Truly Design Crew Interview about his project «Cultus» – 21-07-2021
Name of the Street Art piece that has modified the urban space: Cultus
Location : Torino, Italy
Year : 2019
1- If you had to choose a Street Art piece that you created, as a transformation of the urban space, which one would you choose? How does this Street Art piece denote urban space metamorphosis?
“Cultus” was part of a larger project, a series of walls depicting the UN goals for sustainable development. Each artist or collective was given a goal, and ours was “Zero Hunger”.
This anamorphic piece truly changed and gave a new identity to its setting, making it pulse with color and compositional rhythm. The viewer is “challenged” to find the correct vantage point in order to see the design without distortion. A blank and boring façade was turned into a lively canvas for our creativity in the heart of the city, proving how historical settings can go hand in hand with contemporary forms of art.
2- Why did you make this Street Art piece in this urban space? Was it the town hall or the property owner who authorized or asked you to create it? Can we consider this work as illegal/vandalism or legal, what is your criteria?
As this project was sponsored by Lavazza, they were the main patron, but town hall and the owners of the building granted permission to go ahead and paint the 5-story high building. This was definitely a legal project with all criteria which allow it to be defined a public work of art.
3- What is the message you want to communicate through this Street Art piece? Is it related to the urban space where you did it?
Being close to the largest open-air market in Europe, goal number2 “Zero Hunger” was quite appropriate. We decided to represent a seed, shown as a geometric solid, superimposed with a rationally and harmonically subdivided “field” seen from above. It is an anamorphic design spread out on 4 surfaces, and aims at communicating rational use of space, harmonic growth, and adaptation, as even the lamppost on the foreground is colored in such a way as to be part of the piece.
4- How was this work integrated into the urban space? What was the interaction that the inhabitants of this city had with your project? Did they participate in its creation?
This piece is spread over 4 surfaces and even includes a lamppost, and it is quite clear that it is distorted through perspective. The challenge for the beholder is to find the correct vantage point, generating a continuous interaction with the public. As this was a technically challenging piece to paint, furthermore on cherry-pickers which require special licenses, we could not involve anyone else in its creation for safety reasons.
5- Do you think it is important that the local people participate during the production of your work and that they become artists modifying the urban space or do you prefer to carry out your projects alone without anyone seeing you?
We generally work on our pieces by ourselves, mostly because painting requires a lot of practical experience and a good hand, other than obvious safety reasons when working on elevated platforms, but it has occurred on several occasions that we involved kids, students, common people, the elderly, and even prison inmates in order to give them a taste of what our work is, and to give them the chance to feel proud of having worked on the piece themselves. It’s a great opportunity to give people the chance to understand concept and technique more broadly. They inevitably love it.
6- According to you, what is the criteria that determines your Street Art work modifies the urban space and why is your work considered aesthetically well done?
It’s something about interaction and concept that ties the artwork with its settings: we never pre-design a piece and then find somewhere to paint it, but rather are assigned/look for a spot and subsequently do research on the place and only then come up with an idea which relates to the place and the architectural setting in a way which is of course also gratifying to the eye. The aesthetic value of our pieces derives from the harmony of the design itself in composition, rhythm, color, and visual effects, and the cleanliness of the execution, the warmth of the hand-crafted artwork. All this allows our pieces to be appreciated, as well as of course the impact and optical illusion an anamorphic piece has when ingeniously placed in the right spot.
7-What is the “historical future” of your work? Should we take care of it, preserve it and repaint it as if it were a museum’s piece of art? Or should it be allowed to age with the city itself?
Outdoor pieces – even if created with utmost care and the best materials – have a limited lifespan, may it be 5 or 50 years. But the transient nature of Street Art is part of its essence, and we don’t believe this should be forced. Attempts at restoration can be made, but in the end it is quite impossible to make a piece last for more than a few decades, and we’re perfectly ok with this. On the other hand, we have quite a few indoor pieces which will last a very long time.
8- How does your work add value to the urban space in which it is produced?
It gives color and identity to a place, making it obvious that care was given to visually transform the space into something with its own meaning and artistic dimension; people can really grasp the care and effort put into artwork, and it ’s always inspiring to turn your head upwards and see an idea put into practice with shape and color.
9- What were the difficulties that you encountered during the completion of your work modifying the urban space?
On one hand, convincing who gives permits or the client that the idea is worth carrying out, that the result will be appreciated and will give value to the location. On the other hand, the technical difficulties of sketching a precise layout, rendering effects on a large scale, and at times even having the right cherry-picker or scaffolding which will allow us to reach all parts of the spot in complete safety.
10- Why is urban art important to modify the urban space? What sort of projects are you planning to do in the future ?
Mankind has always strived to communicate meaning, tell stories, and create emotion in public contexts, from Göbekli Tepe to contemporary muralism. Urban art has arisen out of the need to create beauty in places which are often too grey and anonymous, or on the contrary generating the fascinating contrast between historical settings and contemporary forms of art. Even fruition is important, for example by painting basketball courts we make them cooler and encourage people to use them. It is projects which generate a lot of attention and feedback from local communities that we aim at creating, it gives us an awesome opportunity to really feel like we are giving the community something unique and beautiful.
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