Street artists around the world are using their art to remind us that love is ever present.
These past few months have been arduous. We’ve been stuck inside the four walls of our homes, our liberties have been restricted: we are no longer able to go to museums, we cannot talk walks through the streets of our cities in search of art. Notwithstanding this momentary STOP, artists around the world have not ceased to create their work and have let themselves be inspired by what is happening around them. Many have created works art that include masks and sanitary bleach – two items which have become a part of our daily routine, our life.
Street artists are trying to take the edge off of the situation, as well as telling everyone to hang in there, to stay positive and be strong. Since most of us are on lockdown, how are we able to see these murals? Through their online profiles, a fundamental key in todays art world.
This street artist has left his mark in the streets of Milan. He has created a mural revisiting a classical image, which is known to most os us: the two lovers by Hayez in his famous painting The Kiss (1859, Pinacoteca of Brera, Milan). What distinguishes the graffiti is the presence of masks and small bottles of hand sanitizing gel in their hands – both symbols of what we are living today. The title of the work creates a connection with the theme the artist wants to portray “Love in the time of co…vid-19”.
Unfortunately the work was promptly vandalized, but it doesn’t seem to have discomfited the artist who wrote on Instagram, “someone hasn’t appreciated it, no problem, I’ll make another one”.
In Norway the artist known as Pøbel has left her signature on an underpass in Byrne, a forgotten corner which she often uses as canvas to her art. The piece depicts a couple locked in a romantic embrace whilst kissing with masks on their faces. The lovers try to convey as sense of happiness, as the artist herself says on her Instagram page, but also wants to pass a message across: try to stay safe.
Pony Wave is an American tattoo artist who recently took over a blank wall in Venice Beach, California and painted a magnificent mural dedicated to these hard and delicate times. The couple depicted, whose faces take up most of the wall, seem to be kissing. The girl though has an eye open: inviting the boy to take notice of the situation surrounding them.
They only colour in the mural is that of the masks, with their flamboyant pink and orange flowers reminding people to “Stay Safe”.
Christian Guémy, in art C215B, is the designer of the mural in Avenue Danielle-Casanova, Ivry (Paris). The image portrays two lovers passionately kissing with masks on their faces. The title of the work calls to mind a great novel by famous author Gabriel Garcia Marquez “Love in the time of Corona Virus”.
What’s significant about this piece is its utility: the artist has created a series to sell, and the proceeds are being used to finance the construction of hospitals needed to combat the health crisis caused by COVID-19.
In Canonica Lambro (Monza Brianza) the street Cascina Boscaccio holds a secret: a mural by Alessando Pinna. It depicts two people who, even though they are wearing the full out protective gear (complete with protective glasses and masks), are firmly in a strong embrace. Above it is written in latin “Amor vincit omnia” (Love conquers all) to say that no matter how hard and dramatic the situation may be, love will keep us united and give us strength to fare forward.
The Scottish Bansky has payed tribute to the town of Glasgow, in Bank Street, with a mural that wants to look to the future. The couple have lowered their masks in order to kiss, sort of discarding that element which we have become accustomed to. The artist commented on Instagram, “A time will come when; the masks can be pulled down, the borders will reopen, and connections can be remade – hopefully stronger than ever.”
Translated by Ludovica Sarti
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