JUSTKIDS together with the worldwide known festival ‘Life is Beautiful’ transformed downtown Las Vegas, bringing 10 international artists to color the Sin City, downtown.
“JUSTKIDS is a creative house that conceives, produces and promotes comprehensive art projects on an international scale with some of the world’s most engaging artists, curators and strategic consultants.”
JUSTKIDS have been partners with Life is Beautiful festival for the last 4 editions, bringing more than 50 artists (such as Vhils, D*Face, Vhils, Roa, Banksy, among others) to this amazing venue.
This partnership started in 2013 and since then JUSTKIDS have been transforming downtown Las Vegas to an huge open air gallery. The result of this bond, between the city and the festival, is a non frontiers city.
“The city welcomes the art and the art dresses the city.”
First artist in scene is the “Rockstar” Shepard Fairey, in the first appearence of Obey the Giant creator in the festival.
His piece “Corporate Welfare”, located at the famous crossing on the Emergency Art Center building, doesn´t run from the traditional work of Fairey and his potical street propraganda, by showing the connection between the economic world and the blury government.
In a scene dominated by men and in a city known by show girls and cabarets, Fafi comes to the Las Vegas to show the power of women. “Bad girl Dementor” is powerful way to show why Fafi was invited to the festival and women have a voice in the street art scene. The piece has the style that Fafi always presented to us, with the feminine lines and at the same time agressive girls that are a statement to the women behind this creation.
The Thunderdog Studios founder, Treston Eaton, was also invited to leave his mark in downtown Las Vegas.
Treston Eaton´s piece, “Fear no Fate”, brought a nostalgic feeling to the viewers, by bringing back the glamour of the 50´s show girls. A mural that transmits the elagance and the lights of Las Vegas 50´s, even the iconic Las Vegas welcome sign is popping up.
One year ago we said WOW when Banksy presented “Big Rid”, Mike Ross trucks sculpture, at Dismaland´s Beamusent park. And now is time fot another big WOW because this magnificient art installation now moved permamently to downtown Las Vegas, in the courtyard of the Ferguson Motel. Visitors will have the chance of seeing this live be stoked with the size and at the same time the fragile apperance of this masterpeice.
And the big surprise of this year’s festival was Mark Drew, the Australian (recently moved to Tokyo) artist, founder of China Heights Gallery in Sydney.
Following his recent project, “Deez Nuts”, Mark Drew presented a big mural with Pigpen the character of Peanuts, famous comic strip from the 50´s, and the lyrics of the 90´s rap group Wu Tang Clan. As JUSTKIDS says:”This mural could have been easily named Peanuts and C.R.E.A.M.”.
Another lady that made the apperance on the festival was Crystal Wagner. The American artist that usually combines 2D with 3D forms in her artwork, presented a piece where we can see a giant colourful monster. This artwork was made, as Crystal normally uses, with alternative materials such as her signature paper and fabric medium. Her work is located at an vintage motel in the middle of the festival and it has 120 feet long.
When you talk about the next artist all that comes to our mind is colours and shapes that blow your mind. He painted from cars to big buildings and even boats. We are talking about Felipe Pantone, the Argentinian artist that uses a combination of colours and kinetic art.
In his festival work, Pantone not only painted the building but he also “added an entire architectonic lighting spectrum”. Using his style, Pantone transformed this building turning it to a look alike futurist 80´s movie.
Rabbits, rabbits and more rabbits, is all we can see this summer in several festivals and Life is Beautiful was no exception. These 25ft inflatable white rabbits brought a new life to the festival and also, during the night, a new light. These are creation of the Australian Artist
Amanda Parer entitled “Intrude” and were placed in the grass/relax area.
American Motels have always been one of the most iconic places of American culture, through movies and stories we read. (mostly for non-americans). Justin Favela decided to transform one in to a big pink piñata. The Mexican artist delivered a very detailed work made with paper and glue, related to the typical Mexican piñatas, as we are used to see in this great artist.
From Spain arrived Dulk and like always created an amazing piece of art. Located in the same avenue as the Motel of Justin Favela, this wall is a mix of Dulk work and the environment of the state of Nevada. We can see very detailed mechanic birds, flying bulls, cactus, the canyons, among others objects, completed with very well picked colours.
Two big walls, a corner, were painted by the Norwegian artist Martin Whatson with his own stencil style. On one face of the corner we can see a police officer facing a big coloured tagged wall, showing the relation of the illegal part of graffiti and the art that we all love. On the other corner we have a hand pulling down a veil revealing a painted wall, in a memorial to all the graffiti that was covered. So which one is the real act of vandalism????
The next piece is an anthem street art and the bar was raised very high. Bezt, from the duo Etam Cru, painted a ten story building with a boy dreaming of a warrior in what appears while sitting on a church bench. The huge warrior was painted in a stained glass style and shows the brave side of the young boy.
We are already looking forward to the next years’ Festival!
Tomás Cardoso/ISSA Team