There are already 49 murals in the integrated monumental art gallery in Zaspa, Gdańsk! With the 6th edition of the Monumental Art Festival, new pieces were created: poetic mural by Opiemme from Italy, neon fantastic world painted on a 36-meter wall by Zosen Bandido from Spain, retro and futuristic mural by Gualicho from Argentina, and a project by Maciej Salamon from Poland who depicts different layers of the ‘Road to Happiness’ which has been chosen by the City Culture Institute for the leading motif of the festival this year. We present you four new pieces in the collection and their authors.
Poland’s biggest Collection of Monumental Paintings in Zaspa, Gdańsk was featured by the Huffington Post among “The 26 Best Cities In The World To See Street Art” (see: http://huff.to/1jeOtok). To see the whole 49-pieces collection visit: http://muralegdanskzaspa.pl/mapa/.
Opiemme – Italy
Italian poet and painter. His work originates from poetry and has been transformed into a visual message during the creative process. His street poetry is created under the influence of the street and the public space art and clear forms that allow to take social and environmental subjects in an ironic way. Opiemme lives and works in Turin. His adventure with art started in 2000. During the Monumental Art Festival, he created a work inspired by the poem ‘Under a certain star’ by Wisława Szymborska.
- The colors that fall from the top of the buildings are to represent the colors that street artists bring into the urban spaces. They are to become the symbols of happiness and joy that the art is supposed to bring to the streets – says Opiemme about his mural which is situated at Dywizjonu 303 St.
Zosen - Argentina / Spain
Zosen left Buenos Aires for Barcelona as a teenager. He was an active member of the Barcelonan graffiti scene of the early 90s. He experimented with different graffiti styles combining elements of social criticism and humorous signs and letters. Zosen still creates his works in the atmosphere of anti-authoritarian punk and DIY (do it yourself). His current works present neon colors and geometric signs and symbols. Zosen creates his own mythology by covering canvas and walls with fantastic characters who are about to comment events of the modern world.
– The road for me is my life, is the road that I share with the people. We can both find and lose people on our way. My way is the way of knowledge and experience. I am open to discover new cultures, feelings, techniques an people. The road is the happiness and the life is the miracle – says Zosen Bandido who painted his mural in association with Mina Hamada from Japan.
Gualicho – Argentina
He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began painting graffiti in 1998. He started using his pseudonym in 2006. ‘Gualicho’ is an ancient word deriving from the language of Argentinean native peoples. In his art, he creates new worlds with retro and futuristic cities and ambiguous characters that reflect archetypes and inner human conflicts by combining organic and mechanical forms.
– My “Eternia” mural shows the world within the world, the micro- and macro-cosmos, the eternal cycle of day and night, the birth and death, the failure and success. The breath of life is also the breath of death. Happiness is the way to reach the state of mind in which we see things exactly as they are. Living in harmony with natural cycles can eventually give us the happiness beyond of reasoning – says Gualicho. His mural is situated at Skarżyńskiego St.
Maciej Salamon – Poland
Born in 1984. He graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. He made his diploma work in the studio of Professor Jerzy Krechowicz. He is a polymath. He paints on ‘every possible surface’, he is involved in screen painting and graphic design. He is a co-founder of the artistic group ‘Krecha’ (issuing an independent artistic periodical with the same name). He creates interactive installations and murals. Singer-songwriter operating in the music band ‘Nagrobki’. He is the art director of Zakładowa Galeria Gablotka in the Shipyard in Gdańsk organizing interesting exhibitions with Polish and foreign artists. Since 2011, he has been running a graphic design studio at the Intermedia Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.
- My mural presents the construction that allows us to embark on the journey beyond the ordinary. To forget the destination and focus on the road itself, as it can be more interesting than our aim itself. That is why I picture the road that has no end, because it is not what counts – says Maciej Salamon, whose mural is at Nagórskiego St.
Poland’s biggest Collection of Monumental Paintings in the Zaspa district, in Gdańsk was featured by the Huffington Post among “The 26 Best Cities In The World To See Street Art” (see: http://huff.to/1jeOtok).
Zaspa is one of the biggest clusters of blocks of flats in Poland. Built in the 70’s, the district was meant to embody the modernist vision of the perfect urban organism. It was located on vast grounds of former airfield near the sea shore, where nothing seemed to limit the architects’ creativity. Today, the same freedom is granted the artists, who will transform large surfaces on the sides of blocks of flats into monumental paintings - the murals.
The first murals appeared in Zaspa in 1997 thanks to Rafał Roskowiński, who organized an international festival of murals to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the City of Gdańsk.
The idea of turning Zaspa into one of the biggest outdoor gallery in the world was revisited in 2009 It was then that the Monumental Art Festival was set up with Piotr Szwabe (aka Pisz) as its art director.
Today, the collection comprises 49 monumental paintings with various themes – some depict famous people or historic events, while others were inspired by the ideas of love, freedom or crisis and – this year’s creations on the road to happiness..
Visitors to this unique monumental gallery can be accompanied by its hosts. The district’s residents are local tour guides who know all about the history and architecture of Zaspa. The guided walks with the Local Guides who will tell you more about the history of the buildings, the artists and their creations take place 3-4 times a week.
6th Monumental Art Festival ‘’Road is the Happiness’’
Organizer: City Culture Institute | www.ikm.gda.pl/en/
The coordinator of the Monumental Art Festival: Barbara Sroka
Curator: Piotr Szwabe
Like the Zaspa mural collections: www.facebook.com/MuraleGdanskZaspa.