Click on photos to enlarge.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Peeta (Manuel Di Rita)

Draw the Line, 2016, Campobasso, Italy,  Peeta's works demonstrate the power of
murals to distort or destroy architecture.
When people today think about painters, they usually bring to mind and artist wearing an apron or smock, standing (or sitting) before their easel knocking out modest sized works seldom less than ten inches by fourteen inches and ranging upwards from that to no more than 48 inches square. And, for the most part, this mental image is accurate. The artists are using standard sizes both for pre-stretched canvases as well as frames, all of which would not look out of place on the walls of most homes. Only the most daring and financially secure painters go beyond that to create works only an art museum could handle (or afford). Yet, from the beginning, artists have also painted on cave walls; or decorated stone buildings; or the ceilings of churches or plastered walls of the well-to-do. Artists long ago came to realize that the larger their paintings, the more likely they and their art would stand apart from the crowd. This realization paved the way for the muralist painting walls or, indeed, the entire wall of a building (street art). These murals were sometimes just a step or two above common graffiti.
The Big Picture Festival, 2019, Frankston, Austria, Peeta
Over the years, despite the enormous size of their work, even muralists found their road to fame and fortune becoming as crowded as an LA. freeway parking lot. In order to gain much recognition, like their studio-bound colleagues, muralists needed something really special as to style and content to gain the free advertising that a newspaper article, magazine interview, or TV news segment has to offer. The Italian muralist known as Peeta (real name, Manuel Di Rita) seems to have discovered the fast lane with works such as the surreal illusions seen above and below.
Almanac, Barcelona, Peeta
Peeta is a resident of Venice, Italy. He's been painting graffiti since 1993, but more recently has really upped his game. A member of Padova-based EAD crew and New York City-based FX and RWK crews, Peeta also works on canvas and with actual 3D sculpture in PVC, bronze, acrylic resin and fiberglass. His experience with sculptural media really shows in his newest murals, which take the familiar forms of letter-based street art and manipulate them into abstractive creations. Peeta combines elements of graffiti and abstract art to paint murals that appear to morph and dissolve architectural structures. Abstract shapes swirl around and cut into walls to form M.C. Escher-like scenes that play tricks on the eyes and change depending on the viewing angle.
Mannheim, Germany, Peeta
For the 2019 Stadt. Wand. Kunst mural project (above), Peeta painted a geometrical design onto a building on a street corner in Mannheim, Germany. Using sharp lines, curved forms, and different shades of blue, white, and grey, Peeta visually altered the structure’s edge and created a new impossible façade. As with much of his other work, the limited color palette of the mural helps to sell the illusion and contrast the piece against the surrounding architecture. Peeta created this latest mural for the HKWALLS festival (below). The piece occupies a giant façade on a busy Hong Kong intersection above the Golden Computer Arcade and draws its color for neighboring buildings and signs.
Depending upon the distance between the mural and the viewer, Peeta's HKWalls mural in Hong Kong competes quite favorably juxtaposed against the busy, colorful architecture surrounding it.
Metaphorically, Peeta neutralizes preconceptions and urges the emergence of new perspectives. Anamorphism totally embodies this intent, which is always pivotal in his productions. He attempts to reveal the deceptiveness of human perception and the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks. Proceeding from the attempt to confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, his abstract illusions ultimately reveal their will to deceive. Constantly running in parallel with his murals and painting activity, the role of sculpture comes to be essential for Peeta's overall production. It represents a direct contact with three-dimensionality in order to understand the rules of light and shadows and to reproduce them.
Whether working on canvas on walls, or with sculpture,
Peeta's designs all relate to one another.
Peeta utilizes professional 3D design software to design PVC sculptures. That allows him to have a 3D view of the sculpture and, at the same time, virtually cut out all of its different surfaces and consider them on a 2D plane. Subsequently, he cuts the PVC plates and assembles them together. The last step involves coating the PVC surface with a polyester layer to mask imperfections resulting from the building process and to impart singularity to the structure, rather than a collage of components.
Peeta often works his illusionary miracles in tightly confined spaces.
When painting on walls, Peeta aims to always to create a dialogue with the structural and cultural parameters of the surrounding context, either architectural or not. The Italian artist transforms static buildings into visually-striking optical illusions, by painting abstract shapes onto them. The artist paints murals that appear to be dissolving, morphing and ever-changing as the illusions depend on the viewing angle. While technological sleights of hand grow more and more sophisticated, it is important to remember that sometimes paint, pencil, and sunlight are all that are needed to create transformative works of art.
Without Frontiers Festival, Mantova, Italy, 2018, Peeta
Peeta's work is best suited for corners, (above) where the artist is able to render flat planes and deep visual fields of shape and color that trick your eye into forgetting that these works are layered on top of everyday buildings and spaces. Working both on canvas and on buildings, Peeta is able to dematerialize perspective views of buildings through graphic, colorful, and explosive arrangements that create their own environmental and visual qualities. These paintings, which Peeta dubs "anamorphic works," are inspired by abstracted calligraphy and stem from the artist's younger days as a graffiti artist. Peeta explains that "Anamorphism totally embodies the intent, always pivotal in my production, to reveal the deceptiveness of human perception, the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks which, proceeding from the attempt to confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately reveal their will to deceive.
Square 23, Pump up the Volumes, Peeta, Turin, Italy, 2016
Sometimes Peeta's murals seem to jut outward
from their host building.

No comments:

Post a Comment