Looking back at this creative year, we present below the 2019 mural Summary of Urban Forms Foundation, in Lodz, Poland. A creative year that kicked off in summer with the big mural by Guido van Helten!
– Guido van Helten second life of murals
At the beginning of June Urban Forms Foundation from Łódź, Poland had a chance to host Guido van Helten for a very exciting, big project. The Foundation and the artist have already had two projects together – in Poznań and Grudziądz, but this time it was finally possible in Łódź – the place with over 100 murals around the city.
The project was unusual because the walls for Guido van Helten already had murals on them. The “twin” piece by polish artists Cekas, Chazme, Proembrion, Sepe and the late Tone has been destroyed by a poor weather conditions. As the response to the questions about the renovation of the murals from the inhabitants of the buildings, Urban Forms decided to invite an artist, who works closely with the local society. After weeks of preparations, Łódź was ready for Guido van Helten, where he spent almost two months working on the new surface for the two tower blocks.
The second face of murals was inspired by the idea of a discussion about art in public and private spaces. In order to get to know the artistic tastes of the inhabitants of the area, together with the artist, Urban Forms organized a family picnic. The meeting was aimed at engaging the community members in conversations about their favorite works of art, presenting artifacts and creating a nice and friendly atmosphere within the neighbourhood. Photos taken during the picnic helped to create the final project for the walls. Artist also visited Łódź residents at their homes, asking to show their favourite pieces of art and getting to know a few beautiful stories behind them. During the creation process, Guido decided to involve the youngest generation in the project. One of the pictures made by a little boy Tymek, titled “Łeba”, ended up on the wall.
The new walls in Zarzew district of Łódź have brightened up the weary neighbourhood. Characteristic for Guido van Helten’s works silhouettes of people painted in building’s given colors are complemented by the real works of art – taken from the homes of Zarzew inhabitants.
– Victor Splash new face of “Extra Volume”
Tri-dimensional mural „Extra Volume” by Victor Splash (Victor Puzin) made in 2018 during the Urban Forms Festival 2018, got vandalized by unstoppable local football hooligans – the lower part of Victor’s mural gained some additional tags and writings. Fortunately Victor didn’t forget about his artwork and returned to Łódź, to fix his mural and give it a new dimension and a refreshed look.
As we realised (not for the first time) – it’s impossible to fight with the local football fans, so instead of covering their tags completely, Victor adapted his mural to the conditions in the area. Under the mural, artist created a “frame” filled with his own tags thereby giving a kind of permission to the vandals to put their writings there too. Fixed mural is doing fine and there are no new interventions from the hooligans so far.
Victor’s instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victor_splash/
Victor’s Behance page: https://www.behance.net/victor-splash
– Ptaha Staha and her African inspirations
Ptaha Staha is a nickname of young Ukrainian artist Yulia Snitsar, who came to Łódź this summer and painted two pieces inspired by the art of African tribes.
Yulia studied ceramics for 4 years, recently started a new speciality on the Monumental Painting Department in Lviv National Academy of Arts. Paralelly with the ceramics she gained an interest in mural painting, in her projects we can see a strong influence by African art, through which the artist conveys her emotions. Ptaha Staha is fascinated by the ancient African culture, ideology behind the African masks, their magical, social and artistic aspect, as well as their diversity expressing the creativity of African societies.
Making artworks inspired by this kind of art, Ptaha Staha finds a way to show emotions, dynamics of feelings and moods. The masks can laugh, cry, grimace. Each of Yulia’s projects is a medium for her thoughts, point of view about the world’s condition, emotions are hidden in the used colors and shapes.
Urban Forms Foundation tries to actively support young, beginning artists, this is why we decided to work with Yulia. Her artworks were made on the outside walls of our foundation’s office.
Ptaha Staha instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ptaha_staha/
– Lo Milo – Murals for the environment
Lo Milo is a city explorer and street artist, who lives and creates in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Majority of his artworks are created illegally on the city walls and abandoned spaces, mostly without the previous sketch. His pieces are site specific and correspond with the place. Lo Milo names his style as ‘free not style’, he doesn’t want to be labelled, as his art is constantly changing and evolving, even if the steps are barely noticeable. Regarding to popular categorization his expression is closest to ‘post-graffiti’ and ‘abstract-graffiti’ aesthetic. Materials used by the artist are often recycled, spray cans or paining colors he uses are mostly found on the streets or gotten as gifts. This radically influences on the final pieces, since they are often subordinated to the available material, short maneuver time and free-style approach.
Lo Milo has an ability to change the space with his murals – flat, damaged walls get new dimensions, become interesting for the viewer’s eye. Lo Milo’s extraordinary murals are composed with simple shapes and lines that harmonize with the wall’s surface and surroundings.
Murals that Lo Milo created in Łódź are kind of a tribute to the nature. The artist made two pieces related to the natural environment in ‘Synergia’ complex: it’s present and future.
First of the murals is hidden on the roof, visible only from a few spots – it’s kind of a surprise treat for a viewer’s eye. Graphic de-composition relates to the burned rests of materiality, like coal or frothy waves. Inspiration for the artist also came from the walls that he painted – their raw and simple structure ready for artistic intervention. The second mural became an artistic background for the plants growing along the wall. Within the time, the plants will grow, change colors and become a vital part of the mural.
According to the artist’s manners, we should learn how to coexist with the natural environment and among ourselves with respect. In metaphor way, his works could be understood as coexistence of nature and society, where organic shapes symbolize natural flow and geometric one’s human ratio; the artist keeps them in balance, they coexist in harmony, just as we should with our natural environment and to each other.
