Art and the city
Paintings as an architectural means for renovation of piazzas, facades and public places. Graffiti becomes a big civil project Initially seen as an act of vandalism that defaced the city, today ( real) street art is successfully invited to decorate streets, buildings and public places. In the wake of big names from the past — Keith Haring or Basquiat just to mention the best — and also of the new collectible phenomena — Banksy in the forefront — local administrations and cultural institutions have opened their eyes to the colourful beauty of this art form. What is immediately striking when observing the best of recent expression is how this tendency to ‘ paint’ the context has today also become a means of communication/ advertising. In Paris, the III- Studio team of creative directors has come up with the idea of painting a basketball court to promote
a sportswear line created by the Pigalle fashion brand with Nike. From the universe of street style we then move onto more decorative versions. Projects like ‘ Calligraffiti’ by the young Russian, Pokras Lampas, called on by Fendi to decorate the rooftop of their headquarters in old Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome, with a poem in Cyrillic about the concept of free expression. Young Ne Spoon from Warsaw also has an unusual style that recalls traditional crochet, painted lace in otherwise anonymous piazzas, abandoned sites and neglected buildings. The same mood, but with entirely different results, for Hense, a famous abstract artist who moves nonchalantly from canvases for galleries to enormous building facades, all part of his world of colourful playful shapes. And they called them vandals.