An imposing 40-metre mural stands among the largest in Rome as part of the Street Art for Rights Forum Festival. The new mural on the Serpentone in Corviale is dedicated to the environment.
It bears the signature of JDL (Judith de Leeuw) – the well-known Dutch street artist appreciated all over the world – the new imposing 40-metre mural created as part of the Street Art for Rights Forum Festival on the north-east wall of the Corviale building in Rome, the famous ‘Serpentone’, one of the ‘most symbolic’ walls in the capital.
Work began last 15 December, and after more than a month of work amidst frost and rain Corviale is the site of one of the city’s largest and most significant works realised by JDL with the operational support of street artists Spike, Smok, Marqus, Boogie, Joys and the stainless team of Street Art for Rights, who made possible another large mural work in addition to the more than 30 created in recent years (see www.streetartforrights.it).
JDL is internationally known for her activism in spreading social messages through street art, working on issues such as LGBTQIA+, racism and mental health, depicting them on the walls of the world with care and lyricism, thanks to her unmistakable stroke. Also for Street Art for Rights Forum Festival, she has chosen to raise awareness of the current environmental issue, deepening with her work the self-destructive tendency of modern society that exceeds the boundaries of nature.
This new enormous wall – perhaps one of the largest in the city – has a reference to the myth of Icarus. Icarus is the man who, heedless of his limitations, flew too close to the Sun with wax wings and fell into the sea. A metaphor for a society blinded by profit that is heading for self-destruction, aiming for the maximum today regardless of the future.
On this wall JDL depicts two women: one covered in oil plunges into the void, the other one struggles, managing to free herself and regain her freedom by flying. The woman on the left becomes a symbol of the many birds that get caught in the oil at sea because of man’s fault; the one on the left, on the other hand, represents those who make it through, with strength and tenacity. A work that becomes an omen for the future and a symbol of hope for the Corviale district and for everyone. The artist also chose not to erase some inscriptions created by residents of the neighbourhood, placed at the base of the large building, in the realisation of her work.
A clear signal of keeping alive the link with the territory, without wanting to ‘distort’ the popular soul of Corviale.
JDL’s wall in Rome will have a temporary duration of about two years as the Palazzone is affected by the renovation activities of the PNRR; during this time, however, before it is destroyed, it will be transformed into an NFT, so that it can continue to be visible and live online in the digital world of blockchain. Proceeds from the sale of the work will be donated to charity in the same neighbourhood.
Street Art for Rights has increasingly established itself in recent years as a reference point for street art in Italy with over 30 wall murals realised in Rome in the suburbs of Corviale and Settecamini, creating two open-air museums, and in Lazio between Cassino, Fiumicino and Latina.
The greatest achievement, however, came this year with the recognition of the European Union under the Creative Europe Programme, which inaugurates a new three-year cycle of works and initiatives related to street art that will cross Italian borders to France, thanks to the association Pick Up Production, and Greece with the association Anazitites Theatrou.
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