Lo Milo instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lo_milo_
– ABER & Cyber Tiger showing a new dimensions of the Old Printing Factory
One of the best known russian artists – Andrey Berger (Aber), and multimedia artist CyberTiger, together with camera operator Vladimir Timchuk and photographer Michaił Bugaenko took part in BMW Art project. The artistic journey called “Expedition Via Layers” started from Moscow, they went through Minsk and finished the journey in Łódź well known from plenty of urban and street art interventions. The artists took a challenge of exploring the transitional states between the real urban environment and its virtual copy. During the trip along the Russia-Belarus-Poland route, Andrey Berger created a series of urban murals that, thanks to Cyber Tiger, were continued in a virtual field. Together they presented the familiar street art in a new expressive genre. The end of the journey has been celebrated with the big mural painted by Aber and a mapping show by Cyber Tiger in the Old Printing Factory backyard in Łódź.
ABER website: http://andreyberger.com/
Cyber Tiger Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyber_tiger_studio/
Expedition Via Layers Teaser: https://www.facebook.com/DepartamentAgency/videos/431100587529311/
– Magda Ćwik „Children and Fish should be heard”
Magda Ćwik is a polish multidisciplinary artist, living and creating in Barcelona, Spain. Her latest works are focused on topics such as „Inner Transformation, Gender Equality, Plastic Pollution and Recycling”. She always tries to find a common language and to make connections with people and places where she creates, she is still open to use of new mediums and materials, willingly creates sculptures and installations. In September 2019 she visited Łódź to paint her biggest mural with the Urban Forms Foundation.
From the artist: “The latest mural entitled “Children and Fish should be heard” which I painted in Teofilów neighbourhood strongly relates to the current condition of our planet, as well as its uncertain future. The artistic idea of the mural was based on the statements of the inhabitants of Teofilów and my own thoughts on the climate change of our planet, the need for care for our environment and a positive view of the future and possibilities of our own choices. Łódź textiles, patterns and elements refer to the tradition of the city’s textiles. Symbols and icons of recycling, renewable energy sources, reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere or conscious consumption of plant based food are widely known and incline reflection for everyone. When painting the symbols, I used a paint that illuminates during the day and shines at night as a symbol of the use of solar energy. The wall was painted without using a spray paint.
Completion and official unveiling of the mural aligned with the day of the General Climate Strike. At the bottom of the mural a map of the world can be seen, a simulation of earth temperature carried out by NASA for year 2100.
The mural’s opening was attended by, among others, children from a nearby kindergarten who left their hands’ prints on the switch which is an integral part of the work.
My mural shows how such a strong medium can influence the viewers. This is not only a random image on the street, but a piece of art full of emotions and reflections. The mural cannot be an ad, it should convey ideas.”
The mural by Magda Ćwik made in Łódź is a part of Teofilów Mon Amour Project.
Magda Ćwik instagram: https://www.instagram.com/magdacwikart/
Magda Ćwik Behance: https://www.behance.net/Magda_Cwik
– Riq Etiq
Riq Etiq is a travelling artists. He graduated Willing De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he concentrated on murals and public art creation. The artist makes characteristic artwork, often concerning social topics in a critical way. Riq Etiq’s pieces’ style is inspired by the prehistoric roots of graffiti, the reoccurring motive in his murals is a bird’s figure.
The artist’s mission is travelling around Europe with a goal to find as many blank walls as he can and to fill them with his art inspired by the stories, culture, nature, values and people he meets on the way. Riq Etiq’s mural made in Łódź is a part of Teofilów Mon Amour Project.
Riq Etiq instagram: https://www.instagram.com/riqetiq/
– Anya Mielniczek and her „Noble Species”
The latest project finished in late November this year is a small, but impressive wall by Anya Mielniczek. Anya Mielniczek is a Toronto based multidisciplinary artist who combines her fine art background with raw material grit in both private and public sectors creating murals and mixed-media installations.
With every public opportunity to create she’s committed to giving nature a voice at a time in our world history where the earth, her elements and our connection to them is fractured. With looming threats like climate change, pollution and species extinction her intent is to create with purpose -inspiring, informing and establishing a connection to our natural world. The artists approach to mediums includes both latex and aerosol, working with the mechanical application of spray – and the energy of hand brushed strokes. Most recently her 2018-19 corporate partners have included projects for HideSeek, QUO Cosmetics, Bacardi, Moroccanoil, The Big Carrot, DELL, 1800GOTJUNK and Chevrolet.
Her commitment to her practice is to paint with purpose by giving nature a voice while defining a conversation with the viewer that may inspire and bring awareness for sustainable change.
Mural painted for Urban Forms Foundation in Łódź, Poland is titled ‘Noble Species’.
From the artist:
“One of my favorite childhood memories is mushroom picking in Poland, learning from my grandma about different mushroom varieties, which ones are prized treasures and which ones are poisonous buddies. It’s no secret Poles have an obsession with mushroom hunting… it is after all a national sport 😉
I love the experience mushroom picking offers. It allows you to connect with nature, track through beautiful forests with plush green moss carpets and come across various animals and beetles that shine like jewels.
Noble Species reflects the prized mushrooms one hopes to find (Prawdziwki! or the King Boletus mushroom). Historically noble mushrooms were gathered and offered as duty payments to landlords in feudal times.
This title also speaks to humans – as a Noble Species. Undoubtedly we are the special breed, capable of a universal amount of things – yet we’ve brought the world into a state of peril. Our climate is warming and our forests are on fire…
We stand in a historical moment in time were we have the information for the unprecedented effect our actions have on the environment. So, what are we reflecting back into the world? The third eye asks us to contemplate this, symbolizing the doorway into our inner reality and higher consciousness. We are being summoned to shift our perception, evolve and change.”
Artist’s website: http://www.anyamielniczek.com/