natalia’s murals appear to transcend their physical environments. Rak’s use of symbolism and references to fable-like iconography adds a tangible element of magic to her work. Natalia often cites her deep connection to nature and the importance of protecting endangered species, flora and fauna.

Rak’s murals often portray women from an ethereal perspective. Carving her own space in the street art arena, the Polish muralist says that as a female artist, she understands the complex nature of what it is to be a woman.

Rak also explains that she is more interested in created figures with often-androgynous faces, focusing on their expression and form rather than traditional portrayals of females and males (in Eastern European cultures).

Despite the recurring presence of females in her work, Natalia says that there were not many female street artists to look up to years ago. In what could be considered a male-dominated space, Natalia hopes to be as skilled as her male counterparts while forging her own path and style.

Rak’s work and murals have been included in numerous group exhibitions around the world since 2009. In past interviews Natalia highlights the duality of sharing your work on social media as an artist while remaining inspired and continually creating. She says it is important to share high quality images of your work, sharing the process and how pieces are created

Odeith and the Rise of Anamorphic Street Art

By Emma Regolini

January 17, 2020

Anamorphism in street art refers to the intentional distortion of perspective, a type of optical illusion that is best viewed from a particular vantage point to experience the true image.

Early use of anamorphism or the ‘distorted perspective,’ dates back to prehistoric cave painting, as artists had to adapt to the oblique angles of cave structures. Over time the technique has been revived and used for different purposes suited to the climate of the era.

In the 17th century, anamorphosis was used to conceal images for privacy or personal safety or to hide secrets particularly associated with royal figures.

Anamorphism used in 17th century fine art paintings
Anamorphism used in 17th century fine art paintings

Today, artists use anamorphism by selecting a specific angle from which to view the piece in or take the best photograph, and for Portuguese artist, Odeith, this often involves calculated 90-degree angles or curved surfaces.

Image via https://www.odeith.com/
Image via https://www.odeith.com/
Image via https://www.odeith.com/

Although the style of 3D art is well established, Odeith has driven and refined the anamorphic style, playing with optical illusions by creating life-like scenes involving creatures, cars, chrome lettering and other realistic objects.

Combining mathematical measurements, shadows and at times an imitated background, Odeith achieves, what he refers to as his ‘sombre 3D,’ style.

It is easy to overlook the detail and skill of Odeith’s work until we are shown the piece from a more conventional angle before we can understand how the design is perfectly stretched and distorted to achieve the perfect shot.

The Portuguese artist is most renowned for his abandoned bus illusion mural piece, which quickly became a viral sensation. After coming across a block-like structure, Odeith eventually unveiled the incredibly realistic bus.

Odeith’s style is one, which is so unique and restrictive to imitation that his portfolio of work from over the years continues to push boundaries and inspire artists across the world